Annual Report Jen.jpg

Heroes with aprons instead of capes


“I see heroes all around me, arriving in unexpected places and moments in time.”


Letter from Jen Hidinger-Kendrick

Originally featured in the GK 2017 Annual Report published in November 2018.

When Mister Rogers would interview, he would ask his interviewees to take a 60-second pause and recall a memory of someone who impacted or shaped their life. Who was their hero?

Often times, he would sit just inches away from his interviewees’ faces, an almost child-like behavior that could sometimes feel uncomfortable at first but would then bring out the most sincere, authentic memories from the person Mister Rogers was talking to.

Sometimes I find it easy to recall a memory of a hero – the face of my fifth grade teacher or my grandmother or a particularly-cherished friend – and sometimes I find it hard to separate those individuals from the colony of people who have been heroes to me.

But it only takes a moment to pull each hero out from the crowd.

It only takes a moment, too, to try to be a hero for someone else. To offer a selfless act of kindness, creating empathy and joy. To simply pay heed to a person’s mindset, well-being or perspective.

I see heroes all around me, arriving in unexpected places and moments in time. I also see heroes in the many people who propel Giving Kitchen forward – the staff working so hard, the volunteers offering their time, the donors generously sharing their support. Sometimes their work as a hero builds up over years of effort, and sometimes it takes only a moment.

I see heroes in the nearly half-million food service workers spanning the state of Georgia, this diverse group of people whose main task is to serve others. I see an army of heroes here – heroes with aprons instead of capes. But I also see a lot of need.

I encourage you to support these restaurant workers and their families in their times of need... because sometimes our heroes need their own heroes.

Jen Hidinger-Kendrick
GK Co-founder + Spokesperson
Staplehouse Co-founder