Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mary DeLazzer, Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread

Today I am featuring an article from The Bradenton Herald. It is about Mary DeLazzer, the woman behind Our Daily Bread.

I served on the board of Our Daily Bread for 3 years. I knew Mary personally. She worked, for very little pay, to feed the hungry at the soup kitchen, Our Daily Bread. I admire her for her selflessly giving of herself. She did not want accolades. She did not want attention. She just wanted to feed the hungry, to do God's work. She stretched every dollar and donation to feed as many people as she could. She was a force to be reckoned with. Everyone knew her mission.

I am sorry that she was taken from all of us. I am sorry for all the people that she served and for our community. Her life was taken by a young illegal alien drunk driver. How incredibly tragic. I will never understand how God can let this happen except that God needs Mary in heaven. It is nice to think that all the people that Mary will meet in heaven that will thank her for her good work on earth.

Here is the article:

Angel’ departs Bradenton’s soup kitchen
“She is my angel.”

Dr. Sunita Sharan was talking about Mary DeLazzer.
It was last Sunday morning at Our Daily Bread.

Mary DeLazzer, director of Our Daily Bread, feeds those in need of a meal. DeLazzer, 77, was killed in a car crash Friday. Both women were standing in DeLazzer’s kitchen, her home away from home, surrounded by boiling pots and sparkling utensils.
Sharan in her flowing traditional dress.
DeLazzer in her apron.
A lasting image.
Early the morning after Thanksgiving, the angel of the Bradenton soup kitchen on 14th Street West was gone.
DeLazzer, 77, was killed by an allegedly drunk driver on State Road 70 and 30th Street East.
How tragic.
How senseless.
How unspeakably sad.
Word of her death hit like a sudden thunderclap.
Please, God. Not Mary DeLazzer.
Why her?
If there was one person who symbolized our community’s encompassing spirit of caring and sharing, it was this woman.
Not just at Thanksgiving and the Christmas season.
Every day.
There is a devoted network of churches and devoted volunteers who support Our Daily Bread and its mission.
Yet DeLazzer was its heart and soul.
Somehow she always managed to make do, feeding an increasing number of needy despite dwindling donations and food supplies caused by the struggling economy.
As one mourner put it, what DeLazzer accomplished was like a modern version of the miracle of Christ and the loaves and fishes.
An angel, indeed.
Ask the downtrodden for whom Our Daily Bread was a safe haven.
They got tough love from DeLazzer along with their hot meals, but they knew her heart was filled with tender love for them, too.
The homeless may be faceless to the rest of us, but not to the beloved kitchen director and her dedicated staff.
Why else would this woman rise early every day for the last 19 years to feed them.
To do God’s work.
Dr. Sharan saw that.
A giving woman in her own right, the physician and the Florida Association of Physicians of Indian Origin wanted to sponsor a Thanksgiving meal at Our Daily Bread.
They had never done it in Bradenton before.
It was DeLazzer who pulled it together, arranging for 275 to partake of FAPI’s generosity.
And she was the one who prepared the feast.
What a picture they were that Sunday morning in DeLazzer’s kitchen.
“She is my angel,” the doctor said.
The angel is gone.
Bradenton’s poor are poorer for it.
So are we all.

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