By Guest Blogger, Ellen Broder: Supporter and Friend of The INN
Thanksgiving is about gratitude and being thankful for all that we have. Celebrating together with family and friends, enjoying our holiday filled with love, laughter & delicious meals.
For many years Our Family has sponsored the day after Thanksgiving to help serve the guests at the Mary Brennan soup kitchen. We have always looked forward to INNteracting with the guests and assisting them with their meals. Since Covid, the doors have been closed to the guests to come inside the building, where now they are given food bags, toiletries and other basic necessities outside in front of the Mary Brennan soup kitchen.
Last week, we were granted the opportunity to INNvite family and friends to get INNvolved and help at the soup kitchen. This was a special time for us to volunteer. Everyone brought items to donate; canned goods, boxed foods or new clothing for the guests.
Marty, Greg, Evin and Alana Broder, Pauline Ferstenberg, Donna & Bobby Glassman, Deena Fiddle and Stewart Gordon all joined INN, to volunteer and help take care of sorting & packing.
We were thankful that Jean Kelly and Rob Kammerer came to guide us in our activities in sorting snack bags and filling PPE bags to give to the guests. (Personal Protection Equipment Bags). Each bag is filled with 7 pairs of new socks, 5 masks and sanitizer. Basic necessities that are so important to be able to protect against the weather and Covid.
On this day, we were the only ones at the Mary Brennan soup kitchen, working, INNcouraging each other to get these tasks done for the guests. We were INNspired. Jean & Rob recounted their stories of the guests and explained all that The INN has continued to do, since this pandemic began, making sure that the INN’s guests have what they need.
Even though the soup kitchen was quiet without the chatter of the guests, I will always remember how, before our lives changed, they would leave the soup kitchen more content than when they arrived, to be in the dining room, with Thanksgiving decorations, holiday placemats and a delicious hot meal set for each and every person who came.
Last year and this Thanksgiving, the guests went home with a turkey and holiday foods to enjoy in their own way. I am hoping in 2022, we will be able to celebrate at the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen for the holiday. Our family was Thankful for our friends to be with us, getting INNvolved.