St. John's Bread and Life stands out because it serves those in need with a lot of dignity, intelligence, efficiency and love. They deserve all the support in the world.
A friend of mine, who struggled with addiction, among other issues had a psychotic break and needed a lot of essential support after leaving the hospital. With no place to go Bread and Life was there just when he was in the greatest need of his life. They evaluated him with compassion, organized appointments with mental and medical staff and social workers there, and got him the urgently needed services to get his life back on track. They did this and I am happy to say today he has reentered the work force, has his own apartment and is a functioning and productive member of society.
WhyHunger, the organization where I work, has been working with St. John's for many years, but I personally got to know them during the summer of 2009. Through the program I oversee, Artists Against Hunger & Poverty, St. John's Bread & Life was invited to raise funds and awareness at a Chicago/Earth, Wind & Fire concert in New York City. It was clear from our initial conversations that the people who worked at St. John's were passionate and caring. They put all their energy into the fundraising opportunity at the concert and were one of the top fundraising organizations of the tour. Since then I have toured their facilities and interviewed their clients. The work they do is vital in their community and I will continue to support them both personally and professionally.
I have been a donor to St. John's Bread and Life for many years now. I had come to know their wonderful program through two of their employees, who if I recall are named Jeff and Eugenia. Upon hearing about the wonderful programs SJBL offered I decided to take a trip down to the facility myself. From the outside of their location in Bedford Stuyvesant, one would not expext it to be a full functioning soup kitchen, food pantry and office of social services. The interior is modern, technologically advanced, and the staff are extremely helpful. To learn more about their services or to volunteer I strongly reccomend you visit their website www.breadandlife.org
I started volunteering to St. John’s Bread and Life about three years ago, with a group of volunteers from St. John’s University. My first tasks, was to register clients to vote for what was then the 2008 Presidential election. I quickly fell in awe of the people I started having conversations with, both with the clients and with the faculty. St. John’s Bread and Life holds a sense of community, which far exceeds expectations. These clients, many who are of low economic and social standing, look towards St. John’s Bread and Life not only for the services they provide including social services, food pantry, daily meals and medical services, but most importantly for the family environment that brings warmth not only the to the hearts of the clients, but is something every individual quickly feels when they walk in the door. This family, the quickly welcomed me in as a volunteer, became the inspiration for me to start my own program there. A program that would fulfill both the clients, in their search of legal identification, but also for the volunteers so that they could understand the feel the same feelings of warmth and love from the clients. These clients come from all walks of life, some with bachelor and master degrees, some with high school education, and others with no education. These individuals all from different races, genders, nationalities and backgrounds become one at St. John’s Bread and Life. The faculty learns from the clients, and the clients learn from the faculty. This organization is one I hold dear to my heart, as it has sparked growth within me that is both spiritual and intellectual. As a college student, St. John’s Bread and Life has verified for me, what I want to do with my future, and I owe it to the faculty and most importantly the clients who have shaped my life.