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What Brings You to Karma Kitchen?

What brings you to Karma Kitchen? A sense of community, smiling faces of all the volunteers, compassion, the “ambiance,” and were some of the answers. :)

One of the core strengths of Karma Kitchen lies in the commitment of the wonderful volunteers (just check out the picture) :) who create that atmosphere that so many guests value. While it is never the same group of volunteers twice, I am always left with the feeling of camaraderie and warmth at the end.

The theme-of-the-day was JOY, and it was certainly a joyous volunteering experience. Here are some highlights:

•    Arthur led the battalion on all fronts this week. His infectious yet silent demeanor set the tone. Started off giving an orientation in the back, then migrated to the front to carry on the role of a server, and even helped organize the dishes in the back from time to time. Arthur for President! :)
•    First-time volunteer and server Kristi began by choosing the Theme-of-the-Day and carried that enthusiasm & joy with her through out the day. And she’s the Vice-President!
•    Sadan’s ability to engage guests wowed everyone! He was able to connect with guests on a deeper level and even tagged a bunch of them with gifts! The award of Tagger-Extraordinaire for this week goes to this young man.
•    The duo of Tom and Vikram is a duo to look out for.  Even with serving 100 guests, they never missed a beat washing the dishes and bussing tables.
•    MJ amazed us with his amazing interface and maitre’d (from time to time) skills. When the restaurant got a bit hectic, MJ held the fort down. Did I mention, he can even make a mean plate of naan. :)
•    Aditi and Anjuman demonstrated how a difficult task could be made into a joyous one with a touch of love and creativity!
•    Eric was churning out drinks and desserts before the orders were placed! Talk about a fabulous turnover. :)
•    Nipun played a role that we don’t have a name for yet, but ‘savior’ seems to be in the same category. Switching from maitre’d to bussing and setting up tables to engaging guests, Nipun was the icing on a perfect cake. :)
•    Audrey and Chris came to eat but joined the party to volunteer! First she said no, then she blushed, and finally she left everyone speechless with her poetic words! Chris was the perfect tonic who came through when we needed it the most, at the end. :)

Guest comments on the theme of JOY:
•    It gives me “joy” to see beautiful wide open spaces of nature.
•    What makes me smile? It’s when another reckons me (in any sense) with a new reality and possibility for life.
•    Disappearing cancer cells!
•    Seeing other people interacting with strangers and spreading smiles out into the world. Also, just being content with myself for who I am really brings me joy!
•    The joy of my life is the continous feed of hilarious off-beat comments made by my neice and nephews.
•    The sense of purpose and gratitude that comes from building houses for East Bay Habitat for Humanity.
•    When a 3-year-old, Charlie K calls me his best friend.

One of the guests even left a card (see image) for Karma Kitchen, which reads:

Dear Karma Kitchen Staff, Volunteers, Chefs, and Guests,
    What you are doing today, your goodwill and service is so much appreciated by so many people in our community. Each of you are helping create a more loving and caring world! Thank You so much!!

Thank You to all of you for creating such a beautiful experience for all the guests and each other! And we hope to see you again!

--Maitre'd on Jul 28, 2010

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