Homeless: Feeding Honors!

I was at a local feed for the homeless this Saturday when I got to talking with the person organizing the feeding and the people that volunteer.  I’d asked him to read my blog before last weekend and he did so.   He’s still not commented but it’s ok.  I’m ready to be blasted for my views in some cases.

When I mentioned those that fed us homeless, I only mentioned the bad.  There are a number of people here churches included who do a great job of helping out.  Sometimes it’s only a few from a church and sometimes it’s a large group.  I’ve only mentioned those that I’ve dealt with.  Well accept one whom I’m now going to talk about.  Without further ado, the top honors go to two groups.  They are : The Soup Cellar and also Hotdog Joe’s.

First let me cover Hotdog Joe’s.  It’s been around now for going on 11 years.  Long before I had issues with homelessness, this group has been feeding the homeless every Saturday at 12 noon.  This is a day various organizations feed.  However, Joe’s is known by all.  Originally started by a man who goes by C.J. and I assume his church, they group together with churches, businesses, schools, and all kinds of other volunteers to feed us each week.  It’s been great and I thank all the core group as well as each and every volunteer they get.

C.J. is married now and the group stopped serving for a bit.  However, my friend and hopefully fellow blog reader Larry has stepped up to the plate to take C.J.’s place and they are going strong and feeding the homeless again.  They use a local law firm’s parking lot to feed.  Those to should be thanked for supporting C.J. and now Larry for this.  The best part of this group is, they do this out of LOVE for their fellow man/woman/child.  They DON”T do it for money like certain other organizations.

One other I’d like to thank as well who is no longer working with Larry as he’s got himself a job after a long term of unemployment.  Hat’s off to you Rick.  You split my eardrums with that whistle more times than I can count.  I wish you and your family the best.  And just for you, “How ’bout those Gamecocks.”  LOL.

There are many others who are a core part of Hotdog Joe’s who are good people.  Two I know of fairly well now.  Monica whom without we’d not have chili dogs.  Your chili is fantastic.  I’ve not had SWEET chili before having yours.  Also for lack of knowing her name “The Cookie Lady”  Bless her heart.  She slaves over a hot oven to bring us fresh baked cookies twice a month.  All your cookies are delicious (the chocolate chip are my favorite).  Many more deserve thanks but those are the ones I know personally.  Keep up the good work.  If no one else does, I love you all.

The final honor goes to the Soup Cellar of Columbia.  This place feeds the homeless Monday thru Friday between 10:30am and 12:00pm.  It’s only soup (fruit dish in the summer months) and sandwiches with a small desert and a drink, but it fills a need during the week.  This place relies on volunteers to help serve the homeless as does Hotdog Joe’s and is supported by the local food bank and 18 downtown Columbia  churches as well as the USDA Commodities Program and Donated Foods Program.  The Soup Cellar serves seconds when available.  It has been serving the community since 1979.  I think it’s the longest running project here.

I personally know Mike who along with a partner runs the place from what I’ve been able to see.  Mike is a fantastic guy if you don’t give him any static.  He’s worked with more volunteers than I care to count.  Between him and his partner, they look out for the homeless and the impoverished who use the services of this place.  I don’t know Mike or his partner’s background nor why they do it.  All I can say is thank you and all the volunteers that work there.  Without you a lot of people would not have anything for lunch during the week.

There are a lot of good people in Columbia, South Carolina.  as well as BAD people.  The good always stands out in a crowd.  These two stood out and will continue to stand out among those that help out the homeless and impoverished.  Please, by all means if you’re from here and read this help these two with donations or with your time and assistance.  Their the best Columbia has to offer the homeless.


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One Response to “Homeless: Feeding Honors!”

  1. El Gwapo Says:

    Well first of all thank you for the nice comments about those that provide the feed on a strictly volunteer basis as you say, ‘from the heart’ not for profit. For the record, the name of our group is Resurrections (as opposed to Hot Dog Joes) and it is ok to use our name even if you want to ciritque a bit. It is indeed made up of a core of about 25 or so volunteers from all over Columbia, from many churches, several denominations. We do this to make sure human beings who are in need get fed with dignity and without judgement just as our Lord Jesus Christ hath commanded. The faith side apart, our belief is that we wish to make that hour not only a time of feeding but a time for fun and an hour in which to forget one’s troubles.

    If you will allow me, let me comment from what I know about some of the issues you have expressed, some with which I cannot disagree.

    Many organizations, in fact, most, rely heavily on donations. What little bit of commerce that does take place ‘may’ be to solicit a profit but from what I can tell the profit is to offset costs and provide operating cash. IN some cases, yes, a paid staff member is employed. I’d be hard pressed to believe any body, any person is getting rich on the back of the poor relative to charitable organizations. Maybe they are and it’s me that is naive.

    However, I am sure some inconsitencies do exist out there and among those that serve. Every side has a perspective and in my life, I’ve learned it has served me well to not ignore those even when I may ultimately disagree. So, blog away and tell your story. Try to be factual. Rarely is it necessary to embellish to make a point as the truth usually is stranger (and often more entertaining) than fiction.

    Take care and as always I look forward to seeing you again. I’ll know you when I say you because you’ll look like yourself.

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