Sunday, November 06, 2011

House of Blessing

Justin Bieber was in the news recently for something more important than a paternity suit. He donated $10,000 to a food bank called the House of Blessing in his Ontario hometown of Stratford. He told reporters that in his earlier days as the child of a single mom this foodbank got them through some difficult patches and he wanted to give back.

According to their website "The House of Blessing is a nondenominational faith-based organization dedicated to helping anyone regardless of race or religion who isin need of help or support." Along with food, clients can access clothing and furniture.

Many food banks are faith-based because generosity to those in need is fundamental to most religions and in Christianity this is one of the bridges across denominational lines. Here in Bowmanville our congregational members bring food and household basics to St. Paul's and a volunteer named Doug faithfully transports this to the Salvation Army food bank each week. They have a really good system of distribution which includes a computer database. From time to time we also make a cash donation so that the S.A. has money to fill in the gaps of staples.

What do you think of "the Biebs" contribution? What about our collaborative effort here in Bowmanville or your community? Have you ever needed to use a food bank?


Nancy said...

Nice to see the Biebs put some of his money into Canada. I think that it is good that we our collaborative here in Bowmanville with the food banks. Fortunately I have not been in a position to have needed a food bank, but I am keenly aware of the need and we donate regularly. Remember, the Holiday Train, November 28th, 5:45p.m. here in Bowmanville, it is one of the local food banks biggest donation nights.

Anonymous said...

I was on my own at 17, and although I worked full time, I often had to chose between rent and food. I always chose rent. I sometimes had to be treated for starvation with a glucose drip in the Emergency Ward at the hospital. I was treated there, sometimes lectured on my waywardness, then sent home. Nurses referred to me as that streetkid, even though I had a job and an apartment. I also heard myself referred to as that juvenile delinquent, even though no one had asked about the circumstances that left me in such dire need, and despite the fact that I was taking correspondence courses to complete my high school diploma. I was living a remarkably responsible life really. I left the hospital still shaky and weak, light headed and hungry. I went back to my apartment where the only resource I had was a bit of loose change at the bottom of a Texas Mickey I used as a bank. There was still no money for food. Although I appreciated the doctor who treated me even though I would not tell him my name, it was hardly a solution to my problem. I don’t believe there were foodbanks back then, and there is no doubt that this would have eased my suffering, but like the glucose drip, the solution would have left me blessedly less hungry but just as marginalized. The dilemma of poverty, for me and I believe for others, is the loss of who you are. Foodbanks and places like The Gathering Place are a good start, but only a start.