On 4 August 2019, my pastor Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley preached a sermon entitled “You Give Them Something To Eat” at Alfred Street Baptist Church. In verse 37, Jesus explicitly told the Disciples to feed the hungry women, children, and men themselves. This teaching from Jesus has stuck with me.
Last month, I learned about the late Dr. Bea Gaddy. In 1981, Dr. Gaddy used the winnings of her Maryland State Lottery Ticket of $250.00 to serve 49 of her neighbors a wonderful Thanksgiving Day Dinner. Since then, The Bea Gaddy’s Thanks for Giving Campaign has truly become a part of Baltimore’s favorite pastime. Now led by her daughter Cynthia Brooks, they feed roughly 3,000 meals on-site, and send out another 50,000 meals to those that cannot come out to the meal.
From 1 November to 17 November, The Du Bois-Diggs Sociological Society of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Morgan State University organized a thanksgiving food drive to assist the efforts of the Bea Gaddy Family Centers (BGFC). We partnered with the student-led Campus Activity Board at Notre Dame of Maryland University, which doubled our donation box locations from 10 to 20. On Tuesday, 19 November 2019, with no sponsors of any businesses, churches, schools, or any other organizations, we raised over $450 and were able to provide well over 100 cans and copious cooking supplies to the BGFC.
While we were on our way to the center to donate, something told me to call and give the center a heads up. A few minutes away from the center, I called, Ms. Brooks answered, I introduced myself and said that we are donating a van load of food. She was as excited to see us as a 1st grader is excited to open presents on Christmas morning.
Unbeknownst to me, the BGFC was severely in need of donations. Ms. Brooks expressed to us a deep message. She explained how earlier that Tuesday, a worker at the center decided to take her or his own life. But, the person came to work and told Ms. Brooks the only reason why the person chose life, was because they saw the BGFC as a light in the world. The BGFC was the only light in their reality. Ms. Brooks prayed for the person and prayed for the BGFC. Hours later, we arrived with a van full of food.
Let God work through you. Don’t rely on others to give back when there are people who need YOU to stop ignoring what God has set your heart, mind, and spirit to accomplish. To be the change. To advocate and vouch for, empathize and pray with, actively listen to and understand more, and love on with sincerity and grace. Just like Jesus told the Disciples to feed the people, God is telling us to feel those in need. You have everything you need to be a blessing to someone else. In fact, you are blessed to be a blessing. You are a stranger’s answered prayer. Much love 💙