Oct 31, 2017

Giving from the heart

Ernie J
Ernie J

I had an ah-ha moment recently when a preacher shared a Haitian tale that touched my heart. Let me paraphrase it for you.

"One day a servant was called by his master. The master gave the servant a basket full of trash and told him to take it away. He did as he was told, and discarded the trash, but held on to the basket. 

After he discarded the trash, the servant was walking through a field of flowers, and smiled as he admired its beauty. He went to find the empty basket, and began to pick the flowers and place them in the basket until it was full, brimming over with the beauty of all the fresh, radiant flowers.

He went to his master’s home, knocked on the door, and handed the basket to him. The master was perplexed, and asked why he was doing this. The servant said, “Everyone gives what is in his heart.”"

YOU are the folks who bring a basket filled with your love and the blessings of your life. 

You turn hunger into fullness and satisfaction; confusion and lack of direction into knowledge; dreams into reality, and despair into hope. Your generosity makes those ah-ha moments possible for all the women and men that are served at Shepherd’s Table.

We recently spoke with Ernie, a former client who shared his ah-ha experience with us. He realized that he needed to do more than accessing services to get back on his own feet and change his future.

Ernie worked for many years in the printing business. It was a well-paying job. But for Ernie, the transformation to digital printing made his work obsolete. He lost his job and became homeless. He found Shepherd’s Table, which he credits with giving him a start in his journey, as it gave him someplace to go. He sought shelter in Rockville. He leaned into others for support and direction. One day led to the next, until he had his ah-ha moment. He realized that he needed to do more to get back on his own feet and change his life. He realized “what you put into it, you get back.”

He began to find odd jobs here and there. He worked for printers when they needed extra help. He tucked money away for the day when housing would be available. That day came. Ernie has been in housing for several years now, and he still works odd jobs. He still returns to Shepherd’s Table for a few meals every week, as he still needs help sometimes, and he also likes to reach out to other people to help them. He said, “I feel like I’m a part of the family, they have not turned their back on me.” 

YOU make this help possible! 

With Ernie, over 2,000 unique people have come through our door seeking the assistance that is needed in their lives.  They have come with the knowledge that they will be helped. The faithfulness of our donors just like YOU make this possible. We have doubled our food service in 2017, and in some months, even tripled the number of meals served over the same time in 2016. 

Please know that we are filled with gratitude for all that you have done in the past. You have created a place for Ernie to be fed, nourished in his spirit, and supported in his journey. Ernie’s ah-ha moment led to a change in his life. YOU made this possible! Thank you!


Aug 4, 2017

Human Connections

Volunteer serving dinner last week
Volunteer serving dinner last week

Dear Friend,

First, thank you for your kindness to Shepherd’s Table. Your gift means the world to us! Second, How are you? We hope that you are well and enjoying the days of summer! spring! We are so grateful for YOU!

When someone asks you, “How are you?”, what is your response?

I am always touched by folks who tell me the answer and then add, “Thank you for asking!” This response conveys to me that they have heard my question and they are honored that I am concerned and interested in their lives.  The question and statement illicit such a wonderful human interaction.

At Shepherd’s Table, we ask this question frequently, letting folks know that we are concerned about their lives, that we care about them.

Being recognized as a human person, and being cared about, are two vital needs in a person’s life. When we are known, when we are cared for, we can accomplish both big and small goals... All achievements are within our reach!

For all those experiencing homelessness, the greatest achievement is to obtain a home, and we are part of people’s journey to that achievement. We serve and partner with other providers in supporting folks on their journey, and YOU are a critical part of this journey. Because of your generosity, we work with, serve, lead, encourage, offer hope, and provide love for the folks we encounter every day! One day we believe everyone will have a home!

By the end of 2017, the County goal is to have all the individuals who are chronically homeless housed! We are proud to play our part in achieving this goal.

“How are you”? “Thank you for asking!” We ask this question today, leading to a better sense of self, so that tomorrow’s possibilities are endless!

Thank you!

May 10, 2017

All are Welcome at Shepherd's Table

The last few months have been both challenging and rewarding at Shepherd's Table, as we doubled the number of meal services we offer. We definitely couldn't have done it without your support!

We are fully transitioned into our new facility, and have been very busy preparing and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner during the week, and brunch and dinner on the weekends. In fact, in this year alone, we have already served over 35,000 meals, and have seen a significant increase in the number of breakfast and meal guests we are serving per day.

In December 2016, we were serving an average of 60 guests for breakfast, and in 2017, we are serving an average of 86 guests per meal service. The lunch numbers have risen from 51 guests to 88, dinner grew from 134 to 142, and brunch went up from 75 to 91!

All are welcome at Shepherd's Table, and each individual has a story to share, and challenges to overcome. Often, our meal guests will express gratitude for their meal, and share how happy they are for the help they receive here. In turn, we thank YOU for helping us fulfill our mission, one meal at a time, so our guests have one less thing to worry about.

We are grateful that you have chosen to join us on this journey to reduce hunger, food insecurity and homelessness in our community!

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