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Saturday, July 17

This volunteer group photo makes me incredibly happy. The man on the right is Ernie, who joined us as a volunteer for the first time this week. He showed up right at noon saying, "Volunteers needed! I'm here!' which I realized was him responding to my call for volunteers on our chalkboard sign last week. Ernie helped unload our cars, called out our menu like a carnival barker with total accuracy, packaged up pasta salad, handed out water, helped manage the line, and generally stepped in wherever we needed help. He also chatted with us about the neighborhood and what he thought it needed, and pointed out that over the wall behind us was the oldest Jewish cemetery in Baltimore. I was thrilled to have his help, but that's not the best part.

What hit me after talking with him for a bit was that he looked familiar. So I asked him, "Wasn't it you who helped me the very first day I came out here by myself and was handing out mac and cheese from the back of my car? People were crowding in, and you told them to make a line and let the older ladies go first?" He smiled and said, "Yes, that was me." Looking at this volunteer photo and seeing all these wonderful people out here together talking and laughing and hustling to help serve people fills my heart to the brim.

We also celebrated the birthdays of two of our regular volunteers - Terri and Janeene. These women have been incredibly generous with their time and support so we wanted to thank them publicly. Our guests got a kick out of wishing them Happy Birthday as they are familiar faces.

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