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We had a remarkable day at Karma Kitchen yesterday, particularly with our teen-age crew that was filled with five ServiceSpace interns, another teen in Akili, and former intern Dillan:
The contagious nature of generosity is how we started and ended. Our first guests heard about Karma Kitchen all the way in Michigan, while our last guest was someone who had never heard about it but after just a short conversation with Bradley was super keen for us to sneak him in before we closed.
And there was so much joy in between. At a community table, people shuffled their seats to accommodate a first time guest who was deaf in one ear. A guest on Dawn's table told her, "I've never seen so many smiling people in a restaurant", while another gratefully wrote on the back of the check: "I never get to order this much in a restaurant and I appreciate how you make this accessible to me." People wrote artful notes (coming soon to a blog near you!) when Jocelyn approached them to reflect on their greatest teacher of compassion. One couple remarked how the various invitations for engagement really made them feel like we were all "one big family."
A elder professor was so touched by Mira and Priyal's intention behind the hand-made "Wrists to Remind" that he reminded them, "You are the chosen few who have to spread this." Another insisted on offering them $10 that they could pay forward, while a teacher from Canada wanted to replicate that in her school. These were wrist laynards with an inspiring word, carefully researched to match the color of the band, and hand-written art:
"Everyone is so enthusiastic to help everyone else, in almost everything. So much good energy," Kajal said while leading the plating crew and interfacing with our guests. Lisa had a busy load but with all her experience, she still found a way to help other servers, just as Caryn not only helped with plating but also our dishwashing warriors -- Sanjeev and Vishesh. And Priya and Akayli's lemon surprise was one of the favorites of the day!
Open hearts were everywhere -- including the rice. :)
Thank you, all, for the smiles through the day and spreading that cheer to the 100+ folks that crossed our path:
--Ram on Jul 28, 2014