September 4, 2014

First time for everything

One of my favorite non-profits in the city of Manchester is New Horizons.  We try to help them as much as we can and we have developed a very strong bond with them and their director, Charlie Sherman.  I have been to New Horizons many times to show students around but I've never actually assisted with serving the meal.  We send a group of students over on the first Thursday of every month but I don't usually go, another teacher or parent will typically chaperone.  But tonight I had to stay in Manchester for another event so tonight I joined our students.

New Horizon's philosophy is very similar to St. Francis Inn in that they bring the food to the guests at their tables and they work hard to maintain the dignity of the guests.  When the guests arrive, they give their name and age for the record and then take a seat.  The food is brought to them on a tray and consists of an entree, a roll, a side, dessert, and a drink.  They are able to get coffee from a station if they wish.  On average New Horizons serves 150 people a night but towards the end of the month the number skyrockets because people have run out of their benefits.  Today being Sept. 4, it was quiet and I think there were less than 100 people served.  Since it was quiet I let the kids have the experience and I chatted with the employees.  They commented on how much they love our students because they are so  respectful and kind.  They also said we are a huge overall help to them and they are so grateful for all that our students do for them.  

At the end of the meal, some guests who are staying in the shelter stay behind to help clean the floor while the volunteers wipe down the tables and serving area.  As we were leaving I noticed a huge line outside and it looked like the food pantry they run was going to distribute food.  We also got a chance to say hello to Charlie Sherman who was heading home for the day.  He is so generous to us with his feedback and his time.  He spoke at our National Honor Society ceremony last year and gave a very gracious speech.  

Thank God for the people at New Horizons.  Please keep them and the people they serve in your prayers.    

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