HOLIDAY HEROES: HUNGERING TO GIVE
by ANTHONY GENTILE
Published - 12/21/10 - 01:15 PM | 10266 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Glyn Franks, right, works tirelessly each week to lead a team of volunteers, like Raquel Mills, left, with the Second Chances Bread of Life to feed the less fortunate in Ocean Beach. The organization held another food distribution Saturday at First Baptist Church to help the hungry as the holidays approach, with an all-out feast planned for Christmas Day.            PHOTO BY JIM GRANT / THE BEACON
Glyn Franks, right, works tirelessly each week to lead a team of volunteers, like Raquel Mills, left, with the Second Chances Bread of Life to feed the less fortunate in Ocean Beach. The organization held another food distribution Saturday at First Baptist Church to help the hungry as the holidays approach, with an all-out feast planned for Christmas Day. PHOTO BY JIM GRANT / THE BEACON
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Tony Severino, 93, has lived in OB since 1954 and had served in the Marine Corps for six years. Severino has been taking advantage of the OB food distribution for about six to eight years, he said.   PHOTO BY JIM GRANT / THE BEACON
Tony Severino, 93, has lived in OB since 1954 and had served in the Marine Corps for six years. Severino has been taking advantage of the OB food distribution for about six to eight years, he said. PHOTO BY JIM GRANT / THE BEACON
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“We’re a faith-based organization and it seemed kind of ironic to me to celebrate the birth of Christ and leave the least fortunate people in our community out of the ceremony. It seemed like a perfectly natural thing to celebrate Christmas by having a breakfast for those that don’t have breakfasts or a family to go to.” — GLYN FRANKS, COORDINATOR, SECOND CHANCES BREAD OF LIFE

OCEAN BEACH — When it comes to giving, Second Chances Bread of Life’s generosity extends beyond the holiday season. The nonprofit, headed by Glyn Franks, has served up weekly meals to the Peninsula’s less fortunate for the last 14 years —including welcome feasts on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

“These meals are first and foremost for those in need, but it is extremely important to provide people an opportunity to come and serve and just share that peace and joy that they have with others,” Franks said.

This Christmas, Franks doesn’t have a wish list. Instead, he said he is hoping everyone will share goodwill with one another to celebrate the holidays. Putting others before himself, he and members of his organization will serve pancakes and chili at 8 a.m. Christmas morning at First Baptist Church in Ocean Beach.

“I’m trying to condense everything I own in the world down to a small duffle bag. We keep accumulating so many things that it just weighs us down. We all know that, and we repeat it,” Franks said.

Second Chances Bread of Life has hosted an annual pancake breakfast for the last five years. The event has been held on Christmas Day during the last three years.

“We’re a faith-based organization and it seemed kind of ironic to me to celebrate the birth of Christ and leave the least fortunate people in our community out of the ceremony,” Franks said. “It seemed like a perfectly natural thing to celebrate Christmas by having a breakfast for those that don’t have breakfasts or a family to go to.”

The local organization hosts an annual Thanksgiving Dinner in Ocean Beach, which served turkey and all the fixings to nearly 500 needy locals last month. It also hosts weekly feedings every Saturday morning at First Baptist Church and The Orchard, a senior living community in Point Loma.

“What makes it work continuously is everybody focusing on it and donating to it with their time and talent and treasure,” Franks said. “I’m always pleasantly surprised to see who shows up every week and everybody is very faithful about it.”

Franks received the calling to begin working for peace in the 1970s and has followed that path ever since. In the ’80s, he found himself drawn to prison ministry and fellowship, a track that eventually led to giving back in his own community.

“I’m convinced if a man follows his passion, he never works a day in his life,” Franks said.

Over the years, Second Chances Bread of Life has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds of food within Point Loma and Ocean Beach. Despite the hefty numbers, Franks said he does not consider the organization’s charitable activity a burden.

“It sounds like we’re doing a lot, but it’s really easy,” Franks said. “The volunteers do all the work, the churches provide the space and Feeding America and San Diego Food Bank provide food. The system has gotten to where it’s a very simple thing.”

While reluctant to receive recognition for his selflessness and compassionate outreach behind the scenes, Franks is quick to hand out praise. He expressed sincere appreciation to the core of current volunteers and the thousands of others who have helped Second Chances Bread of Life through the years.

“There is not enough to be said about them extolling their virtues,” Franks said.

The same can be said for Franks.

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