Be the Cause

Ho-lay Moh-lay

In true Be the Cause “fashion” I am late. Who wouldn’t take 3 weeks to recover from a massive Mexican fiesta? I ask you, pray tell.

Again, I am humbled, astonished, grateful for all the support this project has gotten. As some of you may know, we had a pretty ambitious agenda for the Easter luncheon: transport about 20 lbs. of ingredients and equipment to Carson and back, make tamales, rice, beans, cheesy pies, 2 kinds of cookies, goodie bags filled with socks and inspirational messages, decorate 7 tables, coordinate a small village of volunteers, figure out how to use industrial kitchen equipment, have a go at new recipes and untried methods, apologize, then suck it up and hope that the food turned out OK and doesn’t make everyone sick. So maybe the last part is just my paranoia speaking.

Looking at this list, I’m thinking of how Supun and his family let a bunch of BTC bandits take over their kitchen and dining room and trash it for at least 4 hours after their cleaning lady had just left. I’m thinking of Shaheda, making her annual appearance (I’m teasing) and Joyce, symmetrically spreading masa on corn husks wiped dry by a gal named Pam, who just saw the project posting on the BTC website and decided to drive out from the OC that morning. Christine rolling out cookies and Sukh wanting to contaminate my bag of powdered sugar in an effort to make the process a little more efficient, as always. Also Bharti, who despite being a vegetarian, rolled those chicken tamales like a pro…..all the while speaking of my inability to wield a hammer and how I need an Italian husband. And Supun and his mom, who together finished off the tamale goodness by tying neat little bows around them.

And this was just on Saturday.

Sunday was met by another group of volunteers, my coworker/friend and her church buddies, who decorated the entire dining area, brought the bags of goodies and distributed all kinds of candy GALORE. They prepped the other half of the meal and served.

It’s hard for me to express the gratitude I feel for the love, support and energy everyone poured into that one meal. Ironically, on that one day we got the least amount of ladies since we started serving lunch: 36. When the food was served, it wasn’t as loud as usual. In fact, it was almost silent. I’m still not sure how to interpret that, but I suppose it’s more comforting personally to think that it’s because they were hungry and the food was pretty good. How could it not have been? We did a good job!

Before we left, of course we gathered in a circle to reflect on the service. One volunteer reminded me of how Easter is a time of renewal, and for many of the Ladies, the Center is their source for starting over again — not just in the sense that it provides lots of social resources, but the community we all find there I think is the most important part. In some way, it seems like everyone who showed up that weekend at Supun’s and the Center were there to feed and be fed, to seek nourishment along that long and labored journey we’re all taking.

I’m hoping that any of y’all who’s been to the DWC or wants to go will post your take on it too!

Please :)


  • gianna

    Melisa, sounds like the tamale partay and the easter luncheon were great!! I couldn’t volunteer on Easter! Too many volunteers :-( which is a good thing! Just bad for me…cause I wanted to be there! :)

    I’ll take an Italian hubby too. Someone cook for me, pleez! In the meantime, I prolly should learn to cook a bit more ;)

    Anyhoo…I’m so touched with all going on with the DWC! Yaaay!

  • Sukh


    The event that day truly made Easter come alive for me. I recollect sharing a conversation with one of your friends from the church. He was mentioned how the entire afternoon he was focused on only one small activity and yet when he looked up the entire process was unfolding. Chopping was happening, preparing was happening, cooking was happening, tables were being set, food was being served and ultimately everything was being cleaned and organized. Yet, he only participated in a small portion of the entire activity. We thought it was fitting, to come to this realization during an Easter event. That we can never truly know or see the entire process of the universe unfolding, that we can only see and participate in a very small portion of what is really happening in reality, and yet it our faith that let us believe that even our small portion is somehow a part of the much larger cosmos that is unfolding. Faith, that if we somehow keep doing our small bit, that the rest will continue to unfold as it needs to.

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