Hero Worship



Today was one of my favorite days.  Not the whole day, since we had a second snow day, but the evening.  It was the Food Bank’s Hunt Morgridge Award and night of Appreciation.  Every year the Food Bank thanks our top donors and volunteers and honors one individual who has exemplary service over many years to the organization.


I got to be the master of ceremonies, a job I love to do and this year it meant even more to me because the Hunt Morgridge winner was Haywood Holderness, a person I hold dear in my heart.  See Haywood was my pastor for ten years until he retired and it was Haywood who first got me involved in the Food Bank.

I was not part of the committee who picked the award winner, but when I heard they had chosen Haywood it was one of those moments that made my heart happy.  Haywood not only was the board chair for three years, created the Breaking Bread capital campaign that raised $6 million dollars, opened both the Durham and Greenville branches, but he spread the feeling that we can and should do something to help people in need of the most basic thing in life, food.


It was thrilling to see so many wonderful people come out to the new Durham Branch to honor Haywood.  We had a standing room only crowd and as I looked out over the sea of faces listening to the stories we told about how Haywood would ask people to donate to help those in need I saw many nodding heads and smiling faces of those people he helped “see the light” that people could get much joy from giving generously.  Haywood is the one who taught me that and I try to work everyday to spread the message that hoarding brings heartache and giving euphoria.


Tomorrow I get another fun opportunity to accept a big check on the ice at half time of the Hurricanes game.  So if you are going to the hockey game Friday night look for me in the middle of the ice, no skates, just a big smile and a word of thanks for the generosity of the Kids and Community Foundation of the Carolina Hurricanes for the $150,000 they are giving us.


These kinds of events make my job as the chair of the Food Bank board exciting, but nothing like the feeling I get when a child who we feed writes a note on a paper plate thanking us for the “real pear.”  I know Haywood would agree that is what all the work is really all about.

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