Loudoun native Vera Lewis was born in Waterford 84 years ago. Today, she is one of Loudoun Interfaith Relief’s most dedicated volunteers.
For the past eight years, Vera has been coming to LIR each day with a delivery of bread. Every morning, Vera went to Food Lion and picked up the store’s day-old bread, some of which she delivered to her fellow residents at Madison House in Leesburg—and the rest to the food pantry.
The lively 84-year-old used to be the only one bringing the bread—now she has another helping her. “I deliver the bread four days a week, and someone else does it two days,” she said.
Loudoun Interfaith Relief Executive Director Jennifer Montgomery said not only does Vera bring needed bread supplies, she also never fails to have a cheerful word for LIR staff, volunteers and clients.
Montgomery said Vera’s “unfailing good cheer and reliability are inspirational,” and mean as much to the staff as the bread she brings.
Vera says she began the delivery for two reasons. “First, I knew they’d have to throw away the unused bread, and, second, I like to give back. I’ve had help over the years, and I’m giving back for what’s been given me,” she said.
“I’m so glad I agreed to do it. I’m always willing to help, and this is so needed and welcomed.”
If bread is the biblical ‘staff of life,’ then Vera represents the ‘milk of human kindness,’ Montgomery said, adding everyone at LIR considers themselves lucky to call her friend.
Montgomery urges anyone at the center who sees Vera there to thank her also. “You’re sure to get her warm smile in return.”