Community

   When we created RainyDayChefs, we didn't realize the importance of our community, all the people who have supported us and helped us get where we are today. I'm an introvert by nature, so reaching out and finding volunteers and local charities was a huge step out of my comfort zone, but it was one of the best decisions I've made. My definition of community has been shaped by my experiences with RDC since we started our journey back in 2017, back when I was an awkward middle schooler. RDC began with just the three of us co-founders making meals to support our friends at the shelters every month. However, we soon realized that by having more volunteers cook with us, we could support more of the community. With this epiphany, I started inviting our friends to join us for the cookouts. Our appreciation for these additional helping hands grew and we were able to scale up our meal donations. While we invited our friends, we noticed that we were also unintentionally inspiring younger kids who wanted to be part of this effort. The recent Covid-19 situation was a call to revisit our current working model and rethink our approach to continue our efforts, since we were unable to cook together. I took on the responsibility of engaging our volunteers during these times. Logistically I had to reach out to all of our interested volunteers; set up a group for coordinating cookouts; and maintained excel spreadsheets to outline specific details to keep in mind. I also set up Covid cookout guidelines to ensure that we all followed hygienic procedures during these cookouts to keep everyone at the shelters  safe. This structure proved to be successful, and sometimes we ended up with more volunteers than needed. We are all truly grateful for this support, and RDC couldn't have continued normally without the much-needed help. We asked each of our volunteers to make a portion of the 3 course meals at their home, collected all of the food, and drove it to the shelters. This model has proved to be very successful and we have managed to support the shelters every month during these difficult times due to the pandemic. I'm glad to see so many young volunteers showing considerable enthusiasm to be part of this effort. I decided to create a volunteer spotlight to thank these inspiring supporters. Without their help we couldn't keep the legacy of RDC going! ~ Community Director, Neha