After more than a year of providing our neighbors with daily nutritious meals at Dorothy’s Place, while implementing and practicing our COVID Safety Policies, we are taking time to reflect. I am extremely proud of our Team, both staff and volunteers, who kept our programs going every day.
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.
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.”