Kensington Volunteers Making a Difference
But it’s nice to be able to make a difference in your community as well. That’s why for the past four years, we’ve teamed up with the Inspiration Corporation to help feed homeless and low-income residents in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
That’s where the Inspiration Corporation operates the Inspiration Cafe, a genuinely inspiring place where more than 26,000 hot and nutritious meals were served to needy Chicago residents last year.
A Gratifying Volunteer Experience
The Cafe, at 4554 N. Broadway, depends upon community support. Trained volunteers prepare and serve restaurant-style meals five mornings and four nights a week. Sometimes that’s us. This month, a team of nine Kensington employees tied on their aprons once again to tackle everything from chopping vegetables to preparing meals and setting, serving and clearing tables. It’s a chance to give back to the community, enjoy a little teamwork outside the office – and maybe brush up on our culinary skills!
But it’s also a place where, year after year, our employees come back feeling like they got back as much as they gave. It’s incredibly rewarding to participate in an effort that provides something as basic as a hot meal, and does it in such a dignified way. Patrons of the Cafe laughed, smiled and shared stories with our employees as they enjoyed made-to-order meals served in a clean and inviting atmosphere.
Giving Back & Getting Smiles in Return
Our employees say that volunteering at the Inspiration Cafe is especially gratifying because the positive effects of the program are immediately apparent. “Many of us at Kensington find that we are highly motivated by a sense of mission to help people,” said one employee. “However, it’s sometimes hard to see the immediate impact of our work.” Volunteers at the Inspiration Cafe interact directly with the Cafe’s guests and see the appreciation firsthand.
“My favorite part of volunteering at the Inspiration Cafe was watching guarded people going through a very tough time in their lives begin to smile,” recounted one of our recent volunteers.
“I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to show them kindness and I hope they went about the rest of their day reminded that they matter.”
Another added: “I always feel good when I volunteer at the Café. We all work so well together and the people at the Inspiration Café are happy to have us serve.”