February 17, 2011 – Mercy Hall: “Charity?”

“I don’t want charity,” he said to me.
“Charity?” I never really thought of it that way.

He had his reasons and although he didn’t go into great detail, I respect them.  One never knows where other’s paths have taken them…

Charity = Kindness.

Charity = Compassion.

Charity = Goodwill.

Charity also = hand outs, assistance, aid.

I wonder if somewhere along the line, he was taken advantage of by someone offering help under the auspices of  “charity”.

I wish I had thought to say,

“Please accept our luncheon as a gift, a “Thank You for Your Service” from many, many people across this country who are grateful for your service to this country.”

That’s how I see our luncheons, as a “thank you”.  His words caused me to have a “light bulb moment”… I need to rethink some things.

He left laughing, we were friends, and although he says he won’t be there in April, we’ll keep an eye out for him just in case.

There are no strings attached to our luncheons or the things we pass out to the troops or families during our visits.  The gifts that enable us to host the luncheons come from people who ask for nothing in return.  Many of them wish to remain anonymous.  They prefer to give quietly and do not wish to receive any accolades for being benevolent.  They are giving from their heart.

Those who want to give to the troops through us and want pictures and/or names of the troops in return, or do it for self-promotion – sorry.  Marine Moms-Bethesda does not do that.  You will have to find someone else to accommodate you.


The email began:

“Aloha, Jane,
      Greetings from a cloudy Kauai!”

red white and blue quiltA Navy Mom from Hawaii was “volunteered” by her Sailor to send a quilt for us to give to a Warrior.  The quilt was given to a Marine who had been stationed in Hawaii.
Thank you, Kauai Quilt Guild and Melissa for the beautiful quilt!


Katie and Bob setting up the buffetKatie is learning the ropes and will be coordinating some of the Mercy Hall luncheons this year.  She did a wonderful job involving February’s luncheon crew with the planning and getting the information out to everyone.  She also came up with some new ideas that we will be implementing behind the scenes to make the beforehand prep go a little more smoothly for everyone.


playing poolat Mercy Hall






A meeting for the Marines to learn about new benefits was going on when we arrived.  We had lots of help unloading the cars.  After the meeting some of the guys played pool while they waited for us to finish setting things up.

Jess set up her massage chair and was busy the whole time.
Bob kept the smoothies going and Grace served.

We had a few names to look for and after we finished setting up, Katie went over to 5 East to give them a quilt and pillowcases from Bayside Quilters, pantry bags, and notes. She also invited the families she ran into to come over for lunch.  Four of the families took her up on the invitation.

roasted vegetables

I can still smell the roasted vegetables and fresh green beans!




The salad disappeared.salad and crockpots







Beef stew and cheesy chicken mac and cheese casserole were the main dishes.


Too many desserts!  I can’t help it!  I have it in my head to fatten the guys up and they have it in their heads to chocolate chip cookiesget back in shape!  They always win!

Thank you to Kelly and Casey from Homestead Gardens for the cookies! They were a hit!

Today’s luncheon crew:
Katie, Jess, Grace, Bob and Jane.
Thank you! Job WELL done!

Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.

Love and Hugs,