Fort Wayne Showcase Day 6 – Hope Starts With A Meal

6 May

Fort Wayne Showcase Day 6 – Hope Starts With A Meal

Speechless.  Flabbergasted.  Stunned.  That’s how I felt when the sheer volume hit me.  190,000 meals, rattled off Pastor Donovan Coley, CEO of the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission..  Hold it a second!  “Is that even possible?” I asked myself…  Quick mental math told me that was 500 meals A DAY.  Up 40% since the recession began!

What if you woke up without hope that tomorrow would be better than today?  What would it do to your self esteem to sleep under a bridge and nearly freeze to death… literally.  What if the only smile, the only hello, the only handshake you got all day was the staff at the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission?  What an eye-opener!

“Hope begins with a meal.”

“A donor has a need as well.”

“We don’t go after a person’s money.  We go after a person’s heart.”

                                        -Pastor Donovan

Chris RichardsonThe answer to my simple question: “What is your biggest need right now?” surprised me!  “Individuals who will extend their compassion.”  Their compassion?  Didn’t see that coming. 

Seriously, friends this is not what you might think.  For example, the budget is $2.8 million – NOT funded by the government in any way.  Looking into it a bit further I saw this on the (fabulously informative) Rescue Mission web site:

How Can We Help?

  • Fort Wayne Rescue MissionShow them kindness and respect. Your smile can be a break in the isolation and hopelessness that many of them live with every day. Treating the homeless with courtesy can give them the energy to begin to lift themselves out of a bad situation. It tells them they are not invisible!
  • Don’t give money. Money won’t solve their problem. It can be used to buy drugs or alcohol. It may help them to avoid facing the root causes of their problems for just one day more. Instead, give them certificates to restaurants. Or better yet, direct them to our Mission or another shelter where they can get help to begin the journey out of hopelessness.

The reality is that my little post here doesn’t begin to do justice to what Pastor Donovan is attempting for our community.  I really recommend taking a look at their web site,  It’s LOADED with info – easily understandable and navigable.  This is an extraordinarily difficult undertaking.  Donovan’s passion, energy and enthusiasm is contagious.  Certainly they are changing the future of our community for the better!

Want to get a first-hand look at the work they’re doing?  A great place to start would be by taking a tour of the facilities.  Just call my friend Diane Richardson at 260-426-7357, extension 12.

Ready to roll up your sleeves and put your compassion and your unique talents to work helping these folks move people from hopelessness to hope?  What better mission could there be?  For more information please contact Lynn Isenbarger, Volunteer Coordinator 260-426-7357 

About the author:

I’m Chris Sanderson, Fort Wayne’s own “Tech Savvy Lender,” with Ruoff Home Mortgage.  As a life-long resident of Fort Wayne I continue to be amazed by the hidden treasures right under our noses.

When it’s time to get a mortgage in Fort Wayne please call me! 

Chris StandingChris Sanderson
Tech Savvy Lender in Fort Wayne, IN
Ruoff Home Mortgage
Direct:  (260) 414-3511

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Thanks for sharing


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