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Naperville
Sunday, April 21, 2024

A Client’s Gratitude

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Our clients inspire us and touch our hearts every day. This letter to Loaves & Fishes from a former client illustrates the reasons we serve our community:

The day we came (to Loaves & Fishes) for the first time, my daughter asked why we didn’t pay for our groceries. I told her it was FREE. She asked why and I told her it was because I didn’t have any money. “Mom?” she asked. “If rich people have a lot of money and we don’t have any, are we poor?” My. Heart. Sank. The answer was yes, but I quietly stood for a moment, staring at the bags of food that I couldn’t believe were now in my kitchen. I was thinking about the smiling faces and kindness I’d felt, and the anxiety I’d felt the night before about going to a food pantry – yet how my experience here was nothing like I’d imagined. It was welcoming, loving and made me feel human and accepted. NOT judged. Suddenly, I didn’t FEEL poor.

I looked at my child with all of her innocence and said, “WE are not poor. WE ARE RICH. WEALTHY people have a lot of money. To be RICH means something different. It means you have family and friends to enjoy this life with, that you see the kindness in someone unexpected, that you feel a blessing within a disaster, that you can be a blessing to someone else and can find joy in simple things. It means you have contentment in your heart with what you have AND that you love and are loved back. That’s what it means to be rich. And I will take rich over wealthy any day.” Never underestimate the gift you give with your smile, or conversation, or how simply making eye contact with another human can change their life. Thank you for all you’ve given to my family and to me. Thank you for all you do for our community.

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Eric Gardner
Eric Gardnerhttp://www.loaves-fishes.org
Eric Gardner is the Director of Philanthropy at Loaves & Fishes Community Services. Contact him at egardner@loaves-fishes.org or visit www.loaves-fishes.org.
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