EASTON -- Thirty years ago, on March 21, 1988, Jim and Terry Orcutt said a prayer which changed their lives and the lives of hundreds of thousands of others in Southeastern Massachusetts.
Holding hands before a cross in their home, Jim and Terry quietly said the prayer which founded My Brother's Keeper: "God, we want to bring your love and hope to those who are lost and without hope, but we don't know what to do. If you'll guide us, we'll put your work first every day for the rest of our lives."
Since then, My Brother's Keeper has grown from the Orcutts' cellar in Taunton to a barn in West Bridgewater to a series of buildings in Brockton to two current locations: a 15,000 square foot facility next to Stonehill College in Easton serving the South Shore and a 23,000 square foot building in Dartmouth serving the South Coast.
"It has been awe-inspiring over the last 30 years to witness the power of God to transform our simple efforts into a major ministry of loving service to our brothers and sister in need," said co-founders Jim and Terry Orcutt.
Tens of thousands of volunteers have joined the Orcutt's work-- students, retirees, business owners and families from all walks of life, each offering their special gifts and talents. Today, more than 4,000 volunteers a year walk through the doors of the My Brother's Keeper facilities, including 1,200 to 1,300 student volunteers who attend more than 100 different schools.
Working side by side with the 12-person My Brother's Keeper staff, these volunteers help make 9,000 deliveries annually to local families in need. In total, the charity has completed 135,000 deliveries over the last three decades.
In keeping with their mission, a crucifix or some other Christian symbol is offered as a gift at all deliveries.
My Brother's Keeper will celebrate its 30th anniversary at its traditional events throughout the year: Lovely Ladies Spring Gala in April, Family Walk in June, Golf Tourney in July, and Hungry Men Dinner in November.
The charity will create a special 30th anniversary webpage on its website, www.MyBrothersKeeper.org which includes a timeline, pictures, and a special 30th Anniversary Guest Book that invites anyone whose life has been touched by My Brother's Keeper -- whether a recipient or volunteer -- to share a message of thanks.