A Few Moments of Grace


MDC's Jay Dunn describes his approach to this series on moments of grace.

By Jay Dunn

In my experience as a photojournalist, those who have the least are usually the ones that give the most. In villages far from here, for nothing more than a smile, I’ve been offered the only chair, and more than a few moments of grace. 

Whether it is here in Salinas, or in unfamiliar surroundings, I always try to dignify our common humanity, for we all need the same things, clean water, decent shoes, a chance at a better life. 

And in almost any moment of doubt, the children are the ones that bring me back. They are always the first, to greet the stranger in town, to apprehend his place in the world, to give and expect nothing but company in return. 

In the very brilliance of their goodness I am compelled, to answer curiosity with invention, to measure feeling with only heart, as they do, blindly, and with a smile. The children I have met, who are ever the key to their watchful parents, with wide eyes, and open minds, are everything we could still be ourselves.




Dale Rogers scoops out real mashed potatoes at a volunteer-driven Thanksgiving meal served at Dorothy's Place on Soledad Street in Salinas. 

A prayer circle at the Vineyard Church, which runs a bi-monthly food distribution program in collaboration with the Food Bank of Monterey County. Vineyard supplies many of the goods themselves.  

Isaiah Cuevas, 7, helps hand out necessary foodstuffs to the needy at the Hebbron Family Center on Thursday. Isaiah and his friends take part daily in after-school programs offered at the center by the city of Salinas. The supplemental food effort is part of the Monterey County Food Bank's regular emergency food assistance program in east Salinas, which happens twice a month at the Hebbron Center. 

Girls from Sacred Heart prepare their Nativity float before the parade. Thousands of Salinas residents turned out to experience the magic of the 14th annual Holiday Parade of Lights in Oldtown Salinas.

Complete with snow, children from East Salinas enjoy a full-fledged Christmas party, courtesy of the second annual Cesar Chavez Library Snow Day.  

Melissa Daar Carvajal