Saturday, November 26, 2011

Franciscan Outreach on NBC

We're on TV! Check out the Channel 5 News segment by Art Norman. Thanks to Scott and all our guests, volunteers, and staff who participated!

Homeless Get More Than Just A Meal

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks


As soon as I knew that I would be serving in Chicago, I was excited to spend the holidays in the US (I'm from Germany).  The 4th of July was great with all the fireworks, but I've been most looking forward to Thanksgiving.  I liked the idea of working together as a team, preparing a great meal, remembering what you are thankful for and of course eating a lot.

Preparing the feast!
During our Community Reflection we spent time sharing what we were each thankful for.  Most of us said having the opportunity to serve this year and help others who are in need.  But also being healthy and having wonderful family and great friends to support us.  We've all become more thankful for the simple things in life that many people take for granted. The reality of those we serve each day at FOA has shown us that may people don't have supportive family and friends, the security of knowing where their next meal is coming from, knowing where they'll sleep each night, or good health.

When I imagined the typical Thanksgiving, I thought of a large family sitting around a big table with a huge turkey...and I'm glad to saw that's what we did as a community! 

For me the day of our Community Thanksgiving started at 6:30 AM when I, along with Matt, started preparing the turkey.  This was actually a lot of fun considering that neither Matt nor I had done this before!

2011-12 Community Thanksgiving
It was nice to see all of us working together to set up a beautiful Thanksgiving meal which consisted of probably enough corn to feed half our guests, a wonderful turkey, delicious stuffing, homemade macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy and sweet potato casserole.  It was incredibly delicious, to say the least.

We decided since it was our community and a few friends celebrating together and our community kitchen is not large enough to hold all of us comfortably, that we would eat downstairs in the dinning room where we serve our evening meal to the guests each night.  Community members had set up a beautiful table arrangement, and the smell of food was just like how I imagined it would be-and tasted even better than I imagined.

We were so busy eating that for once we were all pretty quiet, which is rare for our group.  The peaceful silence gave me the opportunity to thank God again for all the new moments in my life, for the moments that I share here with the community, and for the chance to give a year of service at our soup kitchen to help our guests.