The Roman philosopher Seneca said “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Isn’t this true of this new year? We have the opportunity to start anew – with new leadership and a focus on building bridges and bringing people together rather than tearing one another down.
As I listened to President Biden’s inaugural speech I kept hearing the same word: unity. In the hearts of all of us there is a desire to right the wrongs of the recent past – to see adversaries as neighbors, to treat one another with dignity and respect, and to work together to heal a broken and divided country. This will take a lot of work, but is certainly worth it! We can be the change we want in the world. Together let us work toward building a community that is peaceful, inclusive and compassionate.
For emergency food providers like Bread and Life last year presented challenge after challenge, yet we rose to the occasion feeding more guests than ever (5,000 individuals and families each week). We expanded our outreach and and resourcing sharing programs from 2 sites to 21, providing high quality, healthy food to all. We distributed more than 3 million pounds of food or 2.4 million meals. We secured more than $1 million in emergency aid and looked for ways to best serve our neighbors. We have installed pass through windows for greater efficiency and access to food, and our case management team will go all virtual making access to entitlements easier. Beginning in February, Grow Brooklyn will be back on site to help prepare free taxes for guests, bringing money back to the community.
As we forge ahead I want to remember what I learned from this pandemic – that compassion never goes on pause, that we can learn to live with less so that others may live, and that dignity, decency, truth and love are our most powerful weapons in overcoming any obstacle.
Sr. Caroline Tweedy, RSM
P.S. Stay focused: follow CDC guidelines, stay home and get vaccinated!