by Liz Turnbaugh
Thirty years ago someone came to my home parish, St. Charles Borromeo, to speak about Our Daily Bread (“ODB”) and the ministry of making casseroles to feed the hungry. What I was like then is not what I’m like today. At that time I collected money for ODB. I belonged to a Senior Citizen Group, and they’d do anything for the Soup Kitchen. They would give $5.00…leading to $600.00 to $700.00 a month for ODB. But I didn’t know, really know, what I was collecting for.
Then I went down to ODB to volunteer. This experience brought back to me everything that affected me, worried me from early in my life. My parents immigrated to America, met and married. When I was 10 years old my father came home from the steel mills for lunch. After lunch, he helped my mom with the wash and happened to ask her: “What would you do if something happened to me?” He went to work and never returned home…he was killed at his worksite that afternoon. We were poor after that. At ODBEC it all came back. I knew how it felt to live in poverty. I prayed, “Dear Jesus, tell me what I could do.” This is what drives me.
I went to London and happened to fall coming up from the Tube (London’s subway system), which lead to surgery and rehabilitation. I prayed, “Please, please let me go back to ODBEC!” I believe that things that happen in life, although bad, are a blessing. What we see initially as bad later becomes a blessing. My fall coming up from the Tube was a blessing. It makes me so thankful…