Our Thanksgiving Wish – That You Help St. John’s Soup Kitchen
On this Thanksgiving Eve, we at Themis Trading are thankful for many things. We give thanks that we are able to provide for our families. We give thanks for our best friends and loyal clientele. And we give thanks we are still able to work in an industry that has nourished us for 25 years – an industry that we truly love.
On a cold morning a few years back, I was eating oatmeal at a local Chatham diner with the crew of regulars, when my neighbor, Mark Cremonni (a lifelong Merrill guy) walked in and ordered his morning cup of Joe. He gave us all a hearty “good morning”, and then asked if we cared to join him as a volunteer at St. John’s Soup Kitchen in Newark, and serve the homeless. Several of us accepted his invitation, and off we went to cook and serve the line. “The Merrill Guys” today still continue to make this ritual an important part of our lives. To Mark, I say from the bottom of my heart, “Thank You” for the gift you have given us.
A Come to Jesus moment happened to me while working the line. Each soul (unemployed, homeless, addicted, sick, mentally ill) walked by, and I handed them each a coffee, a sandwich, and a pastry. Some looked into my eyes and said thank you, but some looked down and averted eye contact at all cost. Theirs was a look of shame, defeat, hopelessness, and resignation. Those souls got to me, and I felt as if I were punched in the gut. Cremonni noticed, poked my arm knowingly, and told me that St John’s reminded him that we are all just two bad decisions away from the street.
St. John’s Soup Kitchen makes and serves 100,000 meals per year. It is runs by volunteers – high school students, seniors, and nearby professionals. It receives no government funding. Of course it is efficient, thanks to Father Neil, Barbara, and the countless other volunteers. Its mission is to simply love the unloved.
This morning I ask you, our very best friends, to take a moment and learn just a little about St. John’s by visiting their website – here. Lean about how they Feed the Hungry, run a Women and Children Center, and provide free basic medical services for the least fortunate among us.
And please consider a donation? You can easily send a check, or donate online by clicking right here.
Here are a few pictures I have from St John’s (and by the way – you can follow them on Twitter! @NJSoupKitchen:
7:00am – cooking the daily hot lunch
Barbara whipping up the potatoes, before she whips us into an efficient machine!
The line forming outside…
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families, and may you all be loved, prosperous, and healthy this holiday season!
Your friends at Themis (and of course St. John’s Soup Kitchen)!