A message from Teva...
During my first three weeks at Metro Caring, I’ve been taking the time to meet one on one with each member of staff, join volunteer gatherings, shadow shifts and get to know our community. These meetings and moments provide me with glimpses into Metro Caring’s history, culture, strengths and potential.
I’m struck every day by how easy our warehouse staff makes it seem to pick up, sort and distribute literal tons of food, and how our volunteer coordination team welcomes, settles and supports dozens of volunteers each morning, and then turns around and does it again in the afternoon. The nutrition team makes diet-related disease prevention fun and tasty. The hospitality and support crew fields hundreds of calls and provides seamless wraparound supports, and all the while, the development and finance teams run the back of the shop, ensuring the lights are on and the walk-in cooler is cold. Throughout it all, Jess, Reuben and Hawa freely give out high-fives and smiles. And that’s just our paid workforce.
Knowing Gerta that rides her bike to Metro Caring every week to ensure the warehouse sorters don’t dawdle in their fruit and vegetable sorting, that Mark takes time from his normal duties to help with handy work upstairs, and that Caroline showers each participant who walks into the market with smiles and warm words, fills me with hope for what we can do together. And when I think about how Gerta , Mark and Caroline are just a small sampling of the more than 1,000 people who’ve been giving their time like this for 4 or 8 or 15 years, I’m further inspired. I’m awed by how many septuagenarians I’ve met whose energy seems to rival that of my eight and ten year old sons, and how many teens are putting in daily hard work to intern and learn professionalism and customer service.
I’ve learned so much in these first few weeks, that I’ve decided to take this show on the road. In the coming months I’ll be launching a comprehensive listening campaign. Once I’ve had the chance to complete one-on-one interviews with each member of Metro Caring’s staff and Board of Directors, I’ll be reaching out to donors, volunteers, community partners and participants. Please help! If you are a member of Metro Caring’s community and care about our work, I’d love to hear from you.
I have an open door policy, so if you’re in the office and my door is open, feel free to drop in, introduce yourself and tell me what’s on your mind. If you’d like to set up a time to meet, call or email me any time. If you know a rock star volunteer or participant who has good ideas, feedback or perspective, please share their name and information with me (with their permission) so that I can reach out to set up a time to meet them. As I get to know the Metro Caring community better, feedback from all corners will help me get the lay of the land, identify strengths to build from, problems to fix and identify strategic opportunities.
Later this fall, I’m going to launch a book and conversation club that will be open to anyone in our community from staff to Board to participants, volunteers and donors. Together, we’ll read and explore articles, books, and documentaries that explore food and hunger themes, non-profit leadership, poverty and more. I hope you’ll consider joining me (more details to follow). I will also be utilizing resources from my final year of the Livingston Leadership Fellowship to travel to and learn from others in the food equity field to uncover new ideas and strategies that might be worth exploring in our community.
I’ve been so privileged to discover the community that exists at Metro Caring and I’m excited to learn with and from you, and see what extraordinary impact we can make together.