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Many of you may have seen the TV coverage of the young black Detroiter Davontae Sanford who spent 10 years in prison for a crime he never committed. In June Davontae was set free and able to return to his family (having been in solitary confinement since 2007.)
Last week Davontae joined us at the Meldrum Kitchen to thank so many of the folks who supported him.
After having the wonderful opportunity to do formation work with novices from eight Capuchin provinces across North America, Guam, and Australia for the last five years, I’m beginning a new and exciting assignment with the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. For the next several months of orientation, I’ll be working at the different soup kitchen sites in order to see how the whole system works. More importantly, however, I’ll have the chance to meet the great people that are the heart of the ministry. I’m very blessed and grateful to be a part of the community here.
Volunteers are part of the lifeblood of the Services Building. Those that come in to volunteer help provide needed hands that help us to serve those who are in need. Without this valuable resource it would be tough for the Services Building to maintain the level of excellence that we strive to achieve each day. Thus, we are so thankful for our volunteers and our young people who choose to work at the Services Building as part of the youth summer jobs program.
This year, Big Brothers and Big Sisters who are a part of the Grow Detroit Young Talent or GDYT, an initiative that provides summer jobs to the city’s youth, approached us to bring on board some of their youth for job placement. The youth are paid by GDYT, but work at selected sites around the city. We were approached by several organizations to be a site for youth to work at. Three organizations that approached us were Big Brothers and Big Sisters, City Connect and the Detroit Police Cadets program. The three organizations sent us a total of thirteen youth.
Recently I drove to a neighboring city to attend the funeral of a man who had died and left his entire estate to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. I had never met the man, but his attorney had contacted me, and I was only happy to pay my respects to the gentleman.
After an hour’s drive I arrived at the church where I joined a group of perhaps fifteen other people who had gathered to say goodbye to “Mr Mike.” During the brief eulogy a neighbor who had cared for him during his last months explained that Mr Mike had been a married man with no children. His wife had died several years ago, and he had no heirs. Mr Mike and his wife had lived many years in Detroit, but then the company that had employed him closed and moved to Canada. Mr Mike and his wife subsequently packed up and moved to the neighboring city.