In Order to Help, Sometimes We Need a Little Help

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December 7, 2017 By: JT Pinther Category: SHH News

“My dad helped a lot of people,” Donald said. When he sat down, he seemed calm, maybe a little quiet, but we wouldn’t have guessed what he was about to tell us next: his father had just passed away the night before. He was at a table with us, opening up to us with ease. He was at the food shelf today to pick up some food for a family gathering to help honor his dad. Donald said the news of his father hadn’t hit him entirely yet, but he was of course on his mind.

The food shelf is at the Division of Indian Work, located on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Donald said he’d been at this food shelf before, and there’s another in the neighborhood he visits from time to time. He’s single, but in some ways, Donald explained, he’s not just cooking for one. “In our culture, people come over, and you always offer them food,” Donald said. “I always make sure they are fed, no matter who comes in the door.”

Regardless of how hard it is to make ends meet with a very limited budget, being able to provide for others is something he prioritizes. “I help people around the neighborhood, and I try to make people laugh,” Donald said.

Especially now, he feels a duty to take after his late father. “They’re hard shoes to fill,” Donald said. We could tell he was feeling a little tired, likely after a long night with the news of his father. “But it’s my turn—I have to step into his shoes.”

In order to help others, sometimes we need a little help ourselves. “I’m thankful we have places like this,” he said, nodding his head to the food shelf down the hall. “It helps when times are tough.”


Selflessness is something we see all the time in people we meet at our food shelf and meal program partners, and many of them give to others before they will give to themselves. And the holidays place a unique burden on struggling families, who are trying to pay the bills and still have something left over for celebration and giving. A gift from you will change the holidays for some of our hungry neighbors, because food changes everything. Get involved today!


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