“One morning I came to the community breakfast at St. Mary’s, and that’s where I met Andy and Laura. They came into my life when I most needed a friend. Laura must have seen it my eyes that first day. She treated me like a sister would --- she still does --- and I needed that. They gave me a chance to give back --- to give and help and serve other people --- and I’ve been volunteering with the breakfasts ever since. They didn’t put labels on me: I’m not a client, I’m not an inmate, I’m none of that. I’m just a person they care about. That’s like God. God loves each and every one of us as if we were the only one. That’s what I get from Andy and Laura. They care about everybody, and I love them so much.
“God said, ‘Be still, and you will know who I am,’ so that’s why I’m here. I want to be still. I’m getting to know him. I’m learning how to be kind all over again. I didn’t used to be kind because of my situation. I was an addict for 20 years, but now I’m 4 years on the other side.
“I went to school at the VA, got a certificate in Housekeeping, and now I’m fixing to start classes to get certified in doing floors and doing laundry. When I get those three certifications under my belt, I can go anywhere and get a job. I’m not confined to the VA hospital, so maybe I can go to the head of the class because of my merit, not because someone likes me or whatever.”
UPDATE, May 17, 2017: So so proud of this gentleman! Carl has overcome some very difficult challenges in his life, was recently hired at the VA, has his own apartment, and is doing great. An amazing man of courage, resolve, optimism, and gratitude! We've kept in touch through the community breakfast at St. Mary's Cathedral. He dropped by the breakfast this morning --- so great to see him! We love you, Carl!