Those who have gotten to know me over the years know that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It humbles me and reminds me that we should be thankful for the good things that come our way, big and small, and be ready to give back.
My love of Thanksgiving and the idea that this can also be a month of gratitude led me to make our Zelos November a month of giving back to women who might not have had the good fortune we've had. Since I started Zelos, every November we donate a portion of our sales to the Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women in Cincinnati. This year, for the 4th in a row, we will be donating 5% of our November revenue to the Center for their ongoing needs.
I come from a family of strong, inspiring women, but I also know how fragile a woman’s position can still be. That is why I am asking you to join me again in supporting the Center by allowing your gourmet Greek food, Premium Gift Boxes or Discovery Combos to help others. If you are planning to buy from us during the upcoming holiday season, and timing is of importance to you, we will gladly hold your orders, ship them later and share the benefit with these women. You will only need to leave us a note while reviewing your Shopping Cart, letting us know when exactly to ship. Alternatively, you can make a donation to the Esther Marie Hatton Center directly on their site.
If you are curious about our cause, you can read more on our blog about that first November of giving back. You can also read about the meal program with a uniquely Cincinnati touch that a group of volunteers began at the Center. These committed members of the community, inspired by Cincinnati's famous chili, make “pasta chili": meat, pasta and veggies, topped with grated cheese, for a healthy & filling meal. What many people might not know is that Cincinnati's famous chili actually has Greek origins, another story I shared in the early days of my blog (you can try my lighter version Cincinnati chili recipe, too).
My friend Corinne is a volunteer at the shelter and she sent me this latest update:
Our group has been back serving directly at the shelter since early August.
So, we continue organizing +/- once a week a lunch and we are back inside interacting with the women and serving them our lunch.
Much needed as the cook is shared with the men's shelter (downtown) and it makes a big difference when it is cold (as it has been now for a few days) and we bring our warm and filling lunch to those women in need.
The shelter continues to operate at capacity (50 to 60 women) who have access to sleeping quarters, and are fed up to 3 times a day. Whilst they are residents, up to 3 or 4 months, they continue to have access to medical and dentistry care, and they get support/help to look after what they need : it can be a job, it can be housing, and I just heard this week that at time, it may start with documentation ie getting your ID documentation.
Depending on the weather (cold or not), and on the date in the month (at the beginning of the month, some have a little bit of money and may decide to have lunch elsewhere), we get from 25 to 40 women for lunch.
The women are very thankful and grateful for the attention we provide them with. Typically, as I leave the shelter and the cafeteria room at the end of the lunch, I am getting plenty of Thank You, Thanks for coming, and I joke with some of them about our common love for ... cheese (which is one of the ingredients of the meal we serve). Another example where food is obviously bringing a little bit of comfort to those women, and triggering joyful interactions.
The population at the shelter changes continuously, varying greatly in ages, and mostly Caucasian and African American women, confirming that Latina, and Asian women are getting support in their community/family/religious groups.
Thank you for helping us help the community.
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In this blog, we want to share with you stories of people and places and things that reflect zēlos, that Greek energy and enthusiasm that characterizes all we do. We hope you enjoy finding out more about this small, resilient, fascinating country and all it offers and inspires.
At Zelos Authentic Greek Artisan we want our customers to experience the true tastes and flavors of modern Greece and enjoy the same genuine flavors that we grew up with. We only choose organic or natural products, without a hint of preservatives, that are produced locally in Greece by small businesses. When you buy one of our Artisans' products, you support a very small business with big dreams, one that embodies contemporary Greek culinary excellence.
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