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Saturday, June 19

Again this week the hot weather inspired several folks to hang out for a bit in the shade with us, drinking iced tea and chatting. I had a long talk with a man named Rodney who started to tear up as he thanked us for always greeting him so warmly each week. He apologized for crying and explained that he had lost his mom two days ago. He told me how hard it was to be the one managing the funeral and other arrangements and that he bursts out crying at the strangest times now. I told him that I had a similar experience when I lost my mom, and understood the rollercoaster of emotions. I asked if I could hug him, and he said as he was leaving, “It’s hard to be a man out here. You have to be tough. You can’t show your emotions. But I’m an emotional guy. I appreciate you ladies being out here because I can talk to you.” It’s true our volunteers are nearly always women and guests are mostly men. But it had never occurred to me that maybe that’s why many guests are so quick to confide in us -because we are women. Rodney helped me see that the Love in Love & Cornbread can be about offering a safe emotional space, a respite from having to keep up a tough front.

Our wonderful volunteers, of course, are the key to our warmth and hospitality. Sisters Janean and M’lissa joined us once again this week. They helped out many times over the winter and it was wonderful to see them again. And volunteer Jill

did her usual amazing job of being completely present and engaged with our guests while also documenting the day with the great photos you see every week.

Stats: 124 breakfast burritos, 40+ bag lunches, 5 gallons mango iced tea, 80 bottles of cold water, and clementines and bananas. We also handed out masks, sanitizer, and tissues.

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