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Manna Food From Heaven Volunteer Reflection

Manna Food From Heaven Volunteer Reflection

Let brotherly love continue, be not forgetful to entertain strangers:

 

 

Happy Friday all,

 

I want to start by thanking everyone that attended the   event Saturday 04/13/19. It is always a privilege to serve with Deacon Hodge and his team. I am also once again in awe of our New York Life team here in CSC. You all come out and just ask “where do you want me?”. That is awesome of you all. I do want to apologize to those that had trouble finding how and/or where to enter. In the future I will make sure to add my phone number, so you all can contact me if you are having any trouble finding the location. Deacon Hodge will be sending each of us a letter of appreciation. Again, thank you all for help.

James Thompson

April 19, 2019

 

Good morning Mr. Hodge                                                                                                     April 18, 2019.

Your letter made my day!  Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to reach out to me.  It was my sincere pleasure to help out and add some value to such a worthy cause.

 

I was very impressed with you and how you led and inspired the team of workers.  And I’m so proud of James Thompson for his leadership of the New York Life team.  He is a special young man and did such an amazing job of organizing and coordinating this event for our employees.

 

The food preparation and the team effort were incredible to be a part of and observe.  While I was only there for a little over two hours, I know many of you were there all day to ensure a beautiful bounty of food was ready for such a large group.  I was blown away at how everybody came together, knew their roles, focused on the mission, and had fun at the same time.

 

My hats go off to you and the Manna Food from Heaven Ministries team for  your commitment to serving others.  I was inspired and I know I will be back to help in the future.

 

Thanks again for  your support and partnership!

 

Hope you have a great weekend and a very Happy Easter!

 

Best regards,

Bill Tate

New York Life

 

 

 

 

The shelter was nice and fun when I seen so many people in line waiting to get food. They were happy to see us, which made me happy to see them. I noticed that you can't judge a person by the way they look. Even if you have a job you can still not have a place to stay. I realized that being happy and having a family to come home to is a blessing, because some people don't have a place to call home. People are out here suffering.

It felt so good being able to help someone in a time of need. People need to sharpen up on helping shelters; even if it's giving the homeless a meal. Help the homeless! We need to protest for that. In today's society, people would rather buy thousand dollar guns when they could easily change someone's life. People need to sharpen up! When you do something you get some thing back in return. When I help somebody I feel blessed, it ain't hard."

-Deshaun Stewart, 5th grader at Citizens Academy East

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"My experience at the Men's shelter(2100 Lakeside Ave) has been great. It's fun talking to and meeting new and different people. The best part is serving dinner to the homeless and seeing the smiles on their faces. This experience has changed me a lot. Now when I see homeless people, I give what I have to show my respect. When I get older, I am planning on opening my own homeless shelter in hopes to provide jobs so they can live a better life financially"

John Steele, Junior at Life Skills High School

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My son and I had an amazing experience volunteering with Mann Food From Heaven program. As a mother, it's important to expose my son to life in all capacities. Nothing gave me greater joy than spending those few hours alongside my son, helping others. Melvin and his wife do an awesome job heading up this program. And while we volunteered to help others, the rewards of that experience were ten-fold for us. I enjoyed the opportunity to assist and look forward to future opportunities as     well.

Seretha Etheridge & Xayden, Mother & Son

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"We have had the opportunity to volunteer our time to help the Manna Food From Heaven Ministry serve hot meals at both the Norma

Herr Women's Shelter and the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry men's shelter. Through this organization we are able to spread some kindness and positivity in a world that too often seems negative. Everyone has a storys struggled and goes through bad times. Every need help and support at some time in their life. We have the ability, by volunteering for this organization, to give back to the community and to hopefully make a positive difference in someone's day.

Ron and Debra Hrin

Debby Hrin, 4th Grade William Foster Elementary School, 1201 Bangor Ave., Garfield Heights, Oh 44125

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"My experience volunteering thus far has been worthwhile to say the least. The atmosphere while serving is amazing, and the food is cooked with LOVE. I look forward to the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month as I know I will have the opportunity to serve if I am available. I find pleasure in serving with my fellow peers and members of the community that I am familiar with. The best feeling comes from seeing the appreciative expressions and gestures from people being served when they get to the end of the line and see something of their liking; whether it's the peach cobbler or 3 nice sized pieces of fried chicken. It is very humbling to serve alongside a group of individuals who truly have a passion for helping others; it make the whole experience memorable"

Alfred Preston Jr, Program Coordinator - Transitional Services at Oriana House, Inc Hough Center

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"My name is Collin Funches and my experience volunteering for Manna at the men's shelter was heartwarming. I could tell that the people we served weren't strangers to the Manna organization. Everyone in the kitchen worked hard and in unity to make the meal. The residents at the shelter told me thank you when serving because they knew that the people of Manna tried to make sure they got fed. I felt honored to be a part of the service; and ultimately helped fundraiser for Manna as they raise funds to purchase a van."

Collin Funches, Sophomore at Shaker Heights High School

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"I have been volunteering with Manna for over a year now and I have loved every minute of it. I got involved when Donte' asked me to come out one Saturday to help. And since then, I have been coming back on my own. I attend every Manna Saturday I can to help because I LOVE GIVING BACK, and I LOVE the way the other volunteers treat me.They are good people, with good hearts, andthey love giving back to the men and women we serve. It's good knowing I'm helping save someone's life by giving them a meal that might be their 1st and only meal of that particular day. Now it is a privilege for me to recruit others to help volunteer, and have other people be touched by doing this great service."

Brian R, Webster, Site Director -- Boys & Girls Club at John Adams High School

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"For me it started when I saw a friend of mines cooking at the men's shelter with Manna on Facebook 3 year ago. I commented that I would like to come one day, Melvin immediately replied when I could come and help out. Since my first day serving at the shelter, I fell in love with the service, the people of Manna and the people we serve. My life can easily be altered to where I am in need, I have been in need. It's by the grace of GOD that I am able to serve in this capacity.A year in, I began recruiting my family, friends, students and peers to help serve alongside Manna at both the Lutheran Ministry Men's Shelter (2100 Lakeside) and the Norma Herr Women's Center. For 3 years, I've been able to bring someone new with me to volunteer at Manna. The joy is not just being provided the opportunity to serve, but also  serving alongside great people and the conversations you have with the men and women at the shelters. I've made new friends and gotten closer to friends just through serving. I thank Melvin for his dedication to the homeless and hungry. Community service is a big part of who I am, who my friends are and who Manna is! I am horoned to bless the food before each meal, to volunteer and recruit other volunteers to the work Manna does."

Donte' Gibbs, Youth Engagement Director - Neighborhood Leadership Institute

9/21/16

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Hey Deacon Hodge,
Here's my 2 cents:
I truly enjoy being a servant for Manna. Without sounding corny or cheesey, I feel better after serving at the shelter; it's really my stress reliever. Everyone is nice and the overall atmosphere is fun-loving and easygoing. You know that you're really part of the team when Deacon Hodge picks with you:)

I'm 25 years old and to see men who look like they could be my age- living in such circumstances- is truly an eye opener. It sometimes makes me question God, "Why me? What about me keeps me from those situations?" Then I realize that it has nothing to do with me, rather it has everything to do with God's grace. To God Be the Glory!
Janice M. Dickson

I applaud you for feeding the less fortunate. Because of Manna I appreciate being able to open my refrigerator anytime. I pray you receive increase in finances very soon to meet the demand.
Sis. Joyce

 



Deacon Hodge,
I am greatly honored to be able to serve the kingdom of God in such a wonderful way. Serving at the shelter is the highlight of my week. Sometimes we come when we are not scheduled to come because we have developed the heart to serve and do it humblyand with alot of pride. And we learned that from you Deacon Hodge. You and Brother Dave are the perfect people for that job and the homeless community is better off for having two very committed men like yourselves. We have so much fun when we are there with you. Sabrina(Stephanie) and I love you both so much, but you know that all ready. Everyone that walks through that door you except with alot of love and kindness you treat everyone not like it is there first time coming but like they have been coming for along time.
I don't know what God has instore for me but where ever I go and whatever I do I will always come back to the shelter to serve beside you and Brother Dave. I know that we have to be the only ones at the shelter with alternate names especially when we are not acting right.

With Much Love , Grace and Peace
Tracy Johnson(Tiffany) and William
and Stephanie Tyree(Sabrina)

 

 



Deacon Melvin,
The time spent with the group of spirit filled folks that take out of their busy day is a true experience to be a part of, the laughter and comradely, we share as we work to prepare the food for those who are lest fortunate than us, is humbling.

I remember coming down and my husband had to drop me of and I came to the wrong door, and a guy I went to school with looked at me and said Girlena with that same smile , asked what I was doing there, I explained and he was ever the gentleman as he was in school I did not change my facial expression but hugged him as I did not want to hurt his feeling , or to show an expression of "what happened to you" As we talked about the semi-together
that was taking place that night, he escorted me through the front door and announced to the guys "Hey watch your mouth a Lady is with me."

What a day that was for me, we both acted as though we were walking the halls, of the ole East Tech he was still a gentleman, irregardless to what life had dealt him, deep down I could not imagine what turned his life to where he is now at a shelter, but I prayed for him as I can not be judgmental; for the God we serve says there will always be the poor and afflicted with us and God watches how we treat them the lost souls.

Then seeing another person a girl I knew . boy 2 people within a the same year, she to looked at me and I tried to get in contact even came to the shelter and left my name, as I wanted to give information for transitional housing and other information.

I give God the praise that I am his child , he loves me guides me , cares for me Whew I can get worked up as we are sheltered and have heat lights food clothes, friends that love me I love them back, a church that has many ministries to assist those in need as I see the many faces that are sitting in that room on Payne & the women's shelter, I am privileged to serve humbled , as it could be me , so I just want to say Thank you you Deacon Hodge for taking the torch set before you as God has long since anointed you for just a time as this, I am glad we can joke and kid around and still get the job done . Team work is key... but know as the Ole song goes This is how we do it!!!
Sista Girlena , Member of "The Word" Church

 

 


Dea. Hodge, Sis. Hodge, Bro. Dave:

I applaud you, your family members and all your supporters for feeding the less fortunate. The Manna Experience makes me appreciate being able to open my refrigerator anytime. I will never forget the cold Saturday in 2007 that I helped with lunch at one shelter then served dinner at a different one and the "customers" recognized me. It hurt my heart because I realized those were the only places they could go and some had children. I do enjoy the teamwork and comraderie that goes on in the kitchen like a family reunion :o) I pray for increase in your resources & finances to meet the growing number of needy people! While I really wish the problem of homelessness could go away I know it would be more realistic to wish for you to get a huge kitchen of your own one day to serve as you like.
God bless you!
Jocye Puryear-Robinson, Outreach "THE WORD" Church

Serving at Manna on Saturdays is a wonderful experience. I really look forward to going when it is my turn. It is so amazing to see all the men that come out to get meals and how they really do appreciate the people that are serving and preparing the food. You really don't know your blessings until you see how others are lacking. I have always felt that outreach was my calling, but I really enjoy going to Manna. It warms my heart to see how we all come together, even if it is just for a couple hours and put other people needs before our own.
KIM TOLLIVER, MEMBER OF "THE WORD" CHURCH

 




Deacon Melvin,

All types of perfect praise is for God Almighty! Anytime we can serve our fellow man is a blessing. Me, my wife Mira, and my daughter Paris were very excited about assisting you at the mission Saturday. We look forward to volunteering at the mission on a regular basis. It is our responsibility to serve others. To those who have been given much, much is expected to be given.

May God continue to reward you and the other volunteers for your tireless efforts.

Ceylon J. Breathett

 

 

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Thank you, my experience at the shelter is a blessed one. I enjoy working with you guys everyone have a wonderful spirit. I just love helping people and you and I believe his name is David have such a sweet spirit and when you have a sweet spirit like you and David have with people nobody wouldn't mind chipping in and helping the dinners to be a success plus you guys have jokes and that make it fun and your sweet with everybody. I just have a ball there working with my brothers and sister of Christ.
Your sister in Christ for life. Cynthia

 

 

 


 


Deacon Hodge,

It is always a pleasure for me to come down to the shelter and be of service. My daughters Lashelle and Lashay loves coming to help out. As soon as we left on Saturday they asked when we were coming back. It gives me a wonderful feeling to help out in anyway that I can as well as seeing my daughters excited about helping. Take care and God Bless. Tamika McCall

Brother Hodge, I am so happy about working at Manna because the spirit of God is so evident there. I enjoy working with people and most important giving back to others. It's so good to work with you brother Hodge because you are a true giver. There is nothing more gratifying than doing God's will and having fun doing it. I love the praise music too!!!!

God Bless, Sister Sharon


 

Hi Melvin,

I truly enjoyed coming to the shelter, helping prepare the food and serving the men in the shelter. It was quite an eye opening experience to see the quantity of food that is necessary to feed the hungry. And to work with others coming together to prepare the food on a timely basis. It made me very thankful to God to have a roof over me and my family and to have food to eat. Sometimes we take those things for granted. I am truly enjoying being a part of the Outreach Ministry. It is growing me as a Christian and a person.

Thank you Jesus!

D


 

My name is David Sims and I've been apart of Manna from day 1 and it still isn't easy every other week seeing the same faces coming through the line for food, and the sad part of it is, some of those faces have been there from day 1. There's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in every situation if you really take the time to ponder over it. My experience with this ministry has taken my emotions on one ol' roller coaster ride at times. I remember when we first started before the name Manna Food From Heaven Ministries was established, there was an older gentlemen out on the street that we all took an instant liking to and wanted to help get off the street, but like so many of the people on the streets of Cleveland, this is all they know and live for and they can't handle living in confined quarters w/rules and regulations to follow. We tried, but sorry to say he died right where we first met him, on the streets of Cleveland. When I think about all the people we've come in contact with and helped, knowing that for some we were there last hope, a true sense of purpose is relevant and makes the push to continue worthwhile. Yes, I've wanted to quite many times because it can become a bit much for just a few people to try to do, but it always seems the Lord know exactly who to send your way to be the voice of reason to give you the strength to continue until you get fed up again.

 

 



My Manna Experience,
Partnering with Manna Food From Heaven was a blessing! The Singles' Ministry at The Word Church was given the opportunity to donate toys during the Christmas season. It was our intent to organize a full event to get multiple ministries involved, however, our plans did not come to fruition. We did however, donate several toys and Deacon Hodge was as gracious for our donation as if we had given 1000 toys! I learned something personally also, it is the heart of the gift wrapped in the sincere love of Christ that matters...not the size. Thank you Manna Food From Heaven for the opportunity! We look forward to partnering and ministering with you again this year!



Dear Hodge Family,

We wanted to let you all know how much of a blessing you all have been in our lives. From the moment God allowed us to meet it has been nothing but love. We observed how you all have a tremendous burden for the homeless and through this God has opened so many doors. We are so privileged to be apart of your family. Just observing the call of God on your lives it has been mind blowing seeing how God (still today) performs Mighty Miracles! You all step out on Faith and God shows up and shows out EVERY TIME. In experiencing this we have gained more confidence to step out on faith and follow the Holy Spirit whole heartedly. Manna continue to Walk by Faith and not by Sight, you all have no idea what God has in store for you all. We love and appreciate you.

Love Ya,

Min. Kevin and Sis Elaine Barclay

 

 



One of the Many Workers that Work at Manna for the Lord.

What I enjoy about working at Manna is the fellowship with the other workers. We work together, have fun and get the job done. I see the way the Lord is increasing my Faith. I enjoy the miracles that the Lord performs every time I am at 2100 Lakeside. The way the Lord moves in the people life's. God always has a word for someone at the shelter every time I am there. That is a blessing to be able to witness the work of the Lord. To be able to stand back and thank God that He allows me to open my mouth and speak into someone's life. To know that it is the grace of God and nothing that I have done that allows my to have a home and a family.

God Bless!
Minister Charles Dicks, "THE WORD" Church

 

 



HI I AM DEACON MELVIN HODGE AND THIS IS MY MANNA EXPERIENCE:

MANNA FOOD FROM HEAVEN MINISTRIES WAS BORN MARCH 4, 2001, WHEN I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS PLANNED FOR ME. I THOUGHT IT WAS TO JUST FEED AND CLOTHES THE HOMELESS. JESUS TELLS US THE POOR WILL BE WITH US ALWAYS. . . SO IT WAS MORE TO DO THAN JUST FEED THEM FOOD THEY NEEDED THE FOOD OF LIFE; THE GOSPEL. MANNA FOOD FROM HEAVEN JOINED FORCES WITH "THE WORD" CHURCH ONE STEP TO RECOVERY MINISTRY TO MAKE SURE THAT THE GOSPEL WAS PREACHED AT EACH FEEDING.
ON ANY GIVEN SATURDAY WE PREPARE 800 MEALS FOR MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN. I'VE SEEN PEOPLE THAT I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH OR GREW UP IN THE HOOD WITH; BUT THE MAJORITY ARE PEOPLE THAT I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE SOME DISPLAYING AN ATTI T UDE LIKE THE WORLD OWE THEM SOMETHING. THE BLESSING COMES FROM SEEING AND HEARING THE GRATITUDE OF THOSE THAT REALLY APPRECIATE WHAT WE DO. I PRAY AT THE END OF EACH FEEDING ASKING GOD TO SUPPLY WHAT IS NEEDED FOR THE NEXT ONE.

 

 



My name is Brelinda (Bre) Greer and I've been helping Manna Food From Heaven just about every Saturday that they feed for almost a year now. Mainly I serve at the women's shelter and it has been very inspirational to my life. I love seeing that my time means so much when I'm able to brighten the lives of others. First we drop off food that has been prepared for the Mental Health Men's shelter. Then at the women's shelter I prepare the plates and serve the food to them as they enter. I talk to them as I serve and just try to be a positive influence while I'm there. After it's all said and done I really feel like I've made a difference.




Robert Greer
The role I play has grown over the time I've been able to be involved. My day starts around 9:00am when we get our van in position to be packed. I love this time in the morning because even though it is early, you can just feel the love for what we do. Helping others is just something that has to be done and I'm proud to be apart of every moment. When we get to the shelter we unpack and begin to prep the food we are serving for diner. Around now for me I could be just about anywhere- cleaning chicken, boiling water or preparing all the sides we need to start cooking and getting all the teenagers rounded up to their particular sections. I assist where ever I'm needed and that's how my day usually remains. After the foods all cooked and ready to serve I just go where I'm needed. After serving I try to get everything in order so we can pack the van and go. Now I'm tired but pleased knowing that all the effort during the day is greatly appreciated. The men always thank us for coming down and we know they are more than welcome, since it's God's work and not ours.




MY NAME IS NICOLE LA TANYA HODGE.

I'VE BEEN WORKING WITH MANNA FOOD FROM HEAVEN SINCE DAY ONE. MANNA PROVIDES FOR THE (LESS FORTUNATE) IN CUYAHOGA COUNTY. MANNA PROVIDES CHRIST FIRST AND FOREMOST, PRAYER, FOOD AND CLOTHES AND IT DON'T STOP THERE WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT. ITS BEEN A BLESSING AND GRATIFYING EXPERIENCE TO HELP OTHERS. IT'S HARD SOMETIMES AND IT HURTS. ON THE 2ND AND 4TH SATURDAYS I GO DOWN TO THE WOMEN COMMUNITY SHELTER TO SERVE THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN. IT'S A GREAT FEELING WHEN YOU CAN PUT A SMILE ON SOMEONE AND SEE THE APPRECIATION. WE JUST DON'T FEED WE COLLECT TOYS AND GIFTS FOR THE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AT CHRISTMAS TIME.. IT GIVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO EMBRACE THE THOUGHT AND FEELING TO SERVE OTHERS.

 

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WORDS FROM WOODY
WORKING AT THE SHELTER IS THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, FOR IT GIVES ALL PEOPLE A OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A GREAT MEAL , GOOD FELLOWSHIP, AND A RAY OF HOPE TO SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE ON THE VERGE OF GIVING UP ON LIFE.

THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT REASONS THEY HAVE TO BE IN THAT POSITION AND I'M SURE THAT MOST REASONS ARE NT FAIR. BUT I UNDERSTAND NOW WHEN I DID NT HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE, WHY I HAD TO GO THROUGH WHAT I WENT THROUGH.
SO WHEN I HAD TO SERVE FOOD , SPEAK , OR JUST BEING A FRIEND. MY HEART WAS CONNECTED WITH PASSION. TO BE HONEST BEING A WITNESS TO THEM AND IN THE PRISONS IS WHERE I WOULD RATHER HAVE CHURCH. THIS IS WHO REALLY NEEDS IT.
IN (ISA. 58:1-11) FROM MY UNDERSTANDING THIS IS WHO THE LORD GOD OF HEAVEN CAME FOR. AND HIS PROMISE OF ETERNITY IS TO THOSE WHO TAKE CARE OF HIS REAL SHEEP: (MATT. 25:30-40).
DEACON HODGE THANK YOU FOR SHOWING ME THAT GOD DOES HAVE A SERVANT HERE ON EARTH WHO PUTS OTHER PEOPLE LESS FORTUNATE ON YOUR AGENDA RATHER THAN THOSE WHO HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER AND WONT LOOK AT GOD FACE TO FACE. YOU HAVE ALLOWED GOD TO INSPIRE ME IN WHAT GOD HAS FOR ME TO DO. THANK YOU, AND FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART I LOVE YOU AND YOUR WIFE.
WOODY