When the worn icemaker at Our Daily Bread—a soup kitchen in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood—couldn’t keep up with the demand last August, volunteer coordinator Joan Thompson made a call to 1956 graduate Tom Sedler, founder of Home City Ice. She asked for a modest donation of 1,000 pounds of ice each week to help guests stay cool through the sweltering summer heat.
“Two days later we got a phone call, and the gentleman said, ‘Joan, I’m sorry, we’re not going to be able to help you with the ice delivery,’ ” Thompson says. “Instead, we’re going to give you a brand new ice machine.’ I nearly fainted.”
It’s moments like these that strengthen Thompson’s bond with the Xavier family. After working in the Xavier’s alumni office for 17 years, she retired four years ago and took on a position at Our Daily Bread, which regularly feeds about 500 guests a day, 60 percent of whom are mentally ill. And whether it’s an extra AV cart, tickets to men’s basketball games to auction off at a fundraiser or help stuffing 5,000 envelopes, Thompson always knows that she can count on the University and its graduates.
“We all talk about the Xavier family. And we read about it,” she says. “And here it is in action.”