Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thursday - Connecting DESC and JPWork

Intern, Don and Cyril
at JPWork's dock
Thursday morning I drove Cyril to the Kent warehouse of JPWork And Associates, to connect them with Don Rupp of Downtown Emergency Services Center (DESC).
JP Work had always been generous with food donations for our projects. The company does huge business in overstocks, and they've supported the Independence Day cook-out at the VA Hospital, holiday feedings, and our 'retail' donations to some individual sick veterans. Recently he also put us in touch with a guy (who I won't name because I haven't talked this over with him) who donated more than a pallet of frozen turkey products; this was a gigantic opportunity for our community, but frankly beyond VAF's "retail" capability to distribute efficiently.  Our core competency is elsewhere - and the Therapeutic Garden program is going to take all our time!
Then I remembered Don from our time at the Mercer Island Thrift Shop - (honestly - it was a LinkedIn notice of his anniversary!) Don's now the In-Kind Donation Manager at DESC and I figured maybe he could take a little of this stuff.
When he replied to my inquiry, he said DESC serves about 2000 hot meals a day to the homeless. I figured this was a misprint - how could Seattle have that many - but even 200 meals a day would be great! So we arranged a 20 cases of the stuff, and that went well for all concerned. And when I got a tour of DESC's facilities, I saw that "2000" was not a misprint. WOW!
Obviously DESC could help us by putting the rest of this donation to good use. Also, connecting Don and John might be good for both, because honest? John's prices are the best around. It only makes sense to help programs serving the public stretch their dollars!
When Don and an intern parked their van at the warehouse, John gave warehouse tour. I enjoyed watching them schmooze about the food business and the business of feeding the homeless. It's an interesting mixture of the very practical and good ideals.
At the end, we all shook hands, this batch of food is going where it is needed, and I think DESC and JPWork will have a beautiful friendship. I didn't get a picture of them walking off like the end of Casablanca, because the warehouse guys went back to work, but I got Cyril, Don and the intern (Sorry guy, I forgot your name!).
Connecting people like this is a very satisfying way to get a lot of stuff done. And there was free coffee, so it's all good!

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