For many, the term “manna” reminds us of an Old Testament Bible story about a group of slaves, called the Israelites, who escaped their masters and had to live in a hostile wilderness for forty years. Written a long time ago about a people far away, it might be easy for us to forget just what manna represented to that community. It is a story about God keeping His promise to a hungry people that He would give them bread, even if it required making a strange substance called manna fall from the sky. Manna was a reminder that God was there and that He cared.
Since Bible times, God often provides sustenance in a different way – through moving on the hearts of His children to assist our brothers and sisters who are in need of help and hope. When we respond to that call, we demonstrate the tangible message of love and hope that has transformed our own lives.
The seed for Manna Homeless Society was planted five years ago as Robin Campbell became increasingly aware of how many people lacked access to permanent shelter and adequate food – right here in the Oceanside community. Determined to remind people who bear the scars of marginalization that they matter, Robin began developing a systematic and sustainable way to establish the means to meet people where they were at with the resources they most needed: friendship, immediate temporary shelter, clothing and food.
Since the early days, he has used the Manna van to deliver life essentials to people who lack access to transportation and as well as parking near the Legion every Saturday morning to distribute groceries, tents, clothing and personal items. Over the years Manna Homeless Society has become an integral resource of hope and help to impoverished, elderly, mentally ill and physically disabled members of our community.