Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pancake Breakfast Helps to Feed More

"The Brunswick Street Mission's Vision is to inspire hope, dignity, and a better quality of life."
                                             -Brunswick Street Mission website

{Armbrae Academy Senior students}

I always find it interesting how ideas and actions come together.  Its the random conversation about an idea or an observation that often leads to a much bigger impact.  And that is where this little story begins...

Since our children started at Armbrae Academy, in 2006, we have actively participated in the community driven life at the school.  Its a wonderful, nurturing environment, one that supports our values as parents.  Its pretty easy to say "yes" when asked to get involved, or run an event, or support a fundraising effort.  So when a teacher approached me about a plan she had to give back, I of course said...."Yes!"  Charlotte stopped me on the stairs one afternoon to tell me she had heard about the Forty 4 Change project and thought I might be interested in helping her.  It was interesting timing, because the day before I had received an email from my father, telling me about a talk he had been to recently about the homeless.  It had me thinking about ways to get involved with shelters or soup kitchens, or just the homeless on the streets.  So when Charlotte (who is the Senior School teacher that runs the community service opportunities for students) told me that she wanted to hold a school wide Breakfast to raise money for The Brunswick Street Mission, I slowly smiled, feeling that spark of connection.

The Brunswick Street Mission is an organization "that continues to inspire a better quality of life through a ministry of care to those experiencing poverty."  In one year the Mission can serve as many as 20,000 meals to those in need, providing not only the necessary food for survival but a place for people to come and begin working towards better overall wellness.

{pancakes and sausage}

Charlotte had the enthusiastic Senior students to do the cooking and she had a plan, she just needed a little advice and help getting some equipment together; pancake griddles, a coffee urn, chafing dishes, etc.  These were minor asks in my mind but I was glad to pitch in and secure the items, and agreed to show up early that morning to help get things going.  Charlotte advertised the breakfast to the school (asking for a suggested donation of $5) and the day before the breakfast she had received over 80 confirmed replies of YES.

Pancake batter, sausage sizzling on the griddles, fruit being chopped, fresh juice being prepared, tables being set, coffee percolating....are you there?  Can you feel the excitement of a breakfast of champions taking shape?  Parents and students began arriving for their hot breakfast promptly at 7:45 a.m. and the griddles remained hot until 9:00 a.m.  The wait time might have been a little long at times, but no one seemed to mind, knowing they were there for a cause...a really wonderful cause.

{happy customers}

Half way through the breakfast Charlotte introduced Margot, a representative from The Brunswick Street Mission, who shared a little about their vision.  She shared stories about the peoples' lives they have touched, some of the struggles these every day people face, and why it helps to have the support of communities like Armbrae.  I had a chance to chat with Margot after the breakfast and we agreed to meet to discuss more opportunities for fundraising, defining some key areas where they might need help.  I will share more about that ( and how you can help) at a later date.

{charlotte serves up breakfast}

I felt privileged that Charlotte asked me to be a part of this giving back project, and was thrilled when she reported the next day that they had raised $572.50!  We served over 100 people breakfast that morning...and brought awareness to an organization that serves so many people in need.

If you would like more information click here

thank you to charlotte and the senior students for letting me be a part of your generous act of kindness.

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