The "Dishing with Donna" Show is Atlanta's Only Celebrity Food, Wine and Restaurant Radio Program. Listen every Saturday @ 4:00pm on WGKA Talk 920am to hear Donna entertain listeners with celebrity interviews such as Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, or Ted Allen - as well as the exclusive inside scoop into Atlanta's very own restaurant scene.

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Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's 180 Degrees!

Have you ever felt an urge, or even a curiosity, to go and volunteer and truly feel as though you are giving and helping and making an effort ..... but just have no idea where to go or what to do??  People often battle with wanting to help  vs.  actually taking action to help.  We can think about it all we want and tell ourselves,  "I need to remember to find a place to volunteer!", "Don't forget to ask MaryLou Freebush where she volunteers at", "I should really get involved doing something,  hmmmm, I'll figure that one out tomorrow" .... etc ... but no matter how many times I tell myself this,  I still never seem to get my feet to follow my heart.  I guess I'm best at volunteering my procrastination.  -- Thankfully, I have an inspirational friend named Shannon Alderman  (wickedly talented free lance writer, if you're interested!)  and she joyfully volunteers all over downtown whenever she can.  Which is usually a couple times per week!   Every stinkin week.  - It blows my mind.   Watching her find happiness in putting others first makes me feel about one inch tall.   She is my new inspiration!

A while back, I decided I would throw myself into the MAKE A WISH Foundation, volunteering.  My whole family did it together.  But for some unexplainable reason ... I just never got attached to the program emotionally.  - I didn't understand why my heart wasn't responding,  and yet my mother and sister and aunt all fully and naturally connected to the Make a Wish organization.  I was the odd one out.  -- and I was disappointed,  until . . . . . .  . . . until only a month or so later,  my childhood youth minister popped back up into my life after a million years, and when he heard what I now do for a living -- Food Radio -- he was so excited to tell me about a place called  180 Degree Kitchen.   Well,  actually - my computer doesn't have a "degree" symbol,  but technically it looks like this:  180* Kitchen.  (that's the closest I could get-)
    My friends,  please read.  This is so cool and so incredibly enriching that you will also now understand why maybe my heart wasn't wrapped around Make A Wish ...  although I am so proud of my family who are very involved  (-you ladies are love in action!)  .... but I think it was because God matched my heart with something else more tailored to my identity.  And my heart melted when I discovered 180* Kitchen!   I knew that is a place where I can truly devote my volunteering time and energy into.  If you are a foodie, like I am, then you may want to check this out!
The City of Refuge is an entire "village", if you will, right in the most dangerous part of the state in the projects of Atlanta ... a city within a city,  City of Refuge is a huge living complex for homeless women and children - rehabilitating them, educating them, providing medical needs and private living arrangements, countless programs for the children, job placement, church, social functions, therapy, and so so so much more to give these homeless women and struggling addicted women a chance to save their life.  To regain responsibility and dignity.  To offer love and a future to their children.  To find purpose and spirit within.  - It's deep.  And amazing.
  ----- What's MORE amazing is the part where we can come in.  Within this structured living environment, there is a separate program called  180* Kitchen.  It is actually a Culinary School where troubled and struggling kids ages 16-25 can come and get off the streets, and make a future for themselves!  They enroll in culinary school.  FOR FREE.   It's incredible!!  At the end of their schooling, (which is the real deal!)  the 180* Kitchen will actually place these students into a restaurant with an entry level job!  And the best part is ... on Tuesdays and Thursdays, anyone is welcome to come and watch the students prepare gourmet lessoned meals for the Homeless.    IT   IS   SO  COOL.    Homeless people are lined up from all over to come and eat this free meal twice a week.   And we, as volunteers, simply set the tables and bring out plates of food to the homeless men and women and children sitting there restaurant style, and then help close everything up after.  Quick quick.  It's so simple ... and yet so internally rewarding.  I highly recommend you joining me in volunteering any week!  I am committing myself to becoming more involved.
Bruce Deel operates the entire operation and is a man who wears many hats.  He has been highly recognized for his passionate steadfast work with City of Refuge, and still continues to grow and grow and grow in public visibility and utter blessings.   Listen to me dish with Bruce, plus the Executive Chef and Culinary Director, Chef Alex - coming up this Saturday on DwD at 2:00pm.

Your heart is going to feel warm and fuzzy ... because we're cranking it up to 180 Degrees!

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