Recognizing Our Volunteers
Thanks To Our Volunteers At The Table!
It can be true to say that volunteerism is the heart and soul of My Brother's Table. Along with donations of food and money, it is the work of the volunteers that make feeding the hungry of our community everyday possible. The time and care that is used to prepare, cook, serve, and clean for the good of others is tremendous. Yet, the results of this effort can be seen on the faces of the hundreds of guests in the dinning room each evening, and that makes it all worthwhile.
In celebration of the spirit of volunteerism, My Brother’s Table each year holds the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in recognition of the hundreds of individuals who give of themselves for the benefit of others. It is the Table’s way of saying thank you for their generosity and service.
Although My Brother’s Table staff and guests value the contribution made by every volunteer who passes through these doors, every year there are a few who stand out in their eyes. These exceptional people receive the honor of Outstanding Service Awards, given to them by the staff of My Brother’s Table.
Each year we look forward to celebrating with our volunteers and hold a special dinner and awards night. Amoung the awards are given are:
Office Volunteer Award | Volunteer Group Award | Volunteer School Group Award | Volunteer Youth Group Award | Vendor of the Year | Volunteer Driver of the Year | Volunteer Cooks of the Year | Volunteer Family of the Year | Community Service Interns | Partnership Award | Coordinator of the Year | Volunteer of the Year
Special Recognition To MVP Joe Halliwell From The Patroits!
For several years Joe Halliwell of Wakefield has coordinated the My Brother's Table shuttle program which provides a weeks worth of frozen meals, dry and canned goods for terminally or chronically ill individuals, and if needed, their families, for 14 years. Joe passed away on Sept. 24 after a battle with cancer. Here he is shown with his volunteerism award from the New England Patriots given in May 2008. In honor of Joe, My Brother’s Table has named the program “Joe’s Meals.”
All the people served by this free program are referred by social workers or health care professionals and people who are homebound, are too young for meals on wheels or in process of qualifying for other assistance such as disability. Most have fallen between the cracks and are overwhelmed by illnesses- from severe diabetes to CP to heart conditions to cancer. Many are wheelchair bound.
The New England Patriots Honor MVP Rene Michaud!
Nahant resident Rene Michaud has been a volunteer “driver” at My Brother’s Table in Lynn since 1983, shortlyafter he retired from the Quality Control Department at GE.This June his volunteer efforts were acknowledged when he was named a 2006 New England Patriots Community MVP. At a Gillette Stadium ceremony, he received a carved MVP football from New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft and his wife, Myra, on behalf of the Patriots Charitable Foundation. My Brother’s Table received a $1,500 grant in recognition of his volunteer work.
For 23 years Rene has, picked up and loaded MBT’s truck with donated food from supermarkets, wholesalers, bakeries, hotels and restaurants. He then delivers and unloads the food at the Lynn soup kitchen. This food is used in the Table’s daily meals and other programs, such as, our senior outreach, a diner shuttle for chronic and terminally ill people and their families, as well as in a luncheon program for homeless people.
Not only is Rene a great driver, he is an excellent good-will ambassador for the largest soup kitchen on the North Shore. He is always on the look-out for new donors and donations. Given that we use several hundred thousand dollars in donated food each year, his contribution to our mission is invaluable.
Since My Brother’s Table opened in 1982, we’ve provided close to two million free meals to needy people in our community. This is needed help for Lynn where 53 percent of the population has been identified by the federal government as low income and where families with small children and the elderly are the most vulnerable according to census figures.
Because of his long tenure and extraordinary dedication as a volunteer, we estimate that Rene Michaud has been involved in supplying some of the food for at least a quarter of those two million meals. In an organization which has 2,500 volunteers each year, Rene Michaud is a standout. At 85, he is a member of the greatest generation. This former Naval Aviator (WW2 and the Cuban Missile Crisis) demonstrates all of the qualities that mark that generation. He is committed to the job at hand--in this case community service.
He is here to volunteer every Monday--no matter the weather--as well as every Monday holiday with the exception of Memorial Day. We estimate that he has volunteered here on over 2,200 days. He continues to do so because his help is still needed and, as he says,” it’s fun.”
What Our Volunteers Are Saying...
"My hope would be that organizations like My Brother's Table would not be needed in the future, that there would be no hunger.
If that is not to be, My Brother's Table will continue to serve the community and provide that beacon of hope."
Alice Goldsmith, Volunteer
Make A Difference...
"As a volunteer at My Brother's Table, it seems that I benefit as well as our guests. On the way home the realization that you have made a real difference in someone's life helps you put your own problems in perspective."
Carolyn Stanton, Volunteer
Men, Women and Children...
"My Brother's Table was the first soup kitchen I volunteered at that had men, women and children as guests. For the first time I realized that hunger was such a problem. But at the same time, it was beautiful to watch high school youth helping young people."
Jim Flanagan, Volunteer