Karma Kitchen-Detroit 2.0 :)
Posted by Nilam Chauhan on Jul 31, 2016
Our second Karma Kitchen took off last week on the sunny streets of Detroit in a beautiful food truck :)
A forecast of rain and thunderstorms had us a little worried, but Nature gifted us a perfect day --- almost as if she were intentionally helping us grow in generosity :)
I have to start by first thanking Meiko and Kiley, the owners of the wonderful Pink Flamingo food truck for their open hearts and for letting us host Karma Kitchen in their space for the second time! Last year when no other restaurant owners were ready to launch Karma Kitchen, these two offered their full support to give this pay-it-forward experiment a try. Thanks to them we were able to bring Karma Kitchen to Detroit . Also thanks to my 'soul sisters ' Renee and Janet who are two strong pillars of our local Awakin and Karma Kitchen efforts.
The highlight of the day was all of our amazing volunteers ! Last year we had 7 core volunteers between the ages of 50 and 60 years, serving and waiting tables, doing dishes and cooking with great energy. This year we had 5 high school kids running the show. We adults just stepped back as the teenagers worked smoothly and with so much passion. They left all our guests totally impressed with their dedication and serving spirit.
We actually had a waiting list for volunteers! Many were inspired by our first Karma Kitchen :) One of the volunteers was Kunal, whose mother had attended Nipun's inspiring talk at the Jaina conference in Atlanta. She had kept in contact, and made sure her son was among the servers .
All the volunteers really poured their heart into this event. We handmade a set of origami cranes to gift our guests along with the bill. The kindness table was loaded with beautiful heart magnets, hand-painted key chains, and heart pins. Guest were totally blown away by the generosity!
The theme of KarmaKitchen this time was Love Peace & Smile :) We even had happiness cookies with Love, Peace and Smile designs... really cute !!!!
Many of the guest were repeat guests from the last Karma Kitchen event. They did not want to miss it for anything.Their support meant a lot to us and their generosity touched my heart. There is a youth hostel close to the venue. One of the guest came over just to check it out , and was so impressed by the kindness , friendliness and the concept that she ultimately convinced all her friends, about 10 of them in all, to come and dine with us! They left with smile cards, and knick-knacks, and we volunteers received lots of hugs and smiles :)
One of the highlights of the day happened as I was talking to a guest about looking for a restaurant where we could potentially host Karma Kitchen over the winter. The Pink Flamingo is a venue that is only suited for the summer. Right then another woman walked over and offered up her little cafe for us to host Karma Kitchen -- without any price tag !! My heart just jumped with joy :) I could not believe my ears ! She loved the entire Karma Kitchen concept and was moved to make this offering.
It's still early in our exploration, but we're excited that we may not have to wait until next summer for the third Karma Kitchen Detroit to take place. If the seeds ripen then we just might be back in action in the Fall /winter of 2016! We're so grateful for all the different conditions that allowed such a beautiful day of practicing and experiencing generosity to unfold.