Armed with 2 huge pot fulls of Tortilla "Stoup" (it's more like stew than soup), plus individual plastic baggies of tortilla chips I put together & a bunch of fresh, still warm sliced French bread I headed to the parks. On Saturday after feeding 36 people I ran out of soup. Thank God I had two more, although smaller pots at home for Monday, which I knew would not be enough. So on Sunday I bought more chicken, more zucchini, chicken broth & cilantro & started to stretch for Monday what I had left. I had plenty of salsa on hand. :) Monday we fed 35 people & the grand total stands now at 1,588. Drum roll please. :)
|Marzipan Bars from Sugar Pies|
You've been reading about Marci, my incredible cooking helper every weekend. :) She called me a few days ago to let me know that she fell & had dislocated her elbow. :o Her arm is in a sling now & she won't be able to help cook for a while. Both of us were quite sad, as we are a really great team in the kitchen. We always did this dance of cooking together. :) Please everyone pray for Marci to heal quickly, as she is going to college herself & also taking care of two exchange-students from China. She has a full schedule.
|Honey Bars from Sugar Pies|
A big thank you goes to Jenn Y. for being open to jump in & cover every other week of cooking with me. :)
I still need someone else to help the remaining every two week schedule for Saturday afternoons. Someone who can also lift heavy pots easily & cases of water. My wrists & arms are still really sore. The Massage Therapist lady that called to volunteered a while ago to work on my arms & wrists never came through nor followed up on her call. :(
Kathy & her husband Larry O. came over on Sunday & brought donations of lots of paper towels, styrofoam soup bowls, boxed mac 'n cheese, & three containers of wipes for the people in the parks. It is a great way for 'em to keep clean. :) Thank You soooo much Kathy & Larry, your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated !! :)
Jennifer R. also came over on Sunday & brought lots of cheese, onions, carrots, potatoes, tortilla chips, canned tomatoes & more fresh jalapenos. Some of these items I can use for this coming weekends meals of spaghetti. :) Thank You Jennifer, you are so awesome & we missed you the past two weeks. It's always more fun when you join us to dish out food !! :)
My sweet Laurel, from Oregon, thank you for the check for all the bottled water for another month. We are going through it in this heat here. :) Each bottle we hand out has your Love in it, because I know that you pray for that every month. :) I just Love you so much !!
Rachel & Mike, also from Oregon, thank you once more for your donation to help out with the food costs !! You blow me away every month with your special words !! :) I So Love You Both !!
Laurie D. came to the Santa Rita Park last Saturday & handed me some cash to help out. Laurie, please know that every penny helps & it all adds up. I appreciate so much that you took the time to come to the park !! :)
Jenn Y. also came to the Santa Rita Park & gave so generously for food. Jenn told me that she had prayed not too long ago for an opportunity to serve in a feeding project. A few days later a mutual friend of ours emailed her the link to the story Ch 4 News did on me & Feeding the Homeless in the Parks. How amazing is that ??!! I Love how God works & how all these Miracles are unfolding continuously. :)
Mary H. from Green Valley sent a donation check this week & I would like to thank you with all my Heart for your Thoughtfulness !! :) Mary, if you have email & you are reading this blog, please send me your email address, so I can forward this weekly blog to you. That is how I say thank you to everyone & saying thank you is so very, very important to me. I truly believe in those "two little words" & their meaning !! :)
My special friend Catherine P. from Illinois also sent a donation & since she is a struggling single Mom it just touches me deeply too !! Catherine also sent a box of clothes & men's shoes for me to take to the parks. Thank you Sweetie !! :)
For anyone interested, I always can use men's clothes more, since there are mostly men in the parks, but I do have a few women there too that we feed. I also hang onto many of those items for my Annual Native American Christmas Project. I will blog more about that as it gets closer to Christmas. :) It is something I have been doing for many years now every Christmas.
My dear friends Maggie & Brian D. gave a lot of food too for the homeless meals, which I can incorporate little by little. And they also gave me a medium sized cooler chest, which is great for when I take cheese, etc., to go with the dinners. There was also some men's clothes too. :) Thank you you two Dears !! It is always wonderful to see you both & to spend time with you !! I Love You lots !! :)
And now to top all this already incredible news above I would like to share with you some very emotional experiences I had this Tuesday at a absolutely beautiful retirement community called Amber Lights, here in Tucson.
Terri, the Activities Director, had called me a few weeks ago after seeing my news story on CH 4 & wondered if I would come up & give a talk with the Elders about Feeding the Homeless. I had been there once before giving a talk on the Native Americans & the business I have selling their beautiful work. I was very impressed then with the community & the heartfelt & spiritual work Terri does there. :) You are a Blessing to these Elders !! :)
Terri told me that the Elders had started to grow a garden for the first time & that they would donate some of the vegetables to me once they would harvest. :) And that she had told them all about what I do in the parks with food. Well, the garden didn't do so well this year, but the Elders are not giving up & will start another garden again.
Since I am so passionate about all of this I talked for a long time :) but everyone was with me & had lots of really great questions. Terri & I started crying & some of the Elders got watery eyes too. It was a very emotional & beautiful afternoon & I will never forget it. :) The Elders were so caring & so compassionate, it just touched my Heart very deeply !! And Terri was so proud of each & everyone of them & at one point said "Aren't they all just wonderful ??!!" That is when we both started crying again. :)
Thank You to the man with the beautiful smile & also the dear & kind lady who both squeezed some cash for food or whatever, into my hand after my talk !! :) And thank you so very, very much Dot for what you put into that envelope !! :) I was very surprised when I peeked into it later on. :)
And there is still more help coming from Amber Lights. On my way out I met Karen V., the Executive Director of Amber Lights, & she mentioned that someone should suggest Feeding the Homeless Project to the people that have the "Heroes Show" on TV. I didn't know what to say at the time, but would be okay with that. It would bring in more donations & then I could feed even more people each week. PEOPLE Magazine every week has an inspiring story about people who make a difference in their community. If someone would like to do either of the above, I would be perfectly fine with that. It is not an ego thing for me, but a means to being able to feed more people. Hopefully, someday together we can wipe out hunger altogether !!
Today I received an email from Karen & she would like for me to come back up to Amber Lights next month to give another talk. Karen is "thinking about doing some raffles and having the proceeds go to promote your good works, and we would like to educate our employees about what you do." Of course I will be there with bells on my shoes. :) I feel really touched by this & the Thoughtfulness of it all !! :)
Thank you Karen, your Heart is beautiful & Amber Lights is lucky to have you working there !! :)
Well, it is now after 3:00 AM & I need to get some sleep. :)