July 9, 2010

In Memory of our dear friend, Ted Pringle

I write to you today with a broken heart. After a hard fought battle with cancer, Clarence "Ted" Pringle, Bread for the City's Food and Clothing Director, passed away yesterday morning at home, his loving wife Donita by his side.

Ted is a hero to Bread for the City. When he came on board in 1992, our food program was serving less than 3,000 people each month. We now serve 10,000. Ted was a key part of the management team that received the 2004 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management. Under Ted's leadership, our food program received the Capital Area Food Bank's Hunger Lifeline Award in 2005, and Ted himself received the 2009 Linowes Leadership Award by the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region for his visionary career devoted to fighting poverty in Washington, DC.

Yet behind those big numbers and fancy awards was a remarkable personality that transformed so many lives in our community.

Ted was a giant of a man, yet gentle. Ted ran a tight ship, yet was flexible. Ted knew how to find entire trucks of food for outrageously low cost; he also knew how small, generous actions can lighten the burden for a person in great need.

Ted often personally mentored Bread for the City clients, providing guidance and support as they worked to build a better life for themselves and their families.In fact, several such people went on to become Bread for the City staff members, working with Ted to make our food pantry ever more attuned to the needs of the community.

Ted was a man of few words, all of them rapid-fire and on target. As I write this, I'm trying to think of what Ted himself would want to say to everyone. What keeps coming to mind is this: "Get back to work! The job isn't done."

So that is what we'll do.

We all lost a friend this week. And as we face the unimaginable task of moving on in a world without Ted's strong presence, we will honor him through our work. We will serve. We will strive. We will live our lives with purpose, inspired by the memory of our dear friend, Ted.

(Ted touched the hearts of so many in our community. You can share your remembrances with his family, with our staff, or even on our blog, by emailing us. Thank you for your support.)

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Thanks George! Enough said about my dad. I don't think anyone else can describe my dad better than that. We really appreciated everything that Bread for the City have done for not only our family but the families in the METRO Area. Keep up the great work.- Tiffany R. Hall