I received a request to supply centerpieces for the 20th year Celebration Banquet and fund raising benefit at the Eden Resort for The Gathering Place. It was my privilege to be involved in such a wonderful evening. Close to 300 generous people attended. Those that have supported them for 20 years, and some that were finding out for the first time about this place of hope and help.
Bob and Melanie Lewis have been in Lancaster city off of East King street where the one-way alleys are a bit uncomfortable for most of us suburbanites. That is where they lovingly welcome the homeless and helpless souls infected with HIV that come to their door countless times a day. There is food for emergencies, someone to drive the sick to the doctor or hospital, a place for their children to feel safe and loved; where they'll find a warm coat or blanket, and toys and good videos to watch while their mommies and daddies get the help they need. Many nights they are wakened by a phone call with a cry for them to hold the hand of someone taking their final breath, then often conducting the funerals of those that lost their fight with AIDS. They do as much as they can for elderly parents, children, and grandchildren that are affected by the disease. They make sure the children have Christmas presents and a turkey for dinner. They aren't afraid of touching, hugging or praying for them. Melanie and Bob have a gentle way of comforting and giving hope to those who just need someone to listen to their heartaches.
Have you ever heard about them? Probably not, unless you have needed them. If you find it in your heart to make a difference ...dare to drive down the narrow street in the city to 440 Pershing Ave. This is who you will greet you at the door......
The most loving people in the world will show you lots of ways you can help right here in our own wonderful city.
Here's to at least another 20 years of making a big difference. We love you Bob and Mel, thanks for all you do.