Monday, February 7, 2011


Dear SoupFriends,

Greetings from the SoupMan!

Last week was very difficult for many Dallasites and even harder on the homeless. On Tuesday a major cold front came in along with freezing rain and snow. Literally overnight streets and highways were turned into a quagmire of ice and slush. Many businesses and non-profit charities quickly shut down for the entire week. Somehow the SoupMobile managed to stay open. It wasn't easy but we kept our services to the homeless flowing. Our motto is WE NEVER CLOSE!

It's not that we are better than anyone else. WE ARE NOT! It's more that we believe that when the weather turns bad it's even more crucial that we continue to feed, shelter and provide warm clothing to our homeless men and women in the Dallas area. The more fierce the weather the more difficult it is for the homeless to survive. Imagine living in a cardboard box under a bridge with wind chills hovering close to zero and no help in sight. Compounding their plight is that many homeless service providers did close down for the week making life even more difficult for the homeless.

When the harsh weather hit on Tuesday morning one of our supporters asked me (with great skepticism) if we were going to feed the homeless that day. My response was "I guarantee that we will feed today AND throughout the entire week." He followed up by saying the roads may be impassible and our mobile feeding vans may not be able to get to the homeless. I answered and said we would carry the food in on dog sleds if necessary. He laughed at what he thought was the absurdity of my statement. I wasn't kidding. The SoupMobile was going to do what ever it took to keep feeding and helping the homeless. Failure is NOT an option! The ones that Jesus called the “least of these” desperately needed hot food, blankets and warm clothing and the SoupMobile was committed to making sure they got it.

How did we do it? Well the key word is “WE”. It was a total team effort. We did NOT require or ask any of our staff to come in last week. The roads were in terrible shape and we were of course concerned for everyone's safety. However my core staff came in anyway. I did not ask them to come in, nor did I even hint that they should come in. They came in on their own. One by one they showed up every day. Sometimes it took hours for them to make the commute as they drove their vehicles at less than 20 miles per hour to stay safe on their journey. Some came by bus and that in itself was quite an ordeal as the bus lines ran quite sporadically. One of my staff took the bus on Wednesday but could get no closer than 3 miles from our headquarters. He walked the rest of the way. Failure was NOT an option for him!

On Thursday the SoupMobile did double duty. With bitter cold temperatures and icy road conditions, a major apartment fire hit a complex on Melody Lane. The SoupMobile called a Code Blue Alert and sent a team to partner with the Red Cross in distributing hot food, blankets, warm clothes and lots of love to the residents who were displaced by the fire. And even though we were stretched doubly thin that day with our normal feeding operation and helping the fire victims, not one of my staff complained, said this
was unfair, or that this was too much. They simply rose to the occasion and got the job done. Failure was NOT an option!

At the SoupMobile my title may be Executive Director, but I don't have to lead my people. They lead themselves! I consider it a privilege to work shoulder to shoulder with them in “Feeding HIS Sheep.” You know you have a great staff when you don't have to tell them what to do---they do it all on their own. At the SoupMobile my people don't consider what they do as a job---they consider it to be their passion. And when it is your passion you find ways to get the job done---even when half the State of Texas is shut down!

I want to give special thanks to Doug & Jenine Guffey of Sleep Inc of Corsicana, Texas. On Tuesday morning, with the ice storm hitting hard, they sent a semi-truckload of blankets to the SoupMobile. How their driver got through to us was a miracle in itself. Those blankets turned out to be a life saver for hundreds of homeless men and women.

Of course we give the ultimate thanks to the Lord. He kept the entire SoupMobile staff safe all week. Not one car accident, not one vehicle breakdown, not one slip and fall on the ice and not one injury. God knew that WE NEVER CLOSE and he made sure we stayed safe during one of the most dangerous winter weather storms we have had in years. My grateful thanks to all my friends and supporters who were praying for us all week long. God heard your prayers and he kept us safe. Praise the Lord!

May the Lord Bless & Keep You All.

Signed, David Timothy, a.k.a. The SoupMan

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