Hannah Sussek via Crowdrise
April 13, 2012
BENEFITING: ST FRANCIS INN
EVENT DATE: Jun 15, 2012
St. Francis Inn was opened in 1977 by two Franciscan Brothers to begin a mission with the poor. They chose the Kensington area of Philadelphia mainly because it was the most impoverished area of the city - this neighborhood needed their help. They set up their “Inn” as a restaurant-style soup kitchen, giving the homeless of the area a safe haven to come enjoy a meal and have a conversation.
As they have expanded over the last 35 years, their numbers have grown immensely. They currently have 9 full time staff members, 5 college-aged year long staff members, and numerous devoted volunteers. They have one hot meal a day, as well as bagged breakfast 3 mornings a week - 365 days a year. In 2011, St Francis Inn served 141,405 hot meals.
The Inn hosts high school and college groups from around the country numerous times a month. When I was 14 years old, I took my first trip through the St. Gerard’s Outreach Program. I was lucky enough to attend for 4 years of high school, as well as additional trips on my own. It was in this time that my passion developed for the Inn. Regardless of religion, the true mission behind the Inn is to help your brother – whether that’s through serving a meal, offering a solution to a problem, or simply smiling and giving someone a much needed hug.
I continued to volunteer as a college advisor through St. Gerard’s, overseeing groups in New Orleans, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Finally, two years ago, I was given the ultimate gift – I was asked to lead the Philadelphia trip myself. Continuously my kids have told me that my passion for the Inn transcends any real “leading” I could ever do – the moment I step through the doors of the Inn, my passion takes over. I lead by example based on my own experience, and I relate to their trepidation since I myself was once that student trying to step outside of my comfort zone.
My purpose for organizing this fundraiser is to partially fund the van rental for the week. But ultimately, I would like to donate a significant amount (and majority of donations) to assist the Inn with whatever needs they have. Many donations that come in are either food/clothing, or enhancements for their kitchen. However, I would love to assist in any renovations for the staff or volunteer housing. The staff devotes every waking minute to the Inn, and I think it’s important to give back to the most selfless people I have ever encountered.
If you are interested in donating and cannot attend the event, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org