I will be writing in behalf of my son, Gabe. Gabe started volunteering at The Children's Lunch Box in 2014. As a mother of a special needs child, I was simply looking for a way to keep him busy during summer and be productive some way in the community. I was anxious on how he will adjust to a new environment and how the staff will receive him.
From the very first day he stepped into the building I knew he was warmed by the hospitality and acceptance of staff. It was reassuring for me and eased my anxiety. I know in his heart he is motivated to do his best and with the limited spoken language he has...his attitude was effusive of pride in his productive day.
The next summer, TCLB transferred to another office and this time...he looked forward almost everyday to work at the Cold Kitchen...donning his apron and hairnet, packing vegetables into ziplock bags, snacks in brown bags...He would excitedly tell me..."My day is good mom!! I ziplock carrots and celery! " His work and the staff brought him joy that prompted him to express to me how happy his day went. His volunteer hours increased so much so...he earned Presidents Volunteer Award. The attendance of his supervisor ,Ginger touched us deeply..
Last summer, TCLB transferred to its current location. His wonderful supervisor, Carl assigned him other jobs-packing burritos, making sandwiches...I saw his pride in his work! I can sense he is also able to realize what he is capable of and gain his self-worth as well.
I cannot imagine his life without summers at TCLB. He will probably be more isolated, have less self-worth and more shy about himself- the stigma of a special needs child, that expectations are limited by the label.
To The Children's Lunch Box staff...if Gabe can only speak understandably...I am sure he will give you his biggest smile and a heartfelt thanks for accepting him as he is and seeing his strengths as a volunteer!! You are all priceless to him....see you this summer!
From providing us with willing workers when our employees don't show up for work (some remain on as permanent employees) to thinking up creative ways (like the Empty Bowl Project) to involve so many facets of our community to lend a helping hand. Beans is a vital part of my community and will always hold a special place in my heart.
Beans Cafe does more for the Anchorage community as a whole because it will use all means possible to ensure all of its clients have the best possible food, care and essentials. They offer care and meals to a very diverse population and perform above and beyond for the recipients.
NEED TO PAID MININUM WAGES FOR WORKERS. VOUCHERS OR OTHER BENEFITS CAN USEFUL. UNCLE VINNIE FOR US.
Bean's Cafe is fantastic! They are well organized and effective. They do so much more than serve good to Anchorage-area folks in need...they have creative programs like that foot care program to give new clean socks and footwear and therapuetic foot massage and health treatment in the winter time, when Anchorage homeless are in desparate need of warm, dry clothing and attention to their feet. Bean's does amazing fundraisers that promote education and awareness in addition to raising financial support for their services. I particularly appreciate their attitude toward helping others...they do not look down on anyone or try to judge people against a moral standard. They don't discriminate, and they try to care for people while also empowering them.
Beans Café is a great help to the community, they provide a place for the homeless, no matter what their situation, to acquire the most essential needs. The amazing part is that they do not pick and choose when they do this or who they will help; they have dedicated themselves 365 days a year to anyone that walks through the door in need. The staff and even their families as well as others from the community spend an immense amount of time helping these people. It is the personal sacrifices the team is willing to make that are so amazing. Even on Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years they spend time away from their homes making others more comfortable and spreading joy. They are an inspiration for everyone to stop and take a look at what we each do to help the less fortunate. The events they hold to raise funds so that they can accomplish their mission, which is “to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless without discrimination during the day,” are always enjoyable and they allow the community as a whole to participate in solving one of Anchorages most unfortunate problems. A perfect example is the Empty Bowl, there are thousands of community members that attend and join the fight against hunger. This one event helps feed, clothes, warm, and provides countless other services to hundreds of homeless people.
Beans Café takes it a step further than just feeding the homeless. They work to place the homeless in a home they can call theirs, they fight for jobs for those that need employment, provide transportation, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, legal help, medical help and they help to educate those that want it. Beans Café’s dedication to this community is undeniable and incredible. This should make everyone stop and think “What can I do or what can my company do to help Beans Café continue the amazing work they do.”
Thank you for the wonderful comment from all of us at Bean's Cafe.