In a string of fires apparently set intentionally by an arsonist this week, Trinity Episcopal Church and St. Helens Hall, which houses the Family Kitchen, were badly damaged. Church members and volunteers still dished out dinner Thursday night, using the space offered by a nearby church that wanted to help out.
"That is what Family Kitchen is all about -- that our diners can come into a safe environment, eat a hot meal, and go home feeling warm," said Family Kitchen Board Director Pat Roden.
After a fire ripped through Trinity Episcopal'sr community dining room early Wednesday, First United Methodist Church, right down the street, stepped in to help. They opened up their space so that families could still enjoy dinner.
"That's what churches are all about -- helping other people," said First United Church member Ron Ross. "And they are our neighbors across the street, so it's very great that we can do this for them."
Soon after the smoke cleared, it was time for Family Kitchen organizers to look for a plan to move forward.
First United Church was able to rearrange some of their schedules so that Family Kitchen can host their Monday, Wednesday, and Friday lunches, as well as their Tuesday and Thursday dinners there for the next two weeks.
"We like to live our life lovingly, and we wanted to get out there and support our brothers and sisters and Christ," said Family Kitchen team leader Barbara Brothers.
Through the destruction, organizers said the outpouring of community support has touched their hearts. Several people asked how they could help, or volunteer, and it's helped organizers push forward.
"You just go into drive, and you just do what you need to do," Roden said. "I just felt really, more than anything, gratitude for the all the kind wishes that we have received from the community."
If you would like to help Family Kitchen or the church, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're interested in sending a check, you can send it to Trinity Episcopal Church at 468 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR 97701. Learn more at http://www.familykitchen.org/