As you know, the Shepherd’s Lunchroom celebrated its 25th anniversary last April, and the purpose of this letter is to honour all those who contributed to its success.
I began to investigate the need for this service in the New Glasgow area, with my friend Corinna Lewis, I couldn’t imagine the extent of the community’s response, which in a short time became far greater than expected.
First of all, I want to give a special thank you to the Good Shepherd whose caring hand was in this project from its beginning, and I want to thank all the volunteers who came to help in one way or another; our community can be proud of each and every one of them.
There are so many hands and hearts involved in this beautiful service, and I wish I could honour each person by name, but for fear of forgetting someone, I will give a general thank you.
So from the bottom of my heart, in my name and in the name of the community, I want to express my gratitude to all those involved in these past 25 years to:
Members of the board; kitchen directors; calendar co-ordinator; kitchen coordinators and cooks; two churches that opened their doors to house the Shepherd’s Lunchroom at one time or another – the Salvation Army (five years) and Trinity United Church for 20 years now; hundreds of volunteers in all kind of tasks (preparing food, welcoming and serving guests, washing dishes, cleaning after meals and assisting on the board); Christian churches from the towns and county; volunteers, for one day, one month, one year, five to 20 years or more; young or old; Christian associations or groups; work groups from different companies, groceries and banks; couples who like to cook; financial donors and food donors; media.
In closing, what can I say to such a caring community, whose volunteers gladly serve their brothers and sisters… handing them a tray of good and warm food, with a smile on their face and a non-judgmental heart?
Life is often difficult, and anyone of us could find himself or herself in need, following the loss of a job, or while having to cope with meager pension plan or a disease, etc.
May the two maxims of the Shepherd’s Lunchroom, continue to inspire and guide us, here they are:
1. Be gentle with everyone, for everybody is carrying a burden.
2. I was hungry and you gave me food… whatsoever you did to the least of these brothers of mine you did unto me. (Matt. 25, 38-40)
We can truly celebrate the Shepherd’s Lunchroom, whose humble service arises from the community and expands to the community. May the joy of giving be with you always in good times as well as in difficult times!
Carolle Raymond Coadou