November 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Our Memorial Wall is a symbol of our continuing concern and love for each person remembered and celebrated here.

With the holidays inching closer and the unpredictability in the season’s change, we must remember to take time to slow down and leave room for reflection. The holidays are the busiest time of the year at Loaves & Fishes, as we work with our generous community to provide survival supplies for the winter such as coats, sleeping bags, tents, gloves, and much more. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we hold our Thanksgiving Feast for nearly 1,000 men, women, and children in just one day. Despite all of the preparation leading up to the holidays, it is with deep intention that Loaves & Fishes reflects and remembers those who will not be here to celebrate another year.

Helping our guests know they are remembered in a world that forgets them is a daily challenge at Loaves & Fishes. We offer the survival support they need to make it to the next day, treating each day with our guests as if it is the only one we have. Our hope is that the next day will be better than the one before it, and that our guests find a path out of homelessness into a home of their own.

Sadly, some guests don’t make it to that hopeful day. We hold a memorial service for each guest who passes from this earth while homeless, giving our community the space to share stories, mourn, and remember the unique life of each man, woman, or child who left us too soon. Their name is permanently etched on our Memorial Wall in Friendship Park, added to a list of hundreds of names that we read aloud on Dia de los Muertos. It is tragic that we have to hold so many memorial services each year, but it is an important part of remembering our guests.

At a recent service we remembered George, a longtime guest at Loaves & Fishes who joined us for meals, daily support, and a sense of community. Though he struggled with mental health our staff remembers him in stable times as one of the nicest, kindest people around. He loved to paint, and would often paint himself to get a smile out of our guests, staff, or volunteers. He is remembered as a character with a warm smile.

Guests, staff, and volunteers honored George’s life with heartfelt art at his memorial service.

A speeding car struck George a block away from our campus, and drove away without stopping. George was taken to the hospital, but his injuries were too much. Law enforcement eventually located the driver, and we mourned our friend, but neither did George enough justice.

As we prepare for Dia de los Muertos, it is hard to not think of George and so many others lost. A staff member who I talked to about our memorial services and the Memorial Wall summed it up perfectly: “This is what we do. This is how we help.”

We remember George and guests like him with dignity, respect, and humanity – and we need your help to do that. We don’t accept any government funds, and the majority of our support comes from Sacramento-area donors like you who remember our guests’ dignity and humanity.

Make a donation today to help men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in our community receive nutritious food, clean clothes, warm showers, and essential care.

Thank you. Thank you for helping us care for our guests while they are here, for helping us remember them when they are gone, and – most importantly – for helping our guests survive.

Gratefully and sincerely,

Noel Kammermann
Executive Director

   

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Street Address:
1351 North C. St.
Sacramento, CA 95811

PO Box 13495
Sacramento, CA 95813

Phone: 916-446-0874
Fax: 916-446-0875

Email: info@sacloaves.org

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