A Whistle That Touches My Heart: Father John Adams

March 13, 2018

Name: Father John Adams

Home: Washington, DC

Job: Catholic priest; President of So Others Might Eat (SOME)

Fr. John’s Whistle: Love

How I Know Fr. John: I met Fr. John in 2010 through Carlyle co-founder Bill Conway when he was in the process of making a large, personal gift to the organization to build affordable housing for homeless people in Washington, DC. I helped out with the public announcement of the gift.

Whistle in Action: Love is the most powerful whistle a person can have. Based on that, Fr. John has the loudest whistle I’ve ever heard. He and his team have dedicated their lives to helping poor people have productive and meaningful lives. SOME provides a variety of services, including housing, clothes, food, showers, medical and dental treatment, addiction treatment, and job training. The first time I met Fr. John, I was struck by his humble demeanor. It was all about his clients, not him. I asked him for advice regarding homeless people asking for money. “Look them in the eye…ask how they are doing…suggest they come to SOME for help.” It wasn’t as scary as I feared. I printed business cards with SOME’s address and a list of their services, and following Bill Conway’s lead, I started giving out five dollar Starbuck’s gift cards. There but for the grace of God go I. In this thirty-eight years of leading SOME, Fr. John has helped many people on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder while enlisting the support of those who’ve already ascended it. He is a great gift to the Washington, DC community, and his selfless love has touched my heart and helped me better live my Christian faith.

(Find this and other stories in my book Find Your Whistle: Simple Gifts Touch Hearts & Change Lives.)