Since the inception of this website (October 2008), many emails and comments have been sent from volunteers, friends, donors and guests regarding The Abundant Table, Inc. services. Below are a handful of quotations from our friends.

The food here [Abundant Table] is excellent. The people are very, very nice and sociable…and I like it here [Abundant Table]. – B

I am an individual who was previously well off and has suffered devastating financial and personal losses in life. I have gone from a “person of status” to a person in need. My home is gone, my BMW is gone, I live on whatever support I can get. I never thought I would be in need, however, THANK GOD for the wonderful people at the Abundant Table. Workers know my name; I am always treated with dignity and respect. Each and every visit is uplifting to my spirit which sometimes becomes hopeless with my circumstances. I truly thank God for the people like you and specifically Aislyn who had the vision to become a beacon of life in a world of darkness. May I always remember to be of such spirit as you……I will be there for the next meal and fellowship! L.N

Written by Anaele C Amaechi
Date: September 8, 2009

There is this place, in a small up town
There you will see Gods work come on down
They meet there once a week
Come on in and take a peek
What you take from there you get to keep
They say the divine dwells in peculiar places
There you will see different faces
At Abundant table you will find the able caring for the disabled
Caring for those who are unable
Some say they are angels, like those in the bible
None of them like mother Theresa holds any special title
They are led by a lady with silver hair,
Teaching us how to love, how to share
They say her name means beautiful one
Doing the work of God in the house of his Son
Those who come, come to get a free meal
Served by those who are real, that to me is a big deal
They come to see the testimony of love
Which we all know comes from above
Discovering our destiny is about finding out what is wanted of me?
It’s up to you to find the key
At Abundant Table, they are planting Gods seeds
Feeding those who are in need
Service to others is the rent you pay here on earth
We were all thought that from our birth
Linda, you and your daughter and friends have answered the call of duty
Bringing us together in a place of unity
You all have come to know the simple truths and embraced the inner vision
Knowing that’s Gods mission
Embracing it with gentleness
Expressing it with love and tenderness
Each of us has a gift
All we need is a lift
Our task is to cultivate it and give it meaning
We ask him to show us the way when we all are kneeling
I pray that heaven bestows his blessings in this place
Bestows his blessing with his divine grace.

I became involved with the Abundant Table a couple of years ago. I am a member of the Knights of Columbus in Dedham and we were looking for a place where we could serve a meal once a month on a regular basis. Previously we were involved in a number of other efforts but we did not feel valued or invested. We were a bag on the side to be used as needed rather than an integral part of a plan. I asked Linda and Aislynn if the Knights could help and we were greeted very enthusiastically. We have provided the meal once a month since that time. The Knights have previously been involved in several feeding programs but we didn’t see anything like this before. The guests were really treated like valued guests rather than someone down on their luck getting a handout. They were treated like family when they walked in many addressed by name. We were very impressed with the organization that Linda and Aislynn created. It was clear they knew what they were doing. What really impressed us was that when The Abundant Table moved their venue to the First Congregational Church in Norwood, there was barely a beat that was missed. That truly shows the value of this organization. If anything, it improved. Shortly after starting the Knights monthly program, I also got involved in the Abundant Table by doing the bakery pickup at Costco every week and every week is the same story, so I know it’s not just a once a month phenomenon. Many of the volunteers have been around for several years and there is a strong sense of common purpose so mopping the floor or washing pots and pans is not beneath anybody there. The volunteers are there for one purpose to welcome the guests with love, compassion, and a sign of Gods love in every word spoken. The guests can easily see this which is of course why they keep coming back. There may be other feeding programs but nothing to match the Abundant Table.  It’s not the food that makes it special but the way the people are treated and cared for. -BK

My words can never express my feelings of thanks and gratitude for all you have done to help. I refer to you as “my angels” because that is what each of you are. Helping out with food and clothing for me to be able to start my new job. I can never thank you enough. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers every day for your warmth, kindness and generosity towards me. It is overwhelming. You are all very special women and I am grateful God brought “my angels” into my life. God Bless You. -AM

It’s [Abundant Table volunteering] a great chance to help people out who are less fortunate than I am, and I love to come here [Abundant Table], help out and volunteer. The people I volunteer with are great people to work with. – D

The idea for creating a meal program started in the Fall of 2003 after seeing many people loiter in the center of Norwood with seemingly no place to go. It was my desire to create a place where folks could come once a week to share a meal, a laugh, and a story. This pipe-dream became a reality with a lot of planning, education, hard work and support from a handful of individuals. Six years later, I never could have imagined that the Abundant Table would be what it is today. With 85+ people coming through our doors weekly, 55 community volunteers eager to help rotationally, teens/Amnesty Students/Boy Scouts willing to offer their time, corporate officers and restaurateurs donating and guests adopting the ‘pay it forward’ mentality assisting with meal preparation; I couldn’t be any more pleased with what the Abundant Table has become. Abundant Table program development has taught me the value of time: the countless hours spent writing letters for donations, sitting at Norwood Day fundraising, dropping off “to-go” meals for guests unable to make the weekly meal, giving talks about suburban poverty within the local community, and the like have been necessary steps to propel Abundant Table success. While all of these acts have taken a great amount of time, the result has been worth our while. The Abundant Table is about relationships and compassion. The coupling of these two things makes our program different than others. Our holistic approach to service is apparent through our interaction with guests; and all of our volunteers have bought into this empathic paradigm. Guests are listened to, respected, dignified and loved. These intangibles do not cease at 6:30 once the meal is over; rather they permeate into weekly life. Guests and volunteers phone each other throughout the week to check in; and it is not uncommon for volunteers to drive guests to medical appointments, take them for haircuts and buy them an outfit for a job interview. These relationships occur organically, and are incredibly meaningful for both guests and volunteers alike. While it seems as though we come from totally different worlds, the common bond of humanity is on display each Wednesday evening as friendships are fostered despite differences in age, class, intellect, race and gender. At the rawest of levels, one’s human desire is very trite and pithy: we all seek love and acceptance. The Abundant Table switched locations a few weeks ago. Throughout this transition we feared that many of our guests would not know where to find us, and perhaps become confused with another organization offering a competing meal program. The lesson learned from this experience has been incredibly poignant: A simple, yet hearty meal of grilled cheese and soup, for example, can be served anywhere. People choose to come to our meal because of the relationships formed between guests and volunteers, and our commitment to accepting and loving each person who walks through the door. It’s about the people and the love. The Abundant Table model has become such a success that it is growing into other suburban communities. I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world. Each week, I have the great opportunity to see the human condition at its best through the personification of love, apparent given Abundant Table service. I encourage others to volunteer. It’s a free gift you can give yourself! – AER

[The Abundant Table] nourishes people heart and soul, and people come here for a good meal, but they also come for camaraderie. -KF

It’s a good experience [Abundant Table volunteering] because I like helping out. I like giving to other people. It is very gratifying. -SM

Your enthusiasm, compassion and positive energy for the Abundant Table are truly inspiring…Thank you for taking the time to pass that along to us. My mom always said “Bloom where you are planted”, there is always some kind of need right under our noses. I think it is wonderful for the teens to work toward ending worldwide hunger by fasting and helping out at the Abundant Table. Keep up your wonderful work. Your program is a gem. – KL

It’s a place where you can meet people, and gain friends. The food is good — very nourishing and the people who serve you are doing it as volunteers and I give them all my thanks because they are absolutely wonderful. -J

Written by Anaele C Amaechi
Date: September 13, 2009

The lord has called thee in righteousness
He knows your heart; he knows your faithfulness
Abundant table come on in
Aislynn, this place you founded is a wonderful thing
Giving of our self in times of need
Giving of your self is a wonderful thing indeed
They say you meet here once a week
Can we come in and take a peek
How does a young lady think so much about others?
Teaching us to love and care about one another
There are not so many people like you who come thru
There are not so many they are just a few
They say the world is full of needs
Follow the path that speaks to you and plant your own seed
If you want to change the world
Create a beautiful model and let it unfurl
God has seen what you have done at Abundant table
He will bless you with his grace
Continue this wonderful thing you do
We hope we have learned something special from you
Often you will find a diamond in the rough
Doing Gods work is never enough
Thank you for doing your part
Those you have touched know it comes from your heart
They say Aislynn means a dream and a vision
You are fulfilling one of Gods missions
Some people’s good deeds often go unseen
The work you do should be told on a big screen

Linda and Aislynn are the heart and soul of the Abundant Table. Their hard work and tireless efforts over the last six years have created a safe environment for individuals and families to come for both a meal and judgment-free care. They both know everyone by name and make each and every guest who walks through the door feel special and welcome. I’ve been volunteering for three years and look forward to my time on the schedule. – FM

As a human service provider, working with adults with developmental disabilities, I appreciate the Abundant Table mission. I am very grateful that adults with intellectual disabilities have a warm and nurturing place to go on a weekly basis. The Abundant Table offers a safe, and non-judgmental atmosphere where individuals can be themselves, enjoy a hearty meal and meet new people. The Abundant Table is like a community dinner, or an extended family. People from all walks of life come each week and enjoy each other’s company. I like how birthdays and other special times are recognized, and how the guests also have a chance to share concerns before the group to get support and comfort. -KM