“The best part of your story is when it changes.”
When I started, The Giving Kitchen (TGK) was already taking off like wildfire. This idea, born from the toughest of circumstances by a group of people who considered themselves family, was one that Atlanta needed. We were officially running a start-up nonprofit….and drinking from a fire hose. I’m not sure it could have happened any other way, and I’m not sure I would have wanted it to. You see, my time with TGK brought so many special people – grantees and their families, donors, staff and volunteers – into my life. They have all left an imprint.
TGK exists to be the beyond-expectation resource for restaurant workers, and as someone who grew up in restaurants, and can remember watching my family taking care of their employees with emergency loans or helping with funeral expenses out of their own pockets, it has done just that for more than 658 individuals and families. The board and founders trusted me with their dream and I am proud that I was able to achieve so much in such a short time.
After three whirlwind years of leading TGK, it is time for me to look to my next chapter. It is a difficult and bittersweet decision to resign from my role as Executive Director. It feels as if I’m sending my first born off to college: it is tough to see them go, and yet you are proud that they are prepared to stand on their own. TGK has reached that point. Entering its 4th year of operating in a surplus, I am absolutely confident that TGK has the right people, infrastructure, support and strategic plan in place. My wish for TGK is that it continues to serve peace of mind to the hard working restaurant workers of Atlanta and that someday EVERY restaurant worker in this country facing an unanticipated crisis has a place to turn.
I think of Ryan Hidinger often. Every day in fact. His humility and humanity guided my time with TGK, and moving forward I am committed to supporting a smooth transition over the coming weeks. I have no doubts that the outstanding staff and board will continue their amazing work in service of TGK’s mission.
I am so very proud of the organization that The Giving Kitchen is today, and I leave so very proud of the part that I played in that creation. The Giving Kitchen – and the people that it embodies – will hold a place in my heart forever. It has truly served me peace of mind.