Likai: “We must take care of the common people, the poor and needy.”

Likai at his office campus in Cambridge, MA

Likai, a supporter, eagerly shares some thoughts about what St. Francis House means to him. 

About 8 years ago, I was helping with some office chores at my church while a staff member referred a homeless person to St. Francis House as their soup kitchen program had been discontinued some years ago due to understaffing.

It was at that point I first checked out St. Francis House’s services, and after that it took me about a year to get more involved. Before I answer regarding the “what” is important about St. Francis House, I’d like to share the “why”.

My giving has everything to do with my Christian faith – in particular, a passage from Leviticus that reads, “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner.”  The gist is that Israelites were enslaved in Egypt as foreigners, and upon entering the Promised Land God is reminding them of their journey, the grace they have received from God, and asking them to give back.

What speaks to me most about St. Francis House’s work are the basic services of food and clothing.  We must take care of the common people, the poor and needy.

Interestingly, when I was serving lunch, I recognized a friend who used to attend my church.  We had a quick exchange when I handed him his meal but there wasn’t much time for a conversation because the line was moving and I didn’t see him around afterwards.  It occurred to me for the first time that he was either homeless or a member of what we call “the working poor”, or just struggling and I hadn’t known.  It’s a beautiful thing, when all the food is put out and people of all backgrounds are sharing together.

I work for a technology company in Cambridge and have organized two volunteer events as a way to introduce the company  to the work of St. Francis House.

I enjoyed the experience, as did my colleagues who supported the front-lines areas of food service and providing individual clothing appointments with guests.  I’ve done both and found myself especially good at folding T-shirts in the clothing department!

I’m just trying to keep true to my faith and give back.

I came to St. Francis House because of my faith journey following Jesus, which led me to the great cause of Father Louis Canino [founder of St. Francis House].  For the rest of us, it’s about being attentive to our own missions and finding something meaningful to us.  I consider it an honor to be invited to share my experience and be profiled.  Thank you!

-Likai Liu, St. Francis House supporter