More Blessed To Give Than Receive
Monte is blessed to be living today after a near fatal car crash in 2004 left him in a coma for two months. Suffering from a broken neck and blood on his brain, Monte defied the odds and all predictions of his doctors by coming out of his coma and conquering the long and painful process of learning how to walk and speak again.
“The doctors said my chances were not good, but I knew it was all up to God. He spared me and helped me recover from my injuries for a reason, so I decided that I would start living my life with purpose and help others,” says Monte.
Every weekday morning Monte wakes up at 4:30am to take two buses and a subway ride from his apartment to Our Daily Bread where he volunteers to serve breakfast. He often stays into the afternoon to help with lunch service, as well, when the extra help is needed. “People eat and leave with a smile on their faces, it is really rewarding to see that,” says Monte, with a smile on his face.
Monte did not learn of Our Daily Bread through any of the traditional ways that most volunteers find themselves serving the program. While recovering from his injuries Monte was unable to work, which lead to him becoming homeless for a period in 2006. During this time Monte began visiting Our Daily Bread to receive a warm mid-day meal.
Today, Monte still enjoys most of his meals at Our Daily Bread, which helps him budget his fixed income. He is living in an apartment, actively looking for employment, hopes to one day drive a car again, and in addition to volunteering at Our Daily Bread five mornings a week, he also volunteers at Beans and Bread in Fells Point on the afternoons he does not stay to help with the Our Daily Bread lunch service.
Monte is just one of a handful of volunteers who regularly volunteer to serve meals that they themselves rely on as their main source of food each day.
“Most of our breakfast volunteers and a number of our lunch volunteers are people who regularly eat with us,” says Program Assistant and Breakfast Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Hughes. “They really appreciate having the opportunity to volunteer. It makes them feel like they can give something back, instead of always being on the receiving end.”
Sarah adds, “The breakfast shift is early and not as easy for volunteers to commit to as the lunch service. If Monte and a core group of volunteers were not here helping out, we might not have all the help we need in the morning.”
The Our Daily Bread breakfast program serves senior and individuals with disabilities each weekday morning. For more information about becoming a breakfast volunteer, please contact Doris Franz-Poling at (443) 986-9031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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