For many people, just getting out of bed on Monday morning and getting to work on time is a feat. Waking up any earlier is unthinkable. But Mark Swanberg of Tupelo is up well before the sun every Monday. And he heads not to work, but to volunteer.
As a shift leader at Saints' Brew, Mark oversees a smooth operation where volunteers prepare and serve a hot breakfast to anyone who wants to eat. Prior to opening the doors to guests, the volunteers set out cereal and fruit, bowls, jelly, spoons, napkins, coffee mugs, sugar and creamer, and pitchers of water and milk, in addition to cooking the meal, folding the dishtowels that were washed overnight, and preparing the serving line.
Four years ago when Mark began as a shift leader, he headed up both Monday's and Wednesday's breakfasts. However, in 2018, Mark became extremely ill, and for more than a year, he battled not just for his health, but for his life. Much of that time was spent in a hospital in Nashville. But in January of this year, Mark came home to Tupelo. He gave himself a week to recuperate before returning to Saints' Brew to once again coordinate the Monday breakfast routine. When his fellow volunteers call him a walking miracle, he shrugs and says, "No, I'm just supposed to be here."
Besides coordinating the breakfast shift, he places the weekly and monthly orders of food that, combined with what is donated, feeds 80-100 people every weekday. As these guests pass through the serving line, Mark greets them, calling many of them by name. Their stories move him. Their needs motivate him. Their thanks make him smile. Though he considers himself "just a wild and crazy guy," he is more. So much more. And the folks at Saints' Brew are so glad to have him back.
Thank you, Mark, for your kind heart and your drive that continues to make Saints' Brew a success!
Tupelo's largest serve day, 10 for Tupelo, will be held on March 21. It's a day set aside to beautify the community, learn about nonprofits and other volunteer opportunities, and have fun! For more information and to sign up, click here.
Dog walkers are needed at the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter. Volunteers can choose their hours. Click here for more information.
The 2020 Oxford Film Festival needs volunteers March 15-22 for a variety of jobs. Volunteers are rewarded with VIP passes and t-shirts. Click here for details.
If you've ever wanted to be a part of the wish-granting team of Make-A-Wish Mid-South, plan to attend their training session in Corinth on
April 5. Click here for more information.
Go to our online volunteer hub to see even more volunteer opportunities!
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