“I Am Grateful For These Moments” – Lindsey Houser

Lindsey Houser, Community Engagement Coordinator for Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays

In my role as Community Engagement Coordinator, I don’t often have direct communication or interactions with clients. It is just the nature of my job. I spend the majority of my days organizing food drives, recruiting volunteers and scheduling volunteer groups. It can be easy to get lost in all the organizing. I love when I have a moment that brings me back to our mission and reminds me why we do what we do. Here are a few of those moments that I have experienced over the last couple of weeks: 

The other day, I received a voicemail intended for someone else. I thought this gentleman was calling to ask about volunteer opportunities. When I called him back, he was simply calling to say, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We are getting our food delivered today. My family needs you. Thank you.” What a beautiful reminder. 

I often jump on our phone center referral line when the volunteers get busy with incoming agency calls. Over the last two weeks, I have had to change several client addresses because they have gotten their own place. They are no longer staying at a community house, a hotel, a shelter or with a family member. This is one of my favorite things. It really shows that we are there in someone’s darkest moments and their hardest times. When we take care of food for someone, when we take that price of groceries off the table for them, they are able to save that money to help get a place or get back on their feet in other ways.  

I have had food drive hosts come to pick up their food drive materials and tell me they are former recipients of our food. One woman I saw last week is going to be a store assistant manager for a new restaurant opening up. She went from living in a hotel with her three children and being a Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays recipient to assistant store manager opening a new restaurant. They were doing a food drive for Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays at their Grand Opening. It was so important for this past recipient to give back to Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays.  

I am grateful for these moments, as they remind me how important the work we are doing is. We show up every day and we change lives.