“Five gallons of soup”, my Hubby Norm yelled, “five gallons of soup?…Colly this time you’ve gone too far!” he kept repeating as I lugged in twenty pounds of Cremini mushrooms packed in five pound cartons. Next came twenty-two quarts of chicken stock, cream and onions and finally, the bottle of sherry wine that it would take to create the Santa Cruz Mountains Gourmet Dinner Club’s Rustic Cream of Mushroom Soup.
I stepped back and surveyed my small kitchen, where now there was absolutely no place to put the stock pots for the soup. I had to agree with Norm, I may have gone over the top. The amount of slicing and dicing and cooking time alone was overwhelming.
And yet I remembered the importance of this “soup” and my promise to Jessica, who is the Development Director of the Homeless Services Center on Coral Street and Hwy. 9 in Santa Cruz that the Santa Cruz Mountains Gourmet Dinner Club would deliver five gallons of soup to be sold at their 15th annual fundraiser “Soupline Supper.”
This nonprofit organization which has been around since1986, has a mission to provide “A Pathway to Housing” to individuals and families in crisis throughout Santa Cruz County (our own San Lorenzo Valley’s residents included). In this way we are able to provide a hand up out of homelessness. The center focuses on “housing first” strategies that help secure permanent housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. Secondly, the center provides supportive services to ensure individuals, who are housed, stay housed.
The afternoon of the event major restaurant’s donated soups began arriving at the Cocoanut Grove’s kitchen along with event volunteers and the local celebrities who donated their time to ladling the soup, ours included.
By 5:45 p.m. the Cocoanut Grove’s banquet hall was filled with 500 plus “soup eaters,” all pleased they had contributed their time and dollars to support this cause.
By evening’s end, $79,000 had been raised by 500 hungry attendees.
Whether donating dollars or volunteering time to those who need to be fed, clothed or sheltered is a remarkable virtue and will help in making our communities strong.