Everyone who walks through the doors at Isaiah 58 is special in God’s eyes and ours. But one guest at the 2023 Pancake Supper merits a little extra mention. Charles (Charlie) Robinson has been associated with the Isaiah 58 Ministries community on and off since the doors first opened fifty years ago. He attended the Helping Hands Preschool, a first-generation Isaiah 58 Ministries outreach mission. Today Charlie is a social worker at two St Louis Special School District schools, but back then he was, in his own words “a real handful.” It seems those early years at Helping Hands may have prepared him for a career serving new generations of “handfuls.”
Charlie is particularly grateful for swim classes at the Y –made available through the preschool. Learning to swim in the deep end helped him develop the tenacity needed to obtain an advanced degree at the UMSL School of Social Work, go on to help Washington University develop essential databases, and then to serve the needs of students at Laclede and Jefferson elementary schools.
Charlie sees firsthand the importance of organizations like Isaiah 58 Ministries: “Food insecurity is a serious problem. Inflation reduces the utility of food stamps; stamps that would have met two and a half weeks of grocery needs just a few years ago, will now only cover a week and a half.” While schools like those that Charlie serves work hard to address food insecurity issues during the school year, he is glad that Isaiah 58 Ministries has been here for over 50 years to nourish the community year-round.