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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 28: The big announcement...drum roll please….

 

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quote by Nelson Mandela

 

In the end there were emails from as far away as Holland and Great Britain that were sent to Bishop Soto in Sacramento, California.

Women who had read THIS POST and felt the same outrage that I did, decided to voice their opinions and do you know what?

We made a difference.

That’s right.

I received a gracious email from Jim, the director of this amazing program that’s been feeding the hungry for thirty years, and I’ve been informed that Father Martin has had a change of heart, and has given his permission to re-open the program beginning today.

That’s right, starting today no more hungry people in need of a hot meal will be turned away, it’s official. The crisis is over.

Alleluia!!!!!

And Jim—the kind-hearted and wise Director who met with Father and coordinated the  compromises couldn’t have been more grateful for the feedback that arose from the blog post, calling us “90% responsible” for this happy ending.

This is the part that’s really something.

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It’s the fact that such a stunning number of readers took action on behalf of people that live thousands of miles away from them; people they’ll never even meet, and in an age when we’re all running around juggling so much, they still took the time to:

offer prayers,

share my post on their own FB pages,

tweet my post,

offer me strategies for dealing with an obstinate priest

and sent outraged emails to the Bishop

heck, one of my readers (thank you Barbara) even called the Bishop’s office and had a very assertive conversation with his secretary when he was unavailable.

“I hope the Bishop acts quickly because Tuesday’s just 30 hours away and there’s people to be fed.” she’d told her.

And while I don’t know if there were other phone calls, I do know that the Bishop got a barrage of feedback. And that the priest himself mentioned in a conversation, a blog post out there that was “hurtful” to him (I’m sorry Father but sometimes the truth hurts).

And as the supportive feedback kept coming in, I felt a surge of Mama’s pride rush through my veins and the kind of smile on my face that says, “Yes! We’re being heard.”

Which is the first step toward change.

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The other night my parents—who will be wearing their blue aprons and welcoming guests back to the gym tonight --asked me to thank everyone on their behalf.

My cute Dad, who was so excited by the blog comments my Mom was reading to him, told me,

“Boy Leslie, you’ve got some nice ladies who read your blog. Now don’t forget. I want you to be sure to thank everyone for your Mom and me. OK?”

Ok Dad.

 

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But he didn’t have to remind me because I’ve felt this way for a long time.

I’m just so grateful –and humbled—for the kind of readers who come to my blog.

Readers like YOU.

Because it turns out there’s whole a lot of strong women out there who aren’t afraid to stand up to bullies and say what they think, especially when it comes to protecting the vulnerable and weaker ones among us.

And I’m so happy that enough of us decided to use our collective power to change a bad decision.

 

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And of course…

it always helps to have the good Lord on your side.

 

Happy 28th of October!

xo

Leslie

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15 comments:

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

I am so happy for you that this all worked out. I will admit that I somehow missed that post...still searching for it right now. But, that doesn't matter, people stood up and let their voices be heard. Fantastic. I have no doubt about the strength of people when they come together to do good. Social media may be criticized in some arenas but certainly we all need to recognize the power of a group that joins forces to right the wrongs in the world. :)

Marilyn said...

I'm still in utter disbelief! Feeding the hungry is such a basic human kindness, and for a church to discontinue a program leaves me speechless.

I applaud the commitment of your parents and the other volunteers. They are truly angels that walk among us!

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Simply LKJ said...

Wow. This just brings tears to my eyes Leslie. So thankful it turned out the way it did. Everyone I told the story to could not believe they were turning those in need away from a church!!

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

YAY! To think that God LETS us care for "the least of these"—those Jesus called his brothers and sisters—never ceases to amaze me. Way to stand up for what's right, Leslie! (Aren't you glad you listened to that still small voice and went "off topic" that day?) Blessings on your parents and the other volunteers tonight... and on those they serve.

Gypsy Heart said...

Awesome!!! God heard us and they did too ~ I'm so excited! NOT feeding these people is so harsh and it's amazing that a priest would harbor such disdain for those in need.

Thank you my friend for bringing this to our attention so we could voice our concerns! Please thank your parents for all they do to ensure these people are fed. They are certainly blessings to others.

xo
Pat

Karen said...

Leslie,
I'm thrilled with this outcome. I confess, as I wrote my email to the Bishop I thought there might be little chance for a change of heart on anyone's part. The priest is only hurt because he got caught making a selfish decision. Hooray for the hungry and for the people willing to speak up! You did a good thing putting this issue out there. Your parents are so sweet and generous to do what they do.
xo,
Karen

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

How wonderful, Leslie! Thank you for sharing the situation with us and giving us the opportunity to help! So grateful that those in need will be able to go there again! And thank your parents for US!

Joanne Nauta-Koot said...

Yes that is amazingly happy news. Even better news for those who will be fed, cared for and loved. Thank you for telling us about this. It certainly woke me up to the personal dramas that happen in my own community too, and asks me how can I help.Every action helps.

alittlecape said...

YES! JuMpInG uP aNd DoWn! teehee. xo Patty/NS

Carla from The River said...

Yay!!
I am so happy the doors are going to be OPEN!
Praise God! Prayers are answered.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

How totally awesome!!!

Art and Sand said...

WOW!

I am really behind.

First, I am in shock that a "man of the cloth" would have acted in such a way.

Second, I am impressed that he actually reversed his decision.

Way To Go Leslie in bringing an injustice to the notice of people.

As Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world".

You were the change!

Pam Kessler said...

Yay! I'm so glad that mess got turned around and hungry bellies got filled and comfort was given. I still cannot understand why in the world the church would think that taking away a service from the poor would be a good idea, but at least they listened. Finally!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Now I'm teary eyed after reading how the united voices of reason can bring about a change that affects so many. Congratulations on a huge success, Leslie! Your parents taught you well.

xo,Vickie

Sheepskins fairylights said...

Aaahhh, such lovely news. Really happy for the people, who help out or come for nourishment through food & socialising.
People power!
Xxxx

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