Saturday’s Sunday’s Bread

Every Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on Beacon Hill, one thing is a definite – a free hot meal is served to those who are hungry.  Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread is an all volunteer organization who makes this happen.  The organization’s mission:  “to provide these healthy meals in a safe and inviting atmosphere, free from Society’s prejudices and judgments. We ask only that those served, regardless of their situation; join us in perpetuating an environment free of racial, cultural or religious stereotypes.”  The homeless, needy or anyone who wants to eat can come to The Church of St. John the Evangelist at 35 Bowdoin Street.

 

Video:  An Inside Look Saturday’s Sunday’s Bread:

 

A Guest’s Personal Story:   His name is Roy and he was very close to death

In January 1983 there were no food programs on the weekends.  Two months later, Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread served its first meal to 54 guests.  Today, they have served more than 300,000 guests.

One of those guests, Mr. Roy Eberthardt,  a neatly dressed man with a gentle voice gray hair, has been coming for almost 3 years.   Born in 1946 on an army base to parents who met during World War II, he grew up in Queens, New York.  His neighborhood was full of musical legends such as Count Basie, Brook Benton, Pearl Bailey and Lester Young whom all inspired him.

After high school, Mr. Eberthardt graduated from x-ray school and became an x-ray technician.  Hungry for more education, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.  At the same time, the Vietnam War was heating up.  His father, an Army Master Sergeant, teased him, “You had better not go to Canada.”

Instead of crossing the border, he proudly served two years in Vietnam.  He lived through Vietnam but would almost die in the United States.

After the military, Mr. Eberthardt worked as a nurse at Lowell General Hospital.  One Tuesday afternoon in April 2007 he was due to work a 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. shift.  Before work, he went to the store.  His life changed forever.  “Someone cut me off and my left tire hit curb and blew. The car went up on the side walk. When I knew anything, the airbag and popped out and ruptured my spleen and tore my liver.”

He was flown by helicopter to Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  “They saved my life.  I woke up 4 days later not knowing what had happened.”

Mounting medical bills, little cash and limited insurance would cost Mr. Eberthardt everything.  Six months after the accident he became homeless.  The Veterans Shelter saved him from cold nights on the streets.  He stayed there for 17 months.

After leaving the shelter in May 2009, Mr. Eberthardt learned about Saturday’s/ Sunday’s Bread, since he rents a room a few doors away from the church.  “I don’t have cooking facilities in my residences. I do have a microwave, a bachelor’s best friend.  Coming here means a lot to him.  “There are a lot of people here that care.  People are here to help me and others through out the city.”

The kitchen executives (KE) are examples of people who care and want to help.  It’s their responsibility each week to make sure a nutritious meal is served on time.

John Moos, a local attorney with two grown children, has been a KE for 17 years.  “My most memorable moment was when a young mother came in with an infant in tow.  She asked if we had any formula for her baby.  We went out and obtained some for her.”

Mark Metzger, a KE since 2000 recalled receiving 20 inches of snow one Saturday night and no volunteers showed up on Sunday.  “I was able to come by public transportation and several of the guests pitched in to help.  I remember one guest politely but decisively nudging me aside and taking over serving the meals (cafeteria-style, rather than our standard restaurant-style).  He told me he had experience in restaurants and he did a wonderful job.  I think we served 54 guests that day.”

Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread is not the only place to get a meal and/or help.  See the map below for a list of organizations that can help in a time of need.

 

Behind The Scenes

This may seem like a simple operation, but it’s very calculated.  Here’s what happens before the doors open:

 

Audio Story

Some were willing to share their very personal stories and they had a lot to say. Being homeless is never easy but some are using it as a learning experience.  Listen here:

Melanie’s Oprah Audition

Soooooo, you want to see the real Melanie?  Check out my audition to be a talk show host on Oprah’s new network!

Click here to see the video!

2011 Head Of The Charles — Cambridge, Massachusetts

Last weekend was the internationally famous Head Of The Charles.   The Marin High School Boy’s 8 from Greenbrae, Calif. won for the second year in a row.   This prestigious event, world’s largest regatta, was held on the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

It was a cloudy gloomy weekend but the races went on for the 9000 rowers that came from all over the world.  To see a few behind the scenes photos, click here.

Hurricane Irene Roared Through New England Leaving Destruction

In August 2011, the northeast braced for two major weather events in one week.  Having an earthquake and hurricane in a five-day span is unheard of for states like Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

On this day, winds howled blowing down people, trees and power lines.    No one along the eastern seaboard could escape Irene’s wrath.  To see photos click here.

When it was over, Irene took at least 56 lives.

Republican GOP Polls

Fresh off the CNN Western Republican debate held last night in Sin City, Herman Cain is leading the GOP pack in South Carolina and Florida primaries. Here are some numbers from an NBC GOP poll:




There’s also anther breakdown in the level of support relative to values and religion:

One Of The Busiest Pages Ever

Let’s admit, The New York Times website is a busy one.  It’s an abundance of information that they are forced to keep in order.  One great thing — they categorize by topic.  If you want all things by World, Politics, New York , Business, Technology and other key topics, just look along the left side.  At the bottom of the page, they repeat these topics but also include examples of stories covered in these categories.  You may save yourself a click and find what you’re looking for without going to the subject page first.

You must be careful while on this website.  It’s very massive.  You can end up in one section for hours.  In later posts, I may focus on one section.  But for today, I wanted to analyze everything.

In the middle of the home page, there’s usually one box that says “multimedia.”  It brings you here.  These are some of the picks that were afforded multimedia as a means to tell their story.  But there are still many stories that do not use multimedia.  Why is that?  I’m unsure of the real answer but I have my opinions: 1) manpower.  It costs money and time to add multimedia to more stories 2)  The New York Times is an older established newspaper.  They have a base of readers who have been loyal to them before there was such as thing as “multimedia.”  So it might take some time to get everyone on board  3) that would mean even more stuff on this website.

Today I read a story about an exonerated killer freed after spending 26 years in New York State prison. He could have been walked out 19 years earlier only if he had admitted to the murder.  He refused the offer.  In 2009, his name was cleared.  He walked, no strings attached.  There was no multimedia used in this story.  It would have been nice to hear from him or a family member.  At age 52 he’s making his professional boxing debut against someone 6 years his junior.  A multimedia piece that included his upcoming sparring partner would have been another nice touch.

You can read the full story here.

Thanks for stopping by Melanie’s Corner.

Helicopter Crashes In The East River — Birthday Girl Dies

Courtesy of @gregmocker via TwitPic

Rescuers helping moments after the crash

Yesterday a woman celebrating her 40th birthday decided to fly high with a helicopter ride around Manhattan.  The helicopter crashed into the East River off 34th Street. The New York Times covered this story using various types of multimedia, including a live blog, which worked great! This unfortunate incident had blog updates as close as three minutes apart. Anyone in the world could following along and have current data.

The live blog worked well because of the nature of the incident. People were in water and they needed to be rescued fast. Stories like this lend themselves to minute-by-minute updates.

You can read the entire blog here.

I really liked the blog style. Each new entry had a title. In other words, they were not just random entries.

Having a photo within the live blog was fantastic. This brought it to life — a gentleman in a business suit swimming in the East River to save his life. This was real and it looked life threatening:

Photo courtesy or WCBS via AP

Helicopter crash victim swimming to safety

Today, The New York Times continued with a regular blog telling the story of an emergency medical technician (EMT) who was called to help. Even though there was not a lot of multimedia here, only one photo, it  was ok because the subject matter was so compelling.

You can read that blog here.

The EMT was helping a man who only wanted to sit up and see the helicopter, as he knew his family was out there somewhere. The EMT would later learn the victim she was caring for was the step-father of the birthday girl who died in the crash.

The New York Times covered this very well using live and written blogs.

Chinese Officials Seized and Sold Babies, Parents Say

Each year tens of thousands of kids are adopted from China.  Many of them land in the United States.  Adoptive parents are told the child’s birth parents didn’t want them or were they no longer alive or they wanted a better life for the child.

This New York Times article focused on the validity of reasons above.  You can read the full article here.  Unfortunately, the paper did not incorporate any multimedia into this story and I thought they missed out on several opportunities to do so.

The article went on to say that Asian family hardships were not the case all the time for sending a child out of the door.  Sometimes the government kidnapped children and put them into the adoption system for financial gain.

Of course this is a very touchy subject, but I think there had to be someone out there willing to tell their story.  It would have been nice see video(s) from someone who found out they were stolen at birth and went back to find their birth parents.

Also, photos of the aforementioned that included the child, birth parents and adoptive parents would have added a nice touch.

A Samford University law professor and his wife adopted two teenage girls from India.  Within six weeks, the girls announced they were kidnapped from their birth parents.  Getting them to speak, even if it was in disguise would have been a great multimedia addition to this article.

Adoptive parents don’t want to think about their adopted child being ripped from their birth family.  I’m sure it would be hard for anyone to speak about this on camera.  This would have been a great audio piece that would have added more depth to this story.

This was a follow-up to an Aug. 5 article which you can read here.  Again, I thought this article also missed some of the same opportunities to incorporate multimedia.  The one video they used wasn’t useful alone.

Attica Prison Uprising With Audio from a Governor and U.S. President

Inmates at the Attica state prison in western New York State surrendered after a raid, September 13, 1971. Photo Courtesy of United Press International.

Forty years ago today marked a dark period in New York State’s history.  On September 13, 1971, 1000 New York State Troopers, sheriff’s deputies and correction officers stormed Attica prison to end a four-day uprising.  Twenty-nine inmates and 10 hostages, some of them guards, were killed.

The revolt began because of inmate complaints about grievance procedures, educational opportunities and other issues.  The inmates were voicing their complaints but no one was listening.  Then the trouble began.

The inmates demanded to see then Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, but he refused.

Instead, the governor approved the assault when negotiations stalled and he was trying to protect the lives of the guards.

After the raid ended, Gov. Rockefeller phoned then President Richard Nixon to claim victory.  This article included the audio of their conversations.  This audio really brought a different angle to the article.  Hearing two very powerful people discuss something so raw, I’m sure angered family members of both the inmates and hostages.

You can listen to Gov. Rockefeller boasting about his victory and President Nixon backing his decisions.

To hear the conversations between Gov. Rockefeller and President Nixon, click here and the audio is on the left side of the screen.

In the end, 62 inmates and one guard were charged with crimes from the revolt.  Eight inmates were convicted.  Charges against the guard were dropped.

The governor was criticized for not going to Attica.  He was the only one with a chance to stop this violence.  The inmates were tired and wanted him to know what was happening in their “home.”   It was determined that the riots were driven by black inmates who were tired of racist treatment and humiliations.   They wanted to share this with the governor in person.

In 1976, under a new administration, seven former Attica inmates were pardoned, the sentence of an eighth was commuted and no disciplinary action was taken against 20 state troopers and guards involved in the assault.

Inmates who were beaten sued the state, which settled in 2000 for $8 million. Five years later, the state settled for $12 million with surviving guards and the families of slain hostages.

Overall, I thought the audio from the 1970’s brightened this article very well and made it come to life.

Welcome To Melanie’s Corner

Welcome to my blog. I’m so happy that you stopped by.  I look forward to sharing my stories with you.