Happy (almost end of) August!
Can you believe how fast time is going? We have been rocking and rolling for almost 9 months. Crazy! Time flies when you're surrounded by great people.
We get asked all the time how many people we are helping. So naturally, I have been reflecting a lot on how A Place at the Table is helping people. Can I just be real with you for a second? For many of you who listen to my soapbox every day, you know that I strongly dislike the helping language. However, the reality is that we are helping people. We are a place where 20-40 people volunteer every single day for their meal. This is 20-40 people that are either experiencing homelessness or living in poverty. On top of this number, we also are a place where 5-10 people pay less every day. This is 5-10 people who cannot eat in a regular restaurant because that day they only have $5 for their $8 sandwich. All of this is so so so good.
My friend Gary is one of those people that either volunteers or pays less for his meal. Gary has been with us for a few months now. He comes 3-5 times out of the week because he loves the food and is able to volunteer for his meal, but more than that he loves the friendships he has made. Melody is one of these friendships. Melody came in one day and sat down with Gary for hours. They talked about their kids, their previous jobs, and what their dreams were. That afternoon once Melody had left, she called me to check in on Gary. She then texted me the next day to check in on him. Two days later, she texted again. It has been over two months and I get a text a few times a week checking to see how Gary is doing.
Gary said to Melody the other day when he saw her, "I have never had relationships like the ones I have here. You have no idea how happy I am to see you." I spoke to Melody later and Melody said, "He doesn't realize the effect he has had on my life. He thinks I am the one that is 'helping him', when in reality he is the one helping me. He is the one that is changing my life."
This is only one story of friendship, community, and love that is happening here at A Place at the Table. Trust me--there are many more.
We are not just 'helping and feeding' the Gary's of the world. We are a place that is transforming everyone in ways we all did not expect. What I have been thinking lately is that we don't have to 'help and fix' all the people. We don't have to serve 100 meals a day. We don't have to end hunger (well--I would love that, but it doesn't seem like I have much time for that and would need more than 168 hours a week). We don't have to be all the things to all the people. What we can do is walk alongside each other and become friends. We can look a stranger in the eye and see that he/she is someone with a story. This story may be different than yours or mine, but it is a story worth knowing. We can sit down to share a meal together and choose to be present. It is wild to think of what comes out of just one meal at the table. By walking (or eating) alongside people who are different than us, we may find a whole new joy in our own lives that we never knew existed. We can also find a friendship that we never knew was possible. With friendship, anything is possible.
I hope you will join us in a meal sometime and get to know the many people in our community that make A Place at the Table the place it is today. I promise you won't regret it.
Have you checked out our short video created by Reify Media and Open Eye Creative? Take a look and share with your friends.
Calling all of our busy friends running businesses, hosting meetings, or diving into work. Join us Wednesday AMs for your meetings, let the cashier know, and you'll get 15% off!
Have you been in to try our food? Chef Andrew is coming up with some fantastic specials, including a different Egg's Benedict every weekend. Come try!
This is the 'Smiling Eggs Benny'.
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PO Box 26205
Raleigh, NC 27611
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