As the Executive Director of TWIF I am delighted to say that I get to see first hand the generosity of the Seattle community on a regular basis and it is the most rewarding thing to see. It is what allows me to perform my duties as Executive Director on a volunteer basis even though the position that started out as a planned 5 hours a week has morphed into the equivalent of a second full time job. We often hear stories from volunteers about how TWIF was the catalyst that got them involved in volunteering and I’ve met folks that will donate their last dollar to help someone else in need and heard the compelling stories from volunteers that have, at one point in time, been served by the very same organization they were now volunteering with us for. I have witnessed all of this yet tonight’s chain of events completely caught me off guard….
We rent an hourly kitchen every month for our Get Cookin’ Program. The program is set up that we plan meals, buy the food items needed and schedule volunteers to meet us at the kitchen to prepare the meal and then we deliver the finished meal the following day to Jubilee Women’s Center to provide a heat and eat meal for the residents. Tonight I received a call from Amanda (our TWIF Lead) shortly after the Get Cooking event should have started to find out that, for whatever reason, the building manager did not unlock the kitchen for us. Since we meet at 5:30pm its apparently impossible to catch anyone after hours from the building to alert them of this mishap.
During our phone conversation we decide that about all we could do at that point was to apologize profusely to the volunteers and then Amanda and I would meet up at my house and stay up until the wee hours cooking the meal tonight because we just couldn’t call Jubilee tomorrow and tell them there would be no meal. The plan was set, I got off the phone with Amanda leaving her the heartbreaking task of apologizing to the volunteers and I started to head home from my grant writing meeting in Capitol Hill.
I was shocked to get my next call from Amanda telling me that the volunteers were all super helpful and together they decided to problem solve the situation. They took it upon themselves to divide up the cooking that needed to be done and they all took a portion home to complete and that they would deliver it to Jubilee in the morning. This is seriously amazing – they could have hopped right back in their car and enjoyed the end of the somewhat sunny day but instead they understood that the meal must go on and they made it happen – and that makes them awesome – and I am sure it will be the most delicious meal Jubilee has ever had. A big thank you to tonight’s volunteers – I hope you recognize that you did much, much more than prepare a meal.
-By Amy Faulkner, TWIF Executive Director