The Sophia Way Luncheon (October 15th, 2019)
The Sophia Way is a women's shelter we, the RainyDayChefs, have been cooking for. We were generously invited to attend their annual luncheon and speak about our personal experiences while serving The Sophia Way shelters and how RainyDayChefs contributes to the community. We were all so inspired by the experience we had at the luncheon and would love to continue sharing our story with others. We each had a different experience at the luncheon, and I'll share all of them with you in this blog.
Here's Ria's story: "The Sophia Way Luncheon was unlike anything I've experienced before. I am so glad that I got the chance to talk about RainyDayChefs in front of so many guests. Before the event, I was super excited but very anxious to speak in front of 600 people. The ballroom was grand, and the crowd looked very intimidating. My part of the speech was about how we include different cuisines in our cookouts and the recipes we come up with every month. I remember when we were just about to get on stage how nervous I was, but once I started talking, I realized that it was going well. I am super grateful that I had this opportunity, and I hope we inspired others to help the less fortunate in our community as well".
My (Neha's) story: "My first luncheon was last year with girl scouts. That time, I was featured in a girl scouts promotional video and had the opportunity to announce lottery tickets onstage in front of hundreds of people. This time, instead, I actually wrote my speech with Nitya and Ria and talked about something important to us in front of a larger group of people. When I walked onstage, I could feel the lights shining on me and many eyes looking at us. I got a little nervous, but eventually overcame my fears and became more comfortable with the crowd. I was so worried about making a mistake, but when I did, I covered it up with a joke and received laughter from the audience. This increased my confidence and I felt more comfortable speaking to everyone. Personally, I spoke about how anyone can volunteer with the RainyDayChefs and how to support The Sophia Way. I also talked about how we created the RainyDayChefs and how we contribute to the community. After exiting the stage, I felt relieved ,but I also felt like we made an impact on the audience. Although missing high school can be so difficult, this luncheon and the experiences I gained through it were definitely worth it! After the luncheon was over, It felt weird. People we didn't even know were congratulating us and telling us how we inspired them. Some people even exchanged contact information or took photos with us. I haven't experienced this much attention before in my life, so it was a strange feeling. After leaving the luncheon, I felt like what I had just done was one of the biggest accomplishments so far in my life and the most impactful!"
Nitya's story: "The Sophia Way luncheon was a fun and memorable experience. When Ria and I arrived early for the rehearsal, we went through our speech and waited for Neha to arrive and for the main event to start. When Neha arrived, we all ate our lunch while watching other inspiring speeches that showed us how others are impacting our community as well. I haven't ever spoken in front of such a large crowd of people, but I was still pretty confident in my speech. When it was finally our turn to speak, we all walked up onto the stage and presented our speech. During my part of the speech, I talked about how delivering the food is one the most important aspects of the cooking process. While delivering the food, you become more educated about what people are going through and how important it is to give back to your community. At the end of our speech and as the luncheon came to an end, many new people were congratulating us and it was very empowering to know how much they appreciate what we do as the RainyDayChefs."
Photos from the luncheon:
This luncheon was one of the best experiences we could ask for as the RainyDayChefs. It was memorable and taught us the value of imparting our story to the community. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity that the staff at The Sophia Way gave us. The staff is just as amazing as the women we serve at the shelters. We would love to thank Maya, Kavya, Alisa, and Sujata. They were all so helpful in guiding our speech and making us feel welcome. Thank you to all of our supporters and volunteers. This would not have been possible without all of you!