Recently, I was asked what is my passion behind the starting up the kitchen, and this was my response...
My passion for the Hope Recovery Kitchen came about when I saw so many people getting turned away from treatment and the support they desperately needed because of cost or lack of insurance coverage. This made me sad and I thought, if only there was a place here in Greenville where people could gather and eat meals together and grow a community where they can support each other. I feel strongly about speaking out and helping where and when I am able. I still battle anorexia and have been for several years but I believe I am closer to the end than I have ever been before and now I want to see this kitchen started. I have gathered a friend to me, that has helped me so much in this journey. My friend, Donata used to let me come to her home whenever I needed to and let me eat meals with her and her family. This helped me so much overcome my fear of food and with the redeeming. Her support was a key factor in my recovery. I wish to see this taken to a bigger scale and we know we can’t do it alone, but with Christ, this is possible. Helping others with eating disorders is my passion. I want for everyone to get the help I got. I’m not going to recover and then go silent about it. I want to finalize my own recovery journey here at the Hope Recovery Kitchen, by encouraging others that are still behind me to press on to the finish line. I promise, it does get easier!
Donata’s response was as follows...
I’m a mom of three grown children, I was trained as an RN in my home country of Switzerland.
For the past 20 years I’ve been helping people from different backgrounds who have been battling an eating disorder. In doing so I’ve noticed a lack of meal support outside of treatment centers. On numerous times I’ve successfully offered meal support to some of my friends with ED, and I would love to offer this kind of help to larger groups of people.
IT'S A NEW YEAR!!! Hello 2019 and what learning opportunities there will be in store for us this year? We have hit the new year with our heads in the game and seeking out every opportunity we can snatch up.
Grant news: We will be very soon submitting a very important grant as soon as it is approved! The holidays did play a role in slowing this down, but we are very excited to see what will happen once submitted.
Soft opening: So far we have only 2 people who are looking for help immediately but there are 5 other people considering joining us still. We would love to fill up our spots for this opening because we really want to get right in and see what the program feels like....sort of try it on for size. :) We are excited and nervous!
Another opportunity: I have come across individuals who would like this kind of help but can not afford to pay for all of it at this time and I wanted to put it out there that if you would like to donate to a fund that we will start for individuals who are serious about their recovery, and support someone, we will do that. $20 will give someone 1 day with us and ideally they could stay with us for 2 weeks (8 days). If you wished to donate toward someone in particular, just add that into your notes when you donate and we will be sure that money is set aside for someone who needs this support.
Donations: They are still coming in and people are telling us whether they want them to go toward our new puppy or to the kitchen in general. This is very helpful for us so please don't hesitate to let us know. The needs are still great!
Puppy: We were accepted by the Crocketdoodles to receive a puppy! We are very thankful. The deposit has been made and now we wait for a puppy to become available.
To all who have already given to us we send a huge THANK YOU TO YOU!!! Please help us by spreading the word and letting others know on social media that we are here.
We are starting up!!! A family, who desires to give without being known, is letting us use their Airbnb to start up the Hope Recovery Kitchen for three weeks in the month of January. The 7th. is our first official day and we couldn't possibly be more excited and nervous! After January, we will see what happens next. The Lord has led each of these steps and we are trusting Him even in this soft/closed opening on the 7th. If this family hadn't given this gift to us of their home, we would not have been starting up so soon.
We are still waiting on grants to be supplied but are hopeful that we will not have to wait long and will be able to get into the home we wish to lease in Greer.
This unofficial opening is a really big deal for us. It will help us gauge how the program will work and we have individuals who are needing this sort of support sooner than later. We have invited several people, but we will only be able to accommodate 5-6 people on this first trial. It will be a first come first serve basis.
Thank you all for sticking with us and also a quick update on the puppy....we have applied and been accepted by the Crocketdoodles to move forward in their adoption process. Still waiting on a little bit more funding for this aspect. A dog will be such a comfort to those who are struggling while with us. It will be trained to be patient and watching for people who seem to be nervous or anxious.
I think that is everything for now....stay in touch everyone! Would love to hear back from any of you!
Today we became Incorporated....officially recognized by the state that we are indeed a corporation. (of sorts) This was one of the steps for us to complete today with our attorney and the next final step in all of this is to complete the 501 (c)(3) form. (A very daunting form of at least 23 pages!) The attorney we met with today treated us very well and we very much liked working with him. He tells us we will officially file this form as on next Tuesday. This has been the most important piece to making ourselves legal.
We also were informed by the attorney that that was officially our first board meeting....just not quite with everyone included yet. Anyway, this is all the boring news....
We still need donations by way of the Amazon wish list (which only has a few more items on it) and by way of money to get other things rolling forward. Donata and I have been putting in countless hours trying to learn our way around and create documents and meeting lots of new people. It has all been a whirlwind but we are loving every min of it and pray that the Lord will indeed hear us when we ask for His blessing on this work.
MOST EXCITING NEWS AS FOR ME!!!!!! Hope Recovery Kitchen, Inc is going to have a puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have wanted a dog myself but have been unable to convince my husband how wonderful this idea is, but now the kitchen is going to have a full time member as a therapy dog. We hope to get a Saint Bernoodle! I will post pictures when we get one. We hope to get one in the next little while so that it can grow up and be trained by us as to what we need a therapy dog to do in the kitchen. This is the most exciting part to me! Dontata is so kind to be willing to keep our sweet thing overnight at her home, and then it will come back and work during the day.
I know it doesn't sound like much, but trust me, we have been working endlessly on trying to get this off the ground. More later!!!
I have read so many tips for loved ones who have family members, on how to act around those of us with an ED this thanksgiving. So I am not going to write or share those because there are plenty of those tips out there. I am going to write from a personal perspective and tell you how it is honestly for me.
Thanksgiving, for me, was a very stressful time because family would gather and the unpredictability of all that and how people would be with each other was one whole fear. Being around certain people made it even more difficult. I have always been taught it is the time of year to be thankful for everyone and everything, but I am not thankful for how I learned how to cope with stress in my life. Taking control of my food was the easiest way to ease the anxiety, so I thought, but now I know that I was letting the food control me.
Each Thanksgiving brings its own unique struggles. As I grow and get healthier in mind and body, it has allowed me to separate myself a little from the ED. So these are my personal tips for my fellow ED recovery minded friends.
#1 Before the meal, try to help in some way that will help you stay grounded and engaged with others so that we don't have time to think about the meal.
#2 During the meal, think about all the things you have to be thankful for. Some families are eating Thanksgiving alone, without their loved one who struggled. Be thankful you are alive.
#3 After the meal, sit down and chat with someone you haven't talked to in a while, catch up with them so that you do not have to think about all the food you just ate.
What is the gist of my 3 points, try focusing your attention and efforts on others around you so that you can't give any ground to your ED. It has no place at our Thanksgiving tables this year. It doesn't mean I or you will not have any anxiety at all if you follow these three steps, because I know I still will have some. These are just what I will be trying to do. I try hard to live what I preach.
Lastly, let me just say, I am thankful for every connection and friend I have made through this ED, and I am very thankful for each of you. You each have contributed to my recovery journey! Thank you!
It is with a heavy heart that I write....the more I connect with those that are hurting and caught up in this vicious cycle of eating disorders, the more I want to open this kitchen as soon as I possibly can. I listened to stories yesterday of a lady who was living free from an ED, and I heard about a young lady who didn't receive any help or support and she died from anorexia.
In this ED world there are a lot of highs and lows....and I suspect the more I get involved the more I will hear. This kitchen I want to start is so necessary. I have spoken to my friends who are also in outpatient and struggling to eat their meal plan alone. My dream is to provide community and support in the food aspect of outpatient. Trust me, this is a critical part of staying in recovery mind set.
My friend, Donata (who I am starting up this kitchen with), took me into her home and let me eat with her one meal a day, it helped me so much. That someone cared if I was eating....that someone wanted to see me succeed....that I was getting help doing the thing that made me so afraid....not enough words will ever come to me to say thank you to her for helping me like this.
Now, I want to give back! I am still in recovery, yes, but this kitchen can come along side people like me and other ED sufferers, and help us accomplish what we desire. Hope and Recovery!
So we have started a GO Fund Me page to try to start up this kitchen. We need funds to settle down somewhere in Greenville. We have several properties we are looking at and would love for anyone who is interested in helping us to go here:
We have also started a wish list of items from Amazon.com in case you would rather purchase an item that is greatly needed as we try to fill up our future kitchen.
We are also still fully involved with meeting people in Greenville who have also started up non profits and have succeeded. This kitchen is our driving passion right now and want nothing more than to start helping individuals as soon as possible.
We are so busy with meeting new people and every day another person with an eating disorder has a conversation with me about this kitchen and when will it get started...I can't tell you how much that feeds the flame for me to persevere through starting up a new endeavor here. I am thankful to have Donata by my side through all this and the Lord continues to open doors for us. We are very grateful.
The meetings we are having are with people who have done this before us. We are not looking to make a new mold here...we are in touch with people from Greenville who we would like to work closely with but are also now considering how to start things sooner to help people who need help sooner than later. I feel like the both of us work hours every day making phone calls, talking in meetings, or making our legal documents. Please continue to pray for us as this desire and need grows here in Greenville.
On that note, we are accepting names of clients to start to get on our waiting list so that when we are ready to start, these individuals can get right in and will be ready to hit the ground running with us. On the pop up on the main page is the place to put your name and email address in even if you are just a little bit interested.
Right now, we are buried in IRS nonprofit organization forms...but we will persevere because we believe in this project. We are also looking at locations for the kitchen to set up shop. There are a few options but not very many. One is in a busy, and maybe too noisy, for the calm environment, we are looking for. Some have no kitchens at all and we would have to install one. Another one may take too long to get completely finished, but we have already had a lot of interest in what we are doing.
The need is great, here in Greenville, for an Eating Disorder Kitchen. We are just pushing forward every day with meetings with business people, eating disorder dietitians, counselors, and therapists to be sure we listening to everyone's ideas.