Saturday, August 13, 2011

Volunteering for a Good Cause

While I find it hard to say "no" to my wife for anything, it would have been unthinkable this weekend. After all the help she has provided with my latest production, (scheduler, costumer, mom-wrangler, puppeteer, seamstress... the list goes on), I would have really felt like an ungrateful slob had I refused to help out with the event she had arranged.

Our local Applebee's provides non-profit groups with a great way to raise funds by allowing us to arrange a Pancake Breakfast. My wife Gina scheduled one for our church, and today was the day. That meant being up, showered, dressed and in the car by 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I know for some of you, that doesn't sound like a big deal, but for someone who rarely falls into bed before 2 a.m., there is really only one word for it... $@#@^%&@*@!

Still, having worked in the restaurant business for over a dozen years served me well. It didn't take long before I felt right at home plating food, washing dishes and making sure our "servers", (the children of our adult volunteers, pressed into service), were moving along and doing their jobs.

Granted, we had one dish on the menu, and a house full of folks who were ready to be pleasant and patient, (this was a charity effort for our church, after all), so it wasn't the hard-charging fast pace of a real restaurant on a Friday evening. Nobody ever fell "into the weeds", and we didn't have to "86" anything. We got all of the adrenaline and the feeling of 'making it happen' without all of the downsides to serving other people food.

It was kinda fun watching the pre-teens grumble over having to wrap silverware, ("We have to do ALL of these?"). The kind of fun one has as an adult, watching kids get the barest glimpse of real work.

I don't want to post pics of other people's kids here without their permission, so it'll have to suffice to say that all of the volunteers, adults and kids, did a great job! Tom at the coffee machine, Gina and I on the line and Margo making sure everything was as good as it could be. All of the kids who served and smiled, even though they were tired and out of their element... you made it special.

We pulled in a good chunk of $$$ as a donation to the good works that our local church does, (and they really do some great things for the community), and we all walked away feeling that we did something of value today. It was fun, it was hectic and no, I wouldn't trade my present life for my past life in this business, but, I have to say... it was worth getting up today.