August 2, 2009

So it goes: Goodbye to All Matt

This is a sad day here at Bread for the City. Matthew Siemer—whose official title is Volunteer Coordinator, but who is also known as “the Blogfather”—is leaving us after two years of transformative work.

Matt turned his internship into an actual paid job here at Bread for the City, and in so doing he created new and greatly improved systems to organize our vast, diverse community of volunteers. It's remarkable that a person could pull off such a feat while remaining universally liked and admired.

Matt also launched this blog. He didn’t do it alone, of course: in a brief period of time, his enthusiasm for the project sparked the interest of many people who were inspired by the possibility of this new way to stand witness to the challenges, tragedies, and hope that we see here at Bread for the City day after day. That enthusiasm still persists, and will outlive his tenure here – proof of a job well done.

I wasn’t around when Matt initially conceived of the idea for Beyond Bread, but I imagine it happened in a room lit by a single bare bulb, his face half covered in shadow, in one hand a half-eaten peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and in the air a prolonged silence, until suddenly he speaks aloud to no one in particular: “It is my duty, because this might be the inner chronicle of what we are,” he says in glowering mock-Bavarian snarl. “And we have to articulate ourselves. Otherwise we would be cows in the field.”


Ed Bruske said...

Matt did a great job. This is a terrific blog. I'm a subscriber.

Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

Ann said...

Pls. send Matt my best wishes for his studies at Duke. I got his departure email too late to write back, but maybe you could quote parts in an upcoming blog. His description of the people he connected with through his years at Bread was exceptionally moving.
--Ann Carper ("met him" through work food drive)

nick said...

Now that's a goodbye post. Happy trails, Matt.

kristin said...

I'm so glad I listened to Andrea and Valentine when they told me to hired Matt. I just wish I could have kept paying him in hugs from Jenette.