‘Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it’
William Arthur Ward
The other day, whilst flicking through the various blogs that I subscribe too, I came across a lovely post on www.dinneralovestory.com. The post talked about a woman called Gina Hamadey, who lives in Brooklyn, who launched a gratitude campaign that involved her writing a thank-you note every day of this year. 365 hand-written notes by the end of 2018. (You can find her on Instagram @thankyouyear). Gina has sent notes to the woman who ran her local bookshop, to the person who babysat her children, to the butcher, who had offered brilliant customer service. She has written to friends that she re-connected with on Facebook, reminding them of fun things they had done in the past or just simply to say, ‘I miss you.’ She wrote to the doctor who saved her Dad’s life and she wrote to a mentor who had really supported in her work. The letters weren’t fancy or long. They were just sincere, specific and from the heart. I thought that this was such a great idea and began my own thank you year -today - by writing to a friend who constantly shows me great kindness. (And the Soul Food shop held the perfect card!!).
At the moment, I have a very long ‘thank you’ list.
This year, I have had the privilege of helping to bring Soul Food Edinburgh to birth, but I have not done this alone.
My primary thanks – naturally – have to go to those who come along to Soul Food every week and make it what it is. Thank you for trusting us with your stories and for showing us what community can look like. You mean so much to us and we feel privileged to know you.
Over these last months as all our plans have come into place to launch Soul Food Edinburgh as a charity, I have been so grateful to the parts that many people have played to get things off the ground. Mark Harris, David Strang and Richard Cornfield have been brilliant, generous and willing Trustees and Anna Robinson, Laurence Pithie, Duncan Maclean and Rachel Moreland – wise and committed steering group members.
Everything feels very official with the launch of our new website. Huge thanks for its design goes to Becky Campbell who has worked tirelessly to design it along with our branding and even our Christmas cards. The beautiful photos of our Soul Food meal at St Margret’s Church are the work of Chris Hoskins, who like Becky, has gone above and beyond to help support Soul Food as we begin to expand across the city.
I am incredibly grateful to those who have got in touch over the last six months and asked if they could give financially, regularly, to support Soul Food Edinburgh, or who have sent us ‘one – off’ cheques. And on that note, I am so grateful to all those of you who have gone shopping on our website and bought cards, meals, aprons and fleeces. You are truly wonderful, not to mention exceptionally generous.
Our Soul Food volunteers are THE best! Week in week out they cook, set tables, serve food, make coffee, clean, wash up, and host. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed as to how to even begin to thank them enough for the way in which they love, care and demonstrate kindness to others. They inspire me and encourage me greatly.
Over these next weeks I will be writing to many of you personally. But in the meantime, just as our lovely Soul Food ‘thank you’ cards say, “I thank my God every time I think of you.’ Philippians 1:3