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Helping Hands

April 25, 2014
Photo Credit: Joshua Meier

Photo Credit: Joshua Meier

With hundreds of activities during the week there are bound to be mix-ups and I walked into one recently. Every other week, a group from St. Andrew’s brings dinner from the School kitchen to the women of Epiphany House, a transitional home for previously homeless women in Wilmington.

I had agreed to pick up the food and deliver it to Epiphany House one day last week when I ran into a problem: the food wasn’t ready. Gary Grose, the lead cook on duty that afternoon, met me with a look of surprise before quietly kicking himself as he walked over to the kitchen’s master calendar to figure out how he had made the mistake. But he hadn’t made the mistake. There was no mention of Epiphany House on the calendar. There would be no food.

I began to weigh my options when Gary sprung into action. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. He moved deliberately around the kitchen, thinking on his feet, grabbing containers and filling them with food. Great leaders need a first follower and Gary had John “Murph” Murphy jump in without hesitation to help.

Within minutes they had conjured up a full meal for 15 people. “I don’t like to let people down,” was all Gary said as he and Murph loaded six large containers into the back of my car. The whole event took less than ten minutes, but as I drove away I couldn’t help but think how selfless and thoughtful they had been.

Gary could have apologized and said he wished he could help and no one would have questioned him. He had no notice and was, after all, in the thick of preparing dinner for 350 people. He didn’t have to do it, but he did it anyway. He certainly didn’t do it for praise or recognition. He simply wanted to make sure that a group of women he didn’t know and who didn’t know him could sit down and eat a meal after a long day of whatever work they were doing to get back on their feet.

To me, it was a shining example of the St. Andrew’s spirit.

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