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Don Gardner is a truly remarkable man. The Englishman wakes up in the morning and his first thoughts are about how he can help others. As he shares in an interview with BBC2, he starts his day by praying: “Please Lord, help me to make a difference to somebody today.” His voice cracks as he says this, demonstrating his deep desire to serve others.
Along with his wife, Jen, Don founded Cornwall’s first independent food bank. The food provides 14,000 meals a month to the 400-500 families using the service. In the interview with Simon Reeve, the Don explains that some families ask for food that doesn’t require cooking, as they don’t have the money to pay for the energy needed to cook it.
The situation is distressing, and is becoming even more dire due to financial losses sustained during the pandemic. Yet, thanks to the help of 74 volunteers, the team is providing much-needed support in the community.
While the interviewer describes the food bank’s efforts as overwhelming and humbling, there’s even more to the story of this truly selfless man …
Don’s wife, Jen, passed away just days before the interview took place. Her funeral was to be the following day. However, Don wanted to share the story with as many people as possible. “I know Jen would want me to tell people … the hurt, the deprivation, the constant worry of ‘where am I going to get next week’s money from,'” he explains.
In his grief, Don still wants to be there for others. He’s also looking to the future, concerned about the additional help people may need during the cold winter months coming. There’s something incredibly touching about Don and his story, so take a few minutes to witness his efforts, and perhaps offer a prayer for this new widower and his late wife.