Our Affiliate Honors Martin Luther King

The following article about our Fayetteville, NC, affiliate appeared today on FayObserver.com:

Devotional breakfast at Operation Inasmuch echoes King’s hope

Kim Hasty

The breakfast devotion was a special one Friday morning at [the Fayetteville-Area] Operation Inasmuch down on Hillsboro Street. At the round tables, those who are hungry are served pancakes, eggs, bacon and hot coffee – along with hugs and words of encouragement – by volunteers from local churches and other organizations.

Friday morning, they were offered an extra helping of encouragement as they listened to director Sue Byrd, who recalled the hope and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“We talked about doing something good today when you walk through the streets of Fayetteville,” Byrd said. “We talked about what a man of peace he was.”

She was talking to a group of folks who are experiencing the harshest of life’s hardships. Many are homeless, facing the cold nights of winter without adequate shelter.

“But his words take hold in their heart and it shows in some of the choices they’ve started to make,” she said. “Anybody who shows them a better way is someone we should honor. It reminds them of who they are and that they are a part of the dream of someone who went before them.”

The folks at [the Fayetteville-Area] Operation Inasmuch are taking a rare day off today, but they’ll be back in earnest planning for the Feb. 24 Bread ‘n Bowls fundraiser that benefits their mission.

The annual event, held at Hay Street United Methodist Church, offers Brunswick stew for lunch and supper. The stew is served in either a bread bowl, for $10, or a handmade pottery bowl for $20. It includes a drink and dessert. Proceeds go to [the Fayetteville-Area] Operation Inasmuch.

This year, the event includes a twist.

Greg Hathaway, a local artist who has crafted hundreds of pottery bowls for the event, offered to teach members of the Operation Inasmuch homeless family to paint bowls themselves.

One morning last month, just after breakfast, he set up his supplies and brought in earthenware bowls he had made.

“It was as quiet as a church in there,” said Hathaway, who volunteers for the breakfast shift most mornings. “They don’t have many creative outlets. Usually, they come in and eat and leave. It was kind of fun.”

So it is that 28 of the bowls that will be offered at Bread ‘n Bowls were painted that morning at Operation Inasmuch.

The others? Hathway is steadily working on those at the rate of about 30 or 40 each day. He plans to donate about 500 this year.

So it is that today is a holiday at Operation Inasmuch.

But those who work and volunteer and dine at Operation Inasmuch did not take the day off without first paying homage to the man who had a dream for us all.
“He had the dream of all of us living peacefully together and he didn’t care whether you were black, white or Hispanic,” Byrd said. “That’s truly someone we should honor.”

06:44 AM, Mon Jan 16, 2012 FayOberver.com
Community news editor Kim Hasty can be reached at hastyk@fayobserver.com or 486-3591.

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