2020 was a time of tragedy and unprecedented challenge. It was also a year of inspiration, of people driven to make things better, to face adversity, to serve the needs of others.
SPiN Cafe opened the year uncertain of our future, even before COVID-19. On the street due to a lost lease, we were invited to St. Stephen’s Episcopal and to the Church on the Rock to continue our evening meal service – only to see that evaporate with the state restrictions beginning in March.
In a time of crisis, creativity flowed. Tom Saunders of SPiN’s Board of Directors rallied volunteers, donors, and logistics to provide a few bagged sandwiches a few days a week at Flintstone Park. It was meager, but it was a start. And it was a sign that we would not give up on the guests we serve.
Then the program grew as churches and community organizations jumped on board. By summer, SPiN volunteers were serving sack meals – over 30 a day in the month of August – to our guests seven days a week.
Laundry service, provided once a week at Dutch Maid Laundry and supported by the generosity of our friends, returned in the late spring and became another crucial piece of our job providing dignity to our neighbors.
We got off to a slow start but by the end of the year, we had served nearly as many meals in 2020 as we did in 2019. It took a huge effort – logistics, communication, and dedication – and we are proud of everyone who took part. Together, we did it. And we will keep doing it.
Many thanks to all the volunteers, donors, and supporters who stuck with us and made it happen!