Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Making connections makes magic happen

Making connections leads to making magic. I sometimes tell folks a big part of my job as Regional Director for Coastal Community Foundation is like the match making character in Fiddler on the Roof. I got an email from Ilze Astad, Director of Development and Programs at the Lowcounty Food Bank. The kitchen they were using in this area to do meals for Kid's Cafe was closing for major renovations.

She asked if I knew of any commercial style kitchens they might be able to use to continue their services. I had just completed site visits for the Beaufort Fund Grant program and a group I visited popped up in my mind immediately. Alan Moses and I visited Agape Family Life Center and left impressed with the staff, Dr. Deloris Young and Ms. Sandra Baldwin, and with their amazing facility in the Hardeeville community of Levy. Alan and I had talked about the commercial style kitchen and Deloris and Sandra had talked about wanting to partner with other organizations to extend their services. I quickly emailed Ilze the contact information and she did the follow up. I received another email from her telling me that by working together with Agape Family Life Center the LCFB was able to upgrade the afterschool snack program at Agape to a Kid's Cafe, a program that, in addition to academic tutoring and enrichment activities is also providing hot nutritious meals. A part time Kid's Cafe Chef will be preparing meals on site starting April6. The next steps? Ilze, Deb Loesel and I are meeting to discuss the Lowcountry Food Bank's vision for childhood hunger programs in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties. The magic will continue.

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