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SOME Revisited

By Jim Palombo

As a part-timer in San Miguel de Allende, I come and go at different parts of the year. When I do come to town, I make it a point to stop by to see Joe Lim at the Wednesday gathering of the So Others May Eat (SOME) program. I centered my recent visit on extending condolences to Joe who had lost his caring and gracious wife Antonette in the past year. This of course made the gathering a bit sorrowful for me—but only a bit. That is because the gathering itself proved so overwhelming in regard to its spirit and dignity that it was hard not to get lost in the humility of it all. And given that the Lims’ daughter, Dr. Grace Joanne Lim, had taken over her mother’s work, it was with a smile that Antonette was fondly remembered.

The SOME program has now been offering lunch to people of San Miguel for 34 years. That’s over a quarter of a million servings for the usual 150 to 200 weekly guests. On this particular New Year’s celebration gathering, there were about 170 people, with ages ranging from 3 months to 98 years old. The lunches were prepared and served by local, national, and international volunteers—what Joe likes to call the backbone of the charity work. Music, songs, dancing, and of course prayer accompanied the gathering—really a heartfelt experience for everyone involved.

It’s important to note that in addition to the SOME program, the Lim family activities also include family social integration meetings; leadership, training, and hygiene classes; prison visitations; ladies sewing cooperative; a food pantry outreach; and the administration of a Benevolence Fund that provides for people in need. It’s hard to take in that so much is being done. Yet Joe is quick to point out that although they contribute money from their spa business (located on Recreo 38), additional funds to support the span of work come from the Christian Church Outreach, individual donations, and a number of fundraisers. In this sense, the activities represent a true community-wide effort.

I guess one could say that the spirit and dedication of the Lims mirror the many efforts that take place in San Miguel and across the world every day of the year. And being close to those efforts creates a feeling that cannot be manufactured—it’s simply just felt—somewhat like the true meaning of Paz y Amor. I certainly felt lucky to be provided the chance to recognize this sensation in myself, and for that, I am sincerely grateful to all those who were present on Wednesday.

In closing, Joe wanted to make sure that he conveyed to all of you in the SMA community a Happy New Year, with a wish that this year will provide additional happiness and goodwill.

The SOME luncheons [for the elderly needy] are every Wednesday at 1:30pm, accessible via the tunnel entrance at the Parroquia. So stop by and enjoy the spirit.

 

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