You know about the ripple effect. You toss a stone into the water and see the endless ripples project out from the center of where the thrown object landed. That’s what Stir It 28 was for me. I will not lie to say I was worried about meeting the expectations of the rest of the group for the Chicago side. From the get go, I had my network of people who were willing to help, and boy did they help. I could have never done it with out them. In between work and Master
Chef auditions, February was just tight for time and focus. I was worried about the sales, as I had the least online sales compared to ATL, LA, and NYC. You cant say I didn’t promote the hell out of it via twitter and Face book, but the sales were not there. Chicago is huge city and asking for $30 on top of a cash bar with competing Restaurant Week other fund raising initiatives and other events was hard. But I tried to stay positive and just wanted to get through Sunday. The words of my mother “Fret Not and to worry is a sin” stayed with me through out the day. I know fund raising is hard work and I approach it realistic expectations.I am grateful for every little bit I can get. At first I thought the venue would be too small. but in the need it was just right. At the stroke of 2:30 fabulous volunteers took charge and helped me set up the place. Talk about tons of amazing food! The volunteers came through with some amazing dishes. One could barely make it down the buffet and their plate was full. It would have taken three to four trips alone to sample all. The cash bar was flowing too. The afternoon was perfect and , while a small crowd, we managed to take in more at the door than online. Chicago foodies had a chance to meet and connect with others. Through their tweets and re tweets they inspired others to donate or attend one of the other cities events. It was classic Midwest, down to earth , simple, and real.So you see the ripple effect happening here?
And in the end, after we all cleaned up , the beginning of another heavy snow started. With so much food left, even after people took their share, we had a few trays left. Homeless shelters in Chicago don’t allow you to donate leftovers food from restaurants ,events, etc. due to health laws.So Certain Someone and I packed the trunk up and drove down to Lower Wacker. Lower Wacker a long running street underground that the many homeless people live on. Its not unusual to see tents and men and
women making a home in a dark corner buffeted from the harsh lakefront winter winds or sweltering summer heat. So Certain Someone and I found a man in his blankets who was eating something in wrapper. We stopped the car and explained we had food leftover from a party. He was happy to get it and the some paper goods so he could share it with others in his community. See the ripple effect at work here. It takes a massive devastating event to remind people to come together and care for one another. Stir It 28 did that. Haiti will continue to need help even after these next few months. Rebuilding will take years. So whether your efforts are grand or small, everything is and will be appreciated. I cant say Thank You enough.