~January 2013~ God’s Kitchen/ Gallery 303

Well, we made it!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  By now, the hangovers SHOULD be gone, and the new gym memberships should be signed up for 😉  I hope you are excited about the fresh starts, the do-overs, and the potential that a new year can bring.  Did you make a resolution for yourself this year?  Are you aiming for a healthier you?  Are you cutting out booze or quitting smoking or taking up yogalates class?!  Or did you just say “screw it” because you know you’ll only follow through on it for a few weeks?

Image

[This was JUST like me this past New Year’s Eve.  Plus, I have that same ugly Christmas sweater.  And those stone-washed jeans.  And, if I dig hard enough, probably that Member’s Only jacket.]

If you made a resolution this year, then good for you.  I hope that you are successful at it.  It is often hard work, but I know it can be done!  And if you decided not to make a commitment to yourself, then that leaves you a bunch of free time to make a commitment to others – because that’s what I’m doing this year.  If you’re new to this page and you’re wondering what the hell I’m babbling about, it would help to read my first post http://mysuddenattackofconscience.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/thegrinch/.

I like to re-read it myself sometimes.  It refreshes the goal I have in my mind, and gets me all pumped to do good things this year.  Good things like GOD’S KITCHEN/GALLERY 303!!!!!  God’s Kitchen is a soup kitchen run in my hometown of Grand Rapids, MI.  Last year they served over 180,000 meals to the hungry, homeless and home bound.  They get absolutely no Federal or State funding to do this, rather they rely on monetary contributions, organizations that help provide goods and TONS of volunteers.  All my life I have lived about 9 minutes away from God’s Kitchen.  I always tried my best to avoid “that area of town.”  I’m sure you know what I mean~every city has one.  Except a couple weeks ago, I had to drive down there and pick up some art supplies (more on that later!) and I had to go into the building.  Alone.  During lunch.
Joey Lawrence

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Joey Lawrence.  I’ll honestly tell you what I was expecting as a first time visitor:  dirty, gritty, disgusting people that had given up on life because they had chosen drugs or booze or crime and now they were freezing because it was winter and they needed someplace to warm up for a bit.  You know, like they show on television and stuff.
Here’s what I was not expecting:  an amazingly nice man that came to the door and said “Come on in ma’am” when I couldn’t find anyone in the office to let me in.  Men and women of all ages, all races, all wearing clothes that weren’t half bad.  Some were knitting sweaters.  Some were reading books.  Some were playing cards and hanging out.  They ALL smiled at me.  And the food smelled better than anything I could ever cook!  {I am a TERRIBLE cook, by the way.  The food in our house is either done by my hubby or done by Pizza Hut.}  Shut the front door.
Now, don’t get me wrong.  I have lived 31 years and I’ve seen homeless people that WERE dirty and gritty and they had chosen booze and drugs and crime over anything else.  I’m not some naive twit.  But there are also people existing out there that have hit hard times and have no other choice.  People who don’t have family and friends in town they can lean on.  People who are choosing homelessness as the better choice over abuse or neglect.  The better choice over abuse or neglect.  That is crazy to me, yet it makes perfect sense to some of these folks.  A lot of them need help and support and warm food and a warmer smile.  And THAT is why my charity this cold January month is God’s Kitchen/Gallery 303.

I will be volunteering at the art gallery, serving at the soup kitchen and helping to collect items for the baby pantry and the food pantry.  I will be giving my $10.  And I am going to ask YOU to help out in some way as well 🙂   If you have an extra ten dollars in your account this minute, this week or this month, P*L*E*A*S*E consider visiting the Catholic Charities of West Michigan site at http://ccwestmi.org/ and clicking the orange DONATE NOW tab in the top right corner.  OR you can mail a check made payable to Catholic Charities of West Michigan to:

Catholic Charities West Michigan
Attn: Development
40 Jefferson Avenue SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
*please write SENT BY MY SUDDEN ATTACK OF CONSCIENCE on the memo line*

CCWestMi is the brains behind God’s Kitchen and Gallery 303, as well as numerous other programs that do good things.  I am excited to work with their directors and their volunteers this month.  And I am excited to work with the people that live in this community.  Some of my best friends are along for the ride, having already painted soup bowls for a benefit we’re attending at the end of the month ❤

Finished

[I love these girls.  We have been through so many tough things together at such a young age, yet we all still come out smiling.]

Next week there will be pictures, pictures, pictures.  I want to make sure you KNOW that I am out there doing what I promised to do, and that I’m not just full of shit.  Until then, think about turning in a roll of quarters or giving away your change from a twenty dollar bill.  Volunteer at your own local food pantry.  Donate clothes you grew out of years ago if you’re not going to stick with that gym membership 😉  You don’t even have to make a difference in someone’s life~start by just making a difference in their day.

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10 thoughts on “~January 2013~ God’s Kitchen/ Gallery 303

  1. heather abram says:

    So proud and excited for you Skiddledanders!! I am on board! I really was trying to organize Warm Up Grand Rapids again this fall… obviously didn’t happen :(. There is still time though! Keep up the good work! You just never know whose life(or day) you can change with a simple smile! 🙂

    • Liz K! says:

      Thanks Przybyz 😉 And yes, there IS still time to do Warm Up Grand Rapids~I think there will always be a time for that. It’s cold here!! I will be happy to put that on my blog and FB page when you get it going. ❤

  2. I am so excited and honored you chose God’s Kitchen/Gallery 303 for your first charity. I have volunteered there weekly a little over a year now and love every minute of it. “Soups On For All”, held on Monday, January 28th, at the BOB is our main fundraiser for God’s Kitchen. Can’t wait to see all your bowls from your painting party once they come out of the kiln. I know you will all have a fun evening at “Soup’s On For All” – good food, music and friendly faces. I am so proud of you and your girlie friends – keep up the great work!

  3. Linnaea says:

    Liz, can we give food donations directly to you?

    • Liz K! says:

      Yes Linnaea, I will write more on this by this weekend. Hoping to set up a few places around town as designated drop-off spots. I will also post the list of items needed for the food pantry AND the baby pantry. xoxo

      • Linnaea says:

        OK – I am going grocery shopping tomorrow – I’ll check out the website that you listed to see if they have a list of needed items.

  4. JennMarieP says:

    Online donation made! There was an area to leave a “special note” so I did indicate “sent by My Sudden Attack of Conscience” in that spot. I was also checking out the baby pantry page. I’m sure I have items I could donate. Good work Liz, keep it up!

  5. Kim Poplaski says:

    My donation was sent! I look forward to following along with your journey. This is an amazing resolution!!!

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