This past weekend we volunteered again at Damiano’s soup kitchen in honor of our friend, Laura Jenkins!
Laura served as a team leader in AmeriCorps NCCC during our time in the Pacific Region, and Cooper had the pleasure of being one of her corps member for part of the year. During Laura’s year of service, her team volunteered at a soup kitchen and had a really positive experience. She requested that we give time to an organization that works to alleviate hunger, so back to the Damiano Center we went.
The Damiano Center has been a strong service in Duluth since 1982 when it first opened to address basic needs of residents affected by the recession. In the beginning, the center was completely temporary and operated under the idea that once the need subsided they would stop providing meals. However, almost 35 years later, the need has only continued to increase. To address these increased needs the Damiano Center began to offer other social services. Today, they have a number of programs including clothing exchanges, a kids cafe that provides activities, education on healthy habits, and regular meals to approximately 500 neighborhood kids, and a variety of other services focused on emergency needs and helping lift people out of poverty. It’s amazing the growth the organization has seen in such a short time and how many people they’ve positively impacted in Duluth.
We were excited to hear Laura was passionate about issues related to hunger because we were hoping to serve again with the Damiano Center. Being in the volunteer coordination field, I know how valuable it is to have recurring volunteers and we felt that we could have a stronger impact the second time by being more attentive and intuitive about the needs of the organization. It was a great experience working at the Damiano Center again and we hope to be there in the near future to continue supporting their mission.
With Laura’s donation, we can provide ourselves a week’s worth of breakfast and lunches. Laura, when we’re out on the trail guzzling oatmeal we’ll be thinking of you. Thank you again Laura for all of your support and encouragement!