Guam – Thanksgiving Day may marks the start of the season of giving … but there are some people who believe in giving all year round.
During this time of the year people will donate money and food to local food shelters and churches to help Guam’s homeless and families who are in need.
But for the past 17 years Deacon Frank Tenorio and his wife Maria, better known as tita, have been taking care of the poor at the Kamelen Karidat in Agana. Deacon Frank says he promised God that he wouldn’t miss a day to help the needy. He made good with his promise until Super typhoon Pongsona hit Guam on December 8th, 2002 and destroyed his facility. Deacon Frank says the storm forced him to miss two days.
Deacon Frank Tenorio says, “Right after that I tried my best to asked people to help me put up a temporary structure where people can eat, We had that for about 6 years and then two years ago this new structure was built.”
Tenorio says he and his wife work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week preparing food for the poor. He says you have to be here everyday, because you can’t have a day off when you are taking care of hungry brothers and sisters. Deacon Frank says they serve only one meal a day at 6PM, but its a complete meal.
Deacon Frank says usually people call this a soup and sandwich institution but its not. We serve rice, bread and nutritional food that will help them sustain for the day
Everyday after a person eats their dinner, they will also receive a care pack of canned food and water that will sustain them throughout the following day. He says when helping people it’s very important never to give a person leftovers from the kitchen or perishable food.
Deacon Frank says, “What happens if they have the food when they are on the road. They may get sick because the food will spoil because they don’t have refrigeration. We never give them cooked food.”
Once the Kamelen Karidat receives non perishable food, the Tenorios immediately check the expiration date. The Deacon says he doesn’t want to give expired food to a person because it might make an individual sick.
Deacon Frank often gets the opportunity to talk to some of the people that visit Kamelen Karidat. He tells them this is not the end of the world and never be content to be poor.
Deacon Frank says, “You may be down to the gutter . You cant go any further down, you can only go up and one day you will get a job and help us.”
Deacon Frank says Kamelen Karidat also accepts clothes for the needy. He says If you would like to deliver non perishable food or clothes to Kamelen Karidat you can always call him at 472-4569.