March 25, 2013

Easter – a time for hope and renewal.

Close to 2800 meals are expected to be served at Easter dinner at The Ottawa Mission on Easter Monday, April 1.  The people who come in for those meals will include many who are homeless and living in shelters, families living in poverty, and many men and women who are alone and looking for fellowship over the holidays.

All are welcome at The Ottawa Mission, and sometimes what begins as a meal can become – in the spirit of the Easter season – a chance for hope and renewal.

Steve came to our Easter dinner two years ago.  He was staying in the shelter at the time and trying to come to terms with his long term addiction.  He was participating in our 5-month residential treatment program LifeHouse, but was struggling to remain sober.

When donors send gifts for our Easter dinner, we ask them to sign and return a placemat that will be used to add a special touch to the occasion.  Two years ago, when Steve sat down to his meal, he was inspired by the message of hope and encouragement on his placemat.  This simple gesture – the fact that someone he didn’t even know cared enough to write a message – gave Steve the boost he needed, just when he needed it most.

Since then, Steve has not only successfully completed his treatment program, but he has gone on to graduate from our Food Services Training Program, is working in The Mission’s kitchen, and will be returning to college to further his education in the food services field.

This is just one of many examples of how the generosity and compassion of our donors can change lives.

God bless you and Happy Easter.