A Fond Farewell to Going Home Coordinator Kim Walker
On July 13th TACO said goodbye to our Going Home Coordinator, Kim Walker, as her husband’s career necessitated a move to Philadelphia. Since February 2019, Kim has done a great job in her role with Going Home and Simon's Walk. Her expertise in building relationships with clients and volunteers was apparent; she also created written policies, procedures and documentation protocols that will benefit the program going forward.
As the pandemic brought uncertainty to the lives of Going Home clients, Kim acted as a steady constant in their lives, unflustered and pragmatic, but unwilling to accept anything other than what was best for her clients. The TACO Family will miss her expertise and support - but wish her the best of luck!
A huge thank you goes out to TACO Board Member, Jim Friedrich, who has stepped up to provide service to our Going Home clients until Kim’s replacement is hired. Before retiring, Jim Friedrich had careers in both parish ministry and clinical social work, and is well-equipped to provide holistic care for TACO clients during this time of transition.
A Volunteer's Story - Serving in Uncertain Times by Jude Annunziata
My husband and I had volunteered at TACO for three years – since we moved to San Diego from New York – when the pandemic struck. We worried about how TACO would safely continue to provide meals for our guests and if we should put ourselves at risk to continue volunteering. TACO figured it out! They devised a new system to prepare, pack up and serve to-go meals (plus hygiene, socks etc.), and maintain the safety of the volunteers and guests while doing so.
The first Friday morning back we returned with trepidation. We had always worn gloves and hair coverings. Now we added masks and social distancing as we packed and served the meal. In fact, Lou and I only do the packing, because the older volunteers do not go outside to serve, to lower our risk. It has quickly become a well-oiled machine.
The caliber of the meals remains restaurant quality! The individual components are placed in disposable containers and packaged to go in a carry bag. All guests are provided masks (if they aren’t wearing one), a place to wash their hands and we even continue to serve hot coffee!
I have always felt that we get much more out of serving than our guests receive. Lou and I are proud to be able to volunteer and serve during this crisis in America. God bless TACO’s ministry!