3 Ways To Serve
Why Get Involved?
A message from Jeff
10 years ago I had a dream to create a venue for all of our community to come together and share a meal and fellowship. This would be my first Community dinner experience. I was standing next to my son, who was 7 at the time, and he said, “Dad, I thought these were dinners for the homeless.” I said “They are.” He was looking at a hispanic family seated nearby and said “But I go to school with that boy. He’s not homeless.” That was my “aha” moment. I realized then that these dinners were not for one specific demographic, but were meant for everyone to attend. We cannot pretend to know what any one person is going through at any specific time, any of us could fall on hard times in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, people want to help as well. At one dinner, a homeless man approached me, shook my hand and thanked me profusely for having these dinners. He stated how much these events have helped him and how blessed he felt to be a part of them. While he was shaking my hand, he slipped me money to assist with the event. This single dollar bill was his way of giving back, and the gesture brought tears to my eyes. He said sorry it wasn’t more but it was all he had. Since then, he has volunteered at every dinner and has become a close friend of mine. He still lives on the streets and fights every day for his livelihood but still gives back. That is what these dinners are all about. That is why I decided to name our organization Together We’re Elgin, the name sums up what we are all about.
In order to put these dinners on, we need partnerships with many people and organizations. I have been blessed with the financial assistance over the years to fund all of our Community dinners. Our goal 10 years ago was to host 4 events a year, we have now exceeded that number and host five dinners per year. The next goal is to see 2% of the entire Elgin population to attend these dinners, which would be just over 2,000 people. Our largest dinner was 1500 people in attendance. Remember that is people from all walks of life coming together to share a meal. There were 1500 people at our largest event to date, 1500 people from all walks of life coming together to share a meal. Volunteers are included in these numbers as well. These volunteers play a critical role in the success of the dinners, it would be impossible to host these events without them.) We are blessed to have a volunteer base over 200 people. On occasion we have had more volunteers than needed, but those who weren’t needed in the kitchen or the serving line know they are always invited to attend the dinners as well.
The dates are set for our next 4 dinners and we are currently raising money for all of them. Any monies raised will fund the Thanksgiving dinner and anything left will go to fund the next dinner. We want to build a cushion in our account so we are not scrambling to fund each dinner right before it happens. While we have a lot of great partnerships, it is sometimes still difficult to raise enough funds for the dinners. In this day and age, finances are tight for many people and we understand that. I am blessed to have been in the position to cover the money not raised and continue to hold the dinners, but it is tough for me as well. We are asking for you to donate if you are able. Every little bit helps. If 2% of the population gave $2.00 each, we would fund a dinner to feed 2000 people.
Thank you for your support of our mission and we are proud to continue to serve the Elgin community.
Together We’re Elgin
---Bringing community members from all walks of life together through food and fellowship.