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Nic Bianchi Begins a Well-Deserved Retirement from Dorothy’s Kitchen

from Nic Bianchi, Kitchen Director
With great respect and admiration, we said goodbye to our Kitchen Manager, Nic Bianchi, who retired at the end of June.  She will be missed. Here is her special description about how we managed to continue serving hundreds of meals during the most difficult times of the pandemic – and some of the things we learned.

Volunteer – Mark Botelho.

Mark Botelho, joyful and upbeat, began volunteering at Dorothy’s Place with his church, St. Joseph’s Parish in Spreckels.  With six other church members he helped prepare and serve the mid-day meal one Saturday each month.  That began three years ago, during what some people refer to as “the before times.”

“When the pandemic began many volunteers were unable to continue serving at Dorothy’s Place.  The Kitchen needed help so I began helping to prepare and serve lunch four days each week,” says Mark. When asked about the coronavirus, he says, “I never give it a second thought. The Kitchen team follows a strict COVID safety policy.  They keep the work space safe.  Being there each day has been a blessing.  I am thankful that I am able to do this.

Volunteer – Harry Sweigert

Our volunteers come from many backgrounds and have a variety of experiences.  When I get to know them, I usually find that what inspires them to volunteer is unique to them, and their outlook on life.

“Dorothy’s Place has a place in my heart,” says Harry Sweigert, “I grew up in Salinas and I knew the neighborhood when Soledad and Lake Streets were full of businesses.  I had friends who lived nearby. I saw the neighborhood change.  I believe God has led me to come here.  My faith inspires me to serve others, to ‘be the hands and feet…’ as people say.”