When cooking a meal for 12 guests, one would double or triple a recipe. When cooking for 1000 guests? You do the math.
On December 18 and 19, a crew of up to 35 volunteers will prepare a meal for 800 to 1000 people (including 200 to 250 volunteers) each night as part of The Bridge Christmas party outreach to local families in need. Beginning at 10:00 a.m., three shifts of volunteers will prepare, serve, and cleanup a feast of ham, green beans, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes, and platters of home-baked cookies, candies, and breads. The four ovens in the main kitchen will be filled to capacity as well as numerous large ham cookers plugged into available outlets throughout the church building. Over 2400 home-baked goodies from an additional 64 volunteers will be collected and arranged in the Arts Center. (For those with a baking gene, sign up at http://www.perfectpotluck.com/meals.php?t=PMNP6895 to bring 3 dozen treats!)
The SERVE 6.8 Cooking Team has roots leading back to the first Bridge event three years ago, but really found a niche for service this summer when the High Park Fire ignited. For six weeks, volunteers daily assisted a main cook from Samaritan’s Purse to prepare a large breakfast, pack sandwich lunches, and serve an evening meal for the 45-member work crews. In addition, volunteers organized a weekly, Sunday evening potluck for 150 people to gather for food and fellowship. The highlight for many of the volunteers was the “share-out” session at the end of dinner each workday. Recovery crew workers shared stories about their progress that day as well as their timely opportunities to show God’s love to hurting home owners with no strings attached. It was encouraging for the volunteers to discover just how many loving people live in our community.
Six times so far in 2012, SERVE 6.8 volunteers have gone to a trailer park aty 2025 N. College to repair leaking roofs. One three of those days, a core group from the Cooking Team, known affectionately as “The Ladies,” set up a table in a park area and had a cookout for the workers and families from the community. In addition to serving delicious food, the team interacts with and loves on the neighborhood kids. The food aspect of the SERVE 6.8 ministry impacts community building as families discover they are not being beat over the head with religion and that volunteers really mean “no strings attached.”
Ron Hedrick, one of the leaders of SERVE 6.8, said the ladies of the cooking team “are indispensable to the ministry of SERVE 6.8. Being able to provide food to our teams and the people we serve is an important aspect of caring for our volunteers and our community. They do a great job in what are often less than ideal conditions.”
The SERVE 6.8 Cooking Team has also helped with other projects including a Family Wellness Event to support local foster and adoptive families.
If you love to cook and would like to use your gifts to touch lives, contact Ron Hedrick. Even if you can’t commit to ongoing service, consider adding your name to the list of those bringing home-baked goodies for the upcoming Bridge Christmas parties.
After all, nothing tastes quite as good as a meal prepared with love.