Executive Director March Post

This past weekend I saw a wonderful documentary, “The Starfish Throwers” at the Cleveland International Film Festival. The film told the story of three inspirational people who are fighting hard to end hunger in their corner of the world. The title of the film comes from the popular story of the old man who sees a young girl on a beach and she is throwing starfish that have washed up on shore back into the ocean. When he comments on the futility of her efforts she responds that she may not be able to save every starfish on the beach but she is making a difference to this one as she places it back in the ocean. The next morning the elderly gentleman brings several of his friends and they spend the day throwing starfish back in the ocean.

Allen Law is a retired school teacher who delivers 1,000 sandwiches every night to the hungry and homeless in Minneapolis. Narayanan Krishnan is a five- star chef in India who cooks and hand delivers fresh meals to hundreds of people, 365 days a year—all while bringing great shame onto his high-caste-born family. As a nine year old, Katie Stagliano planted a cabbage seedling which grew into a forty pound cabbage that served 240 people at a community meal. This inspired Katie to plant many gardens and use the produce to cook healthy meals for the hungry in her South Carolina community.

All three of these amazing individuals received many accolades for their efforts yet they were also confronted by people who ridiculed their efforts. Maybe Allen, Narayanan, and Katie won’t end hunger in their community but they do change lives by giving respect and hope to those who have none. In addition, their impact goes far beyond providing a meal as they have inspired others in their community to get involved. See http://www.starfishthrowers.com for more information on this wonderful film.

I am surrounded and inspired by Starfish Throwers at the West Side Catholic Center. Every volunteer, staff member and donor does their part to provide “food, clothing, shelter and advocacy and a path to self-sufficiency” to all of our clients. Most importantly, we do it with love and respect in an effort to give hope to the hopeless.

 Thank you for being a Starfish Thrower!

The Friends of the West Side Catholic Center had another successful event on March 9. Over 450 women (and a few men) gathered to shop the boutique, purchase baskets, bid on silent auction items, buy chinese raffle tickets, and enjoy a lovely lunch at La Centre to support the Women and Children’s Shelter. This dedicated group of volunteers led by Evelyn Allen and her team of Karen Kaczka, Irene Matlak, Lin Matus, Sharon Scrivens, and Elaine Stephens continue to do so much for the Shelter. Words cannot adequately express our gratitude. Thank you!

As always, thank you for reading,

Anita Cook