December 14, 2009

Ted Pringle: Man of the Year

I bring great news: Bread for the City's longtime Food & Clothing Director Ted Pringle has received the Linowes Leadership award (presented by the Community Foundation of the National Capital Area) for his many years of service to our community.

When Ted received the award last week, he had this to say to the crowd: "It's just amazing to me to get an award for doing the work you love to do."

Linowes Leaders (BFC's Ted pringle second from right)
Ted Pringle (second from right) with Community Foundation President Terri Lee Freeman; the other three Linowes Award winners; and Calvin Cafritz (center), accepting the 2009 Civic Spirit award on behalf of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. Presenter Earl A. Powell, Director of the National Gallery of Art, is at far right. Photo credit: Daniel B. McNeill

For 17 years now Ted has been working behind the scenes, quietly building the food program from serving 300-400 clients per month to nearly 10,000 each month. While those numbers are impressive, I don't think they truly convey Ted's impact on the community.

When I reflect on all that Ted has accomplished, I cannot help but think of Brian, a developmentally delayed, nearly mute adult in his 40s who volunteers every day in our Southeast Center food pantry. Choking back tears, Brian's father recently gave thanks for Ted when sharing just how much working in the food pantry means to his son.

Despite a hectic schedule that includes placing food orders, coordinating deliveries, and managing staff and volunteers at two locations, Ted exhibits the utmost patience and compassion with Brian and his fellow volunteers from St. John's Community Services, making sure they feel at home and giving them meaningful jobs to do each day. With this simple gesture, Ted gives Brian and others like him a sense of responsibility when so many others might not. By entrusting Brian with the task of filling food bags and breaking down boxes, Ted gave Brian a role within our organization.

As part of his award Ted received $3,000 to donate to the charity of his choice. Naturally, Ted has chosen Bread for the City -- but he makes this choice with a request to our donors: will you help match Ted's award, dollar for dollar?

Let's join with the Community Foundation in showing Ted how much he means to us: make a gift to Bread for the City today in his honor, and in honor of the incredible growth of our pantry.

You are also encouraged to leave a note to Ted in the comment box, or to send him your own personal message at

No comments: