Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 12:33 AM
A Mother’s Love Transcends All
Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 12:33 AM
Update from the author:
This Mother’s Day, for me, is nostalgic. It brings back memories of giving birth to my son, Alain-Malik Sullivan-Bunter, who volunteered for Martha’s Table on a daily basis; and transitioned in February 2022.
I made the decision last year to commit myself to the ongoing support of Martha’s Table in honor of my son. By volunteering monthly, I witness firsthand the support families receive via the grocery markets, Martha’s Outfitters and McKenna’s Wagon. Talking with the community members and seeing their smiles is such a rewarding feeling.
I was blessed to run into Paul Hill, who works with Martha’s Table’s market team, last week when I was volunteering. We were classmates as kids and had not seen each other since. He worked closely with Alain and remembered him fondly. It was a beautiful full-circle moment for me. When Alain volunteered at Martha’s Table, he worked with Paul, and here I am doing the same.
I have always believed that children are our future. In memory of Alain, investing in the future and well-being of children through financial contributions to Martha’s Table is my goal.
Alain, in memory, and I were able to reach our original fundraising goal of $2,000 in May 2023! Thanks to all who supported Alain’s fundraiser.
I have decided to extend the contribution provisions to the children of Martha’s Table and the community by re-activating and extending the fundraiser. It would be so much appreciated if you join Alain and me as we give – “The Gift of Love.” Any donation is a blessing!
This Valentine’s Day is an important one for me as it marks the anniversary of the transition of my son, Alain Thomas Malik Sullivan-Bunter. He had a lot of love to give to his family and community, and this day of love could not be closer to his truth. I’m honored to share my story of how his love was given and received by the people surrounding him.
Alain had a big heart. He had an affinity, affection, and love to give back to the community and support children’s programs. He was always seeking ways to give back and be supportive.
One day in December 2020, he approached me with good news, saying that he found Martha’s Table and wanted to volunteer. I knew of Martha’s Table and its work, so I told him if he had done his research to go ahead and give it a shot. So he volunteered, and a couple of days later ended up being his new passion. He never turned back.
Alain loved his daily routine and his commitment to serving with Martha’s Table and the community every day.
He would wake up at 4 am every morning and have his breakfast at his own place and would come to my house to have a cup of coffee with me. After coffee, he did his Bible meditation, wrote his notes, and got all his gadgets (electronics) together. Everybody knew him because he liked his gadgets. He dressed from head to toe with all the bells, whistles, and chains before leaving my house. I’d wish him a good day, we’d have prayer, and then he’d go to Martha’s Table using public transportation. He was a native Washingtonian and loved to watch and study the city’s demographics.
Alain primarily served Martha’s Table through food preparation for both their onsite and offsite food markets, where community members and 53 Ward 7 & 8 schools can access groceries at no cost. He volunteered for Joyful Bagging, where he pre-bagged and loaded Martha’s Table vans with fresh and healthy groceries to be delivered throughout the community. Alain became flexible in his skills and opportunities. He also liked the food and had a spirit of preparation. He was always punctual, and he always had a clear and focused mind for service.
Every day he’d come home with a new story about how remarkable the Martha’s Table team was and how the love there was genuine. He made it clear that Martha’s Table was the strongest community-based organization in this town. And that’s where his love in his heart was.
Alain had developed the beautiful “Spirit” of service as a young child. I thank the Martha’s Table team for allowing me to come and participate in their events.
Most notable was the Harvest Dinner last November, which I attended for the first time as a volunteer. This is one of Martha’s Table’s annual events, and the team members and other volunteers were outstanding. The event went smoothly, with a welcoming environment and delicious food. But most of all, the community appeared to be really enjoying themselves. I was honored to be a part of it. I was also able to bring Alain with me to this event. I wore a T-shirt with his picture on it to honor his spirit of love toward the community.
I am committed to continuing to serve alongside Martha’s Table in whatever capacity is most needed; to carry on Alain’s legacy and commitment to service.
About the Author:
Mrs. Lisa Sullivan-Mays is an active community member who resides in Ward 7. She is honoring her son, Alain Thomas-Malik Bunter’s legacy by hosting a fundraiser to continue the work at Martha’s Table that Alain helped carry out in his last year of life.
June 28, 2023 at 11:31 PM
In May 1983, Bethesda United Methodist Church collected 277 sandwiches to support Martha’s Table and its program McKenna’s Wagon, for the first time. In May 2023, the church celebrated 40 years of support by collecting over 2,000 sandwiches and trail mix.