Being of Service—Through Sandwiches! (Feature Friday!) #BestOf

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Sunday, June 28, 2015

Touching. Moving. Poignant. Whatever you call it, Brother Dano’s Sandwich Ministry is all that. And more. I wrote about this excellent food ministry a year ago. It still touches me as much, as I reread the post. And, all because a high school kid saw a need and decided to do something about it. Would that more people would be that proactive!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, June 27, 2014

loaves-and-fishes feed the hungry

Being of Service—Through Sandwiches! (Feature Friday!)

“Have you ever felt invisible before?” This hand-lettered statement on a plain piece of paper stuck out at me like a sharp thumbtack on the floor, pointy side up. The photo of this printed sign is one of the images on Brother Dano’s Sandwich Ministry website. Three years ago, Dano was a high school student in the north suburbs of Chicago. He realized that there were 100,000 homeless people in Chicago, just a matter of miles south of where he and his family lived. 17 percent of those people were—are teenagers. Just like Dano. These homeless people often feel as if they are invisible. Uncared for. Less than nobody.

Dano and his parents had an idea. Three years ago, they came to the Church Council at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wilmette. They got permission to start a sandwich ministry, with some help from the church. They decided to pack dozens of lunches once a month at St. John’s, which were then brought to the Night Ministry in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. From there, the bag lunches were distributed.

For those who don’t know, the Night Ministry is an outreach to the night community in Chicago—a ministry reaching out to the hidden underside of society. The Night Ministry offers assistance to those suffering from homelessness and poverty, in a number of ways. Not only the food outreach, and also a Health Care Bus, a temporary shelter, and assistance for pregnant teens and young mothers.

But back to Brother Dano and his sandwiches. This ministry took off at St. John’s Church in Wilmette. People of all ages started to get involved. Not only on the day they made the sandwiches and packed the bag lunches, but also in donating food items and financial gifts. Bread, bananas, cookies. Plastic bags, deli meats and cheese. Even young children can help assemble parts of the lunch, and put cookies and bananas in plastic bags. This has become a service project for all ages.

Many people, both in the congregation and from outside the church, are now involved in this worthwhile service opportunity. The price for each lunch is only $1.00, and people are well fed for at least one meal in their day. Pastor Joe McInnis of St. John’s Lutheran Church says, “What began as a simple idea has become a beloved ministry of our whole church. And in July, Brother Dano’s Sandwich Ministry will reach a milestone. They will reach and pass 10,000 sandwiches—made by volunteers here over the past three years, and passed out at the Night Ministry.”

Dano is now away at college. This ministry has developed a life of its own. God bless the worthwhile efforts of so many, making such a simple yet tasty thing as bag lunches. And thank God for Dano, for thinking of the great idea in the first place.

(For further information, check out Brother Dano’s website: www.brotherdano.com )

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Suggestion: visit me at my daily blog for 2015: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)

(also published at ayearofbeingkind.wordpress.com

Being of Service—Through Sandwiches! (Feature Friday!)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, June 27, 2014

loaves-and-fishes feed the hungry

Being of Service—Through Sandwiches! (Feature Friday!)

“Have you ever felt invisible before?” This hand-lettered statement on a plain piece of paper stuck out at me like a sharp thumbtack on the floor, pointy side up. The photo of this printed sign is one of the images on Brother Dano’s Sandwich Ministry website. Three years ago, Dano was a high school student in the north suburbs of Chicago. He realized that there were 100,000 homeless people in Chicago, just a matter of miles south of where he and his family lived. 17 percent of those people were—are teenagers. Just like Dano. These homeless people often feel as if they are invisible. Uncared for. Less than nobody.

Dano and his parents had an idea. Three years ago, they came to the Church Council at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wilmette. They got permission to start a sandwich ministry, with some help from the church. They decided to pack dozens of lunches once a month at St. John’s, which were then brought to the Night Ministry in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. From there, the bag lunches were distributed.

For those who don’t know, the Night Ministry is an outreach to the night community in Chicago—a ministry reaching out to the hidden underside of society. The Night Ministry offers assistance to those suffering from homelessness and poverty, in a number of ways. Not only the food outreach, and also a Health Care Bus, a temporary shelter, and assistance for pregnant teens and young mothers.

But back to Brother Dano and his sandwiches. This ministry took off at St. John’s Church in Wilmette. People of all ages started to get involved. Not only on the day they made the sandwiches and packed the bag lunches, but also in donating food items and financial gifts. Bread, bananas, cookies. Plastic bags, deli meats and cheese. Even young children can help assemble parts of the lunch, and put cookies and bananas in plastic bags. This has become a service project for all ages.

Many people, both in the congregation and from outside the church, are now involved in this worthwhile service opportunity. The price for each lunch is only $1.00, and people are well fed for at least one meal in their day. Pastor Joe McInnis of St. John’s Lutheran Church says, “What began as a simple idea has become a beloved ministry of our whole church. And in July, Brother Dano’s Sandwich Ministry will reach a milestone. They will reach and pass 10,000 sandwiches—made by volunteers here over the past three years, and passed out at the Night Ministry.”

Dano is now away at college. This ministry has developed a life of its own. God bless the worthwhile efforts of so many, making such a simple yet tasty thing as bag lunches. And thank God for Dano, for thinking of the great idea in the first place.

(For further information, check out Brother Dano’s website: www.brotherdano.com )

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Another Rainy Day—to Be Kind!

 

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, May 1, 2014

zinnia seeds - illustration from Blogspot

zinnia seeds – illustration from Blogspot

Another Rainy Day—to Be Kind!

Ever have someone give you a really great idea? So fantastic, that you pounce on it right away?

Today was another rainy, chilly spring day. Not your typical May 1st, to be sure. Not warm or sunny. Not very appealing for outside work, either. Good thing I spent most of the day in my office.

I had a good deal of computer work to be done. Being a pastorly-type person, I engaged in several conversations, and prayed with two people. I also happened to talk with several people today, in the course of doing business. There is one snag, though. Most of my business happens to be of the time-lapse variety. Very little of the business I transacted today was completed today. It will come to pass, over time.

To get back to my friend’s fantastic brainwave, I was very much struck by it. Practically fell all over myself to thank my friend. Implemented it. And, guess what? This idea is also of the time-lapse variety. So—even though one of my telephone conversations was super excellent, I won’t be able to track the outcome until later. Perhaps it will turn out to be much later.

I’m reminded of the seeds my mother had me plant, in our backyard. In the house where I grew up, on the northwest side of Chicago. When I was six and seven, and even eight, the idea of planting flower seeds seemed somehow magical to me. Plant the seeds in May. Wait. Wait. And wait some more. (Something I was never very good at. At least I have improved in the waiting department a little bit.)

It would take some weeks. Aha! I’d see little, green sprouts as I went out in back to check on my seeds! Time would pass—June would arrive, and school would end. I usually would have forgotten about my seeds until one day, later in June. I’d run out in the back yard, and the zinnia seeds would have magically changed to sturdy, green plants, in rows. The bigger ones in the back, smaller plants in front. And sometimes, depending on how the weather had been for the past few weeks, I could see little buds. That was so exciting! I loved seeing the colorful petals ready to unfold from all the green.

Patience! That’s what I need. Just like with the zinnia seeds. That’s what I need in these several situations I started today, too. Especially the fantastic idea I got from my good friend. I wonder whether the acquisition of patience is one of those things that sort of creeps up on you, gradually? Like seeing those zinnia plants finally standing in the soil, a couple of inches high?

Yup. I get the feeling, it’s God’s sense of humor again. God’s pleased with me, with my efforts to be kind to others. Just now, I’ve got to wait. And wait some more. It’s the zinnia seeds all over again. And God? I think You’re smiling right now.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.