Thursday, April 17, 2014
This entry was written by volunteer Scott Dannemiller, who blogs at The Accidental Missionary. He wrote this reflection a few years ago after participating in our foot clinic. We are re-posting it on this Maundy Thursday, a day when we remember love expressed through the washing of feet.
Monday, April 14, 2014
As we transition into spring, our need has changed from coats and warm items to items that can help make a home for someone.
At Room In The Inn we want to provide hospitality, so every individual who moves into permanent housing receives a welcome home basket filled with necessities to start a home. We want to extend an invitation to our supporters to help us say "Welcome Home" to those moving into housing.
You can donate a complete Welcome Home Basket or contribute by donating a few items. It's a great project for youth groups, classes, or your group of friends.
Here's a list of items that can help welcome someone home:
- Laundry Basket
- Full/Double Sheets and Blanket
- Shower Curtain and hooks
- Pots and Pans
- Silverware and Kitchen Utensils
- Bath Towels and Dish Towels
- Paper Towels and Toilet Paper
- Trash Can and Trash Bags (13 gallon)
- Broom and Dust Pan
- Cleaning Supplies
- Dinner Ware (plates, bowls, cups, glasses for 4)
- Kroger gift card
- Be Creative!
Let's join together to provide hospitality and welcome these individuals home. If you would like to learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615.251.9791 Ext. 105
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
by Charles Strobel
Room In The Inn Founding Director
Recently, several issues around workers’ rights have captured media headlines.
Two local demonstrations, one regarding Publix stores, the other McDonald’s fast-food workers, had dozens of farm workers and employees standing in protest outside both establishments. At the same time, increasing minimum-wage legislation is gaining more state and national attention, and the recent union fight at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant is another example of the constant assault on “collective bargaining” around our nation.
All these efforts are not surprising or new. They are rooted in a centuries-old struggle.
If we go back 150 years, just as the Industrial Revolution was beginning, there were no “rights” for the ordinary worker. Millions of coal miners, railroad workers, factory workers and steel workers labored long hours in unsafe working conditions with little pay. Children were a part of that labor force. Horror stories abound of oppressive conditions with no relief in sight. Gradually, grievances began to rise up out of the poorest among them, and the labor movement began.
Think back 100 years and consider a world of labor without child labor laws, health and safety standards, workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, a 40-hour week, a minimum wage, health insurance, retirement benefits, paid vacations and the right to organize into unions. There was none of these 100 years ago.
We are riding on the waves of the success of a labor revolution that had thousands of poor people die for these rights and privileges. And history shows that all the industrial barons — who today are our philanthropic heroes — did not give those benefits freely and generously. They were mandated by government or the pressures of a violent labor movement.
Today these rights that were fought for and defended by an earlier workforce are seen as benefits and privileges that every good company wants to provide freely, without unions, to maintain worker morale and keep attrition rates low. Many employers believe that these benefits contribute to better customer service and job performance. And doesn’t it make sense that they would increase quality workmanship? These benefits are a form of “profit sharing” to workers, a way that owners can reward workers for helping their companies achieve success. And it removes the stigma of slave labor that still exists in our country and other parts of our world in sweatshops and migrant fields.
Of course, the costs for such benefits have increased, and this remains the basis for attacking “collective bargaining.” These costs can be a legitimate “pushback” from management at the negotiating table, but what seems more serious is the desire to deny the right to collective bargaining itself.
I believe this struggle for worker rights — now ironically central to the revolutions in the Middle East — is another beacon for the world to emulate when it looks to our American experiment in democratic governance. We are indebted to several generations of workers more than 100 years ago for fighting and dying to secure these rights. Without their sacrifice, we would still be slaves to a laissez-faire economy depending on its own self-correcting market forces that history shows never has trickled down voluntarily for the worker.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
April 2 marks National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, and I’m sure everyone holds a fond memory of this childhood classic. For me it reminds me of summer pool days. To this day I still crave a PB&J sandwich when I’m at the pool.
In 2002 a survey revealed that the average PB&J loving American eats 1,500 sandwiches before graduating high school! No wonder this sandwich gets its own day.
At Room In The Inn, this sandwich holds a special place in our heart because, for us, it all started with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
28 years ago our founding director, Charles Strobel, then a priest in East Nashville, began offering hospitality in his own way by providing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to those in need.
That hospitable act grew into him welcoming those sleeping in the church parking lot and on the steps of his parish in for the night. In December 1987, four congregations committed to welcoming those who were homeless into their congregation for shelter.
Today we have more than 175 congregations, representing many faith traditions, engaging in this ministry inspired by God’s love. During the winter nights, they provide hospitality and hope to men, women, and children in Middle Tennessee.
So let’s raise a sandwich to today, and honor the hospitality that all started with this simple sandwich.
Want to celebrate PB&J day on your own? You can go traditional or check out our Pinterest for some unique PB&J recipes!