Category: Client Story

Client Story – Terry

Client Story – Terry

Terry is exuberant and magnetic, impossible to miss during the monthly Food for the Soul Luncheon at Loop Ministries. Taking a break from entertaining a table of friends over a plate of ribs, he relates his life history with this characteristic cheerfulness, his smile a reminder of endurance in the face of hardship.

A Rochester native and the second youngest of eight children, Terry grew up in a family who often struggled to make ends meet. He became a father himself at age 17, and turned to dealing drugs to support his infant son. “I was like a hamster on a wheel,” he says, frantically spinning his hands in pantomime of the chaos of this earlier life, “moving fast, going nowhere.”  But after facing a lengthy prison sentence, he has committed himself to transforming his life, relying on his faith to lead him towards a better future.

Now, at 46, Terry is full of hope and excitement. He has enrolled in a GED program, thankful for the new clothes he’s received through the Ministry’s donation, and he is working hard to support his elderly mother and five year old daughter by raking leaves and doing odd jobs in his neighborhood.

“I believe in miracles,” he says, “God has blessed me. My path is blessed.”

New Guests Grow Loop Community

New Guests Grow Loop Community

As summer draws to a close and temperatures (ever so slowly) begin to drop, food and clothing become all the more important—and Loop Ministries provided generous helpings of both during our Food for the Soul luncheon on September 25th.

As everyone sat down to eat, I had a chance to speak with a young man named Chris, a native Rochesterian and first-time attendee of the monthly luncheon. He describes himself as a very spiritual person, brought up in the Pentecostal tradition and a frequenter of Rochester’s Open Arms Metro Community Church. He has been to Loop’s food pantry in the past and knows our pastor, so that is what led him to the luncheon.

Chris is a barber by trade: he cuts and styles women’s hair. Working in salons has given him the chance to flex his comedic muscle with clients—he likes talking with people and trying to make them laugh. He says he was often nervous in the beginning, but he sees comedy as a way to break down walls between people. Banter with clients has even helped him conquer his own self-esteem issues.

Recently, the last salon at which he worked closed down and moved to North Carolina, so he has been out of work. He hasn’t let that get him down, however, as he always tries to look on the bright side and continues to search for opportunities. We’re happy to have him in the Loop family!

(Pictured with Chris is his guardian mother, Laura, who hails originally from Boston, Massachusetts!)

Loop Ministries, Creating a Caring Commmunity

Loop Ministries, Creating a Caring Commmunity

My name is John and I am from Georgia. In 1976 I moved to Rochester mostly for my family. While in Rochester I have done food service for about 45 years. I have several master degrees, one in culinary arts, one in human resource management, and one in journalism. I took an early retirement in January 15th after 45 years of working.

I really enjoyed food service but after so many years I was ready to retire before I was 65, giving me time to enjoy being young. I used to play tennis but now I am mostly into genealogy work. I have traced my ancestors on my father’s and mother’s side all the way back to 1850. Though there are obstacles in finding the females maiden names, I enjoy doing it. I also do journal writing.

About two years ago I walked by Loop Ministries. As I was passing by, I saw that they were giving food out. After going inside, they also gave out lists of services in Rochester available. Although I do not attend all of the services, I get back so much in return. Every time I come to LOOP the pastor gives me insight for spiritual growth. Every Wednesday once a month they have Food for the Soul, I let the pastor know how much her message helps me.

I would say that I am a very religious person even though I grew up in a strict southern baptist family, I changed my religion to Mormon. I haven’t been involved in the Mormon church due to some serious medical issues, and some conflicts with
other members as a black person being a member of the Mormon church at that time. I am making plans to get back into church.

The main reason I come to Loop Ministries though is because of the pastor. I get spiritual insight and spiritual growth. She always says something to help me look at the things I am not doing so I can look at the things I need to do and that helps me. I come here and enjoy the Food for the Soul meal once a month but I get more of a spiritual return.

As far as my life goes, I keep hearing messages of getting my life back the way it was before. That’s why I come here, just to hear the pastor and gain spiritual growth.

Grateful Guest Gives Back

Grateful Guest Gives Back

On January 23rd, Loop Ministries once again hosted our monthly Food for the Soul Luncheon. Guests were welcomed with adorable snowman centerpieces (made by team of helpers from Lifetime Assistance and our volunteer coordinator, Doris Gaspar) and shared a delicious meal of chicken and vegetables (prepared in advance by chef Mike Otto and served by Carol Thielman and the team). Generous portions of blueberry coffee cake were enjoyed for dessert.

This month’s featured guest is a woman named “Jazzy”. Jazzy is originally from Guam and was flown to the University of Rochester Medical Center from her home for cancer treatment twenty years ago. She survived several different types of cancer and remained in Rochester following her treatment.

Jazzy has two children who live in Atlanta with their aunt. After careful consideration, she made the difficult and unselfish decision to send her children to Atlanta because she was concerned that they would become involved in gang activity if they remained in Rochester. She is excited for her son to get his driver’s license and looks forward to an upcoming visit from him.

Jazzy is very appreciative of all that Loop does, and is especially happy that she is able to get such a generous bag of groceries from the Food Pantry at every Food for the Soul luncheon. She loves coming every month, and will be giving back to Loop and the luncheon community next month by helping the meal team cook and serve food. We’re grateful for her participation in the Loop family, and for her eagerness to help!