HOUSE NEWS: Dorothy Day’s birthday, dignity and Kali Blount at the Roundtable
This past Saturday, November 8th, was Dorothy Day’s birthday. Dorothy was the co-founder of the Catholic Worker and is perhaps the most influential Catholic of the 20th century. So much of what Dorothy wanted the CW to be revolved around one word: dignity. Dignity is at the heart of what we try to do at the GCW. As a “gift” to Dorothy and our way of honoring her this week, I’d like to share a short story from the cafe this past Tuesday.
It was one of our more extraordinary cafes. We wanted to clean out our freezer and make use of several food items that we had way too many of, so Kelli decided to make four different types of soup for the cafe. As guests joined us, we welcomed them at their table, and then read off the different choices of soup for the day. People seemed to really love the fact that they had a choice of “specials”. One gentlemen in a wheelchair, who had not dined with us before, chose his soup, stayed for seconds and then asked me for information about the house. I gave him our brochure and latest newsletter, which he read at his leisure as he finished his soup and bread. Once done, he called me over to his table. He said, “I just want to thank you for the soup, which was delicious. But more importantly, I want to tell you that for the first time in a long time, I feel dignified. Most of all, I wanted to thank you for that.”
People need food, and blankets, a place to get out of the cold, clothes, etc. But I really think that, more than anything, what people long for–especially people who find themselves struggling in this unjust and merciless economic system–what they long for is to be treated with dignity. Food may fill the ache in the belly, but treating people with dignity and respect transforms the soul. Happy Birthday Dorothy.
Thanks to everyone for all the blankets we’ve received. We are at our capacity for blankets right now and actually are sharing our overflow with other organizations who will get them to folks who need them too.
And thanks too to Erica Carlsson for her organizing and all the bands who played at the benefit show for the GCW at Brophy’s Irish Pub on Friday night. It was a great crowd and we brought in over $400 for the house. I had a chance to thank Paul, the owner of Brophy’s, for his kindness in letting us use the pub for free. If you’re lookin for a good beer, a night out on the town, drop by Brophy’s and tell Paul thanks for letting the GCW hold the show at his pub!
Important news for this week:
1) Sunday’s cafe menu includes black bean soup and we need folks to contribute upwards of 200 servings. If you can make some soup and drop it off at the GCW by 1pm on Sunday, please email us at email@example.com and let us know. Same thing if you can volunteer between 12-7pm or bring sour cream, chopped onions, or fresh fruit!
2) We’re very excited to have local education and poverty activist Kali Blount with us for the Roundtable on Thursday at 6pm. You can read more about Kali on the This Week page of our site. We’ve had two RTs in a row with over 30 folks, and we’re hopeful you’ll join us again this week to hear Kali on “Addressing Poverty vs Educational Equality.” Bring a dish to share if you can!
3) It looks like quite a few of our regular volunteers and community members are interested in heading up the weekend of November 21-23 for the annual vigil and action at the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia. If you’re thinking of going and would be interested in caravaning up with others, email Johnny at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and coordinate rides, etc.
And for a few comments on last week’s election, see Kelli’s post about Obama, change and hope by clicking here.
All of us at the GCW
Posted on 11/09/2008, in HOUSE NEWS and tagged Brophy's Irish Pub, dignity and the poor, Dorothy Day birthday, Erica Carlsson, Gainesville Catholic Worker, GCW, Kali Blount, poverty and education, School of the Americas, SOAWatch. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.