I have been a busy person this week. On April 30, The Friendly Kitchen was destroyed by fire. This is Concord’s only soup kitchen, and it holds a special place in the hearts of my Pathfinder Club. For the past five years, they have been one of the targets of our club’s community service efforts. Once or twice per year we make 100 sack lunches for them, and any time we have leftover citrus from that fundraiser, we take it to them. I know that’s a very small drop in a very large pool, as they’ve been serving 60,000 meals per year.
Since the fire, they have been serving meals from the Greek Orthodox Church downtown. In fact, they transitioned into their building so quickly that they didn’t miss serving a single meal. But this is a temporary measure, and they are trying to raise money to rebuild. I wanted us to do something else for them to help them with that.
Every year, our club has a yard sale on Memorial Day. This year I wanted to send some of that to The Friendly Kitchen. So I started getting my ducks in a row.
On Sunday I brought it up at our Pathfinder staff meeting. They all agreed that it was an excellent idea, and we decided then that we would give half of our proceeds to the kitchen. That’s significant, because the yard sale is our biggest money-maker, so we could be giving up a pretty significant chunk of change.
On Monday I presented the plan to the church board. We want to advertise this yard sale more widely than we have in the past, and we want to accept donated goods for the sale from the public. But if we were to do that, we would need to establish some definite hours of operation, and for that, I would need to line up volunteers to accept the goods. But I also thought it would be a bad idea to open our church to the public without the approval of the church board. When I presented the plan to them, they supported it unanimously.
On Tuesday I contacted the Friendly Kitchen. I didn’t want to do that before I had buy in from my Pathfinder staff and permission from the church board. After all, either of these would have put the kibosh on the plan. I thought it was important to get permission from The Friendly Kitchen as well, thinking that someone might call them to see what this was all about. If they had no idea, this would look like a pretty obvious scam. Unsurprisingly, The Friendly Kitchen was enthusiastic about our plan.
I then crafted an email plea to our church membership and sent it out to our list. I wanted to get commitments from people to staff the building during our donation reception hours. It was a little slow getting started, but eventually, I had commitments for nine two-hour slots.
Today (Thursday) we went to the press with it. I put an ad on Craigslist, and my deputy director sent info to the TV station in Manchester and to Concord’s main newspaper. We still need to get the info to more outlets though. I think that a Thursday notice for an event that should start on Sunday should be plenty of time for them to act. I just hope they will!
Now I have to exhale. Tomorrow Va and I are taking Beth to Camp Lawroweld for the Adventurer’s Club Annual Spring Escape. Those are always lots of fun, but there will be no Internet service there (and barely any cell phone service). This will force me to let go of the Friendly Kitchen project and leave the rest to the Lord!
Hey God – You’re on now!