Putting Together My Wish List – A Word From Beverly Howard
After 28 years as Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes, I am retiring at the end of this week. When I informed the Board of Directors last summer, the year looked endless. Now it is down to days. I wanted to leave you with my hopes and dreams for Loaves & Fishes in the coming years.
I hope our generous community will continue to support the work of Loaves & Fishes. Who sits in the Director’s chair is of little importance when compared with the activity of in our 20 food pantries. The real work of Loaves & Fishes occurs in the daily interactions between our faithful volunteers and the folks in our community who turn to us for help. The week’s supply of nutritionally balanced food is important, but never discount the benefit of warm conversation or the spontaneous hug that are also part of the pantry encounter.
I hope that Loaves & Fishes will continue to meet the needs of hungry neighbors. When I came on board in 1988 we provided food for 20,000 people. And we had enough donations – food and money to meet that need. In 2012 we provided food for 126,000 people – and again had donations to meet the need. We take great pride in saying we have never turned a hungry person away because we didn’t have enough food. I hope that never changes.
Those are hopes I have, but my dreams are even bigger. I dream of a time when we, as a country and as individual people, find ways to change the vicious cycle of generational poverty and racism that is so prevalent today. Until that happens, I pray Loaves & Fishes will be there for those who need help – it could be any one of us.
I leave you my best wishes and prayers for Loaves & Fishes,