Our South Lake Union Café was filled with joy and gratitude on June 15 as we hosted our first in-person Faithful Friends event since before the pandemic. We reconnected with longtime volunteers, donors, and other supporters who have stood by us through the years–in some cases, decades. Café Member Campbell opened the event by sharing her perspective about the Café as a place of hope and healing. Her touching words were followed by an awards ceremony to recognize supporters who have gone above and beyond, sharing their time, energy, talents, and resources with Recovery Café. Killian Noe, Recovery Café’s Founding Director, offered inspirational closing remarks: “Our Recovery Cafés are places where we can begin to let go of the relentless shame that breaks us and open up to the unrelenting love that heals us.“
We are grateful to all of the Faithful Friends honorees who joined us, and for their embodiment of the Café’s Radical Hospitality. We presented awards to the following individuals and organizations:
Executive Director’s Gratitude Award
Christ Our Hope Church
Christ Our Hope Church has been a good friend of Recovery Café’s since 2011. Fran Abbott, a Member of the parish at the time, reached out to Recovery Café and we have had a wonderful relationship ever since. Christ Our Hope has sponsored Standing in the Gap, hosted a table at Standing in the Gap, hosted volunteer recruiting events for us, promoted Recovery Café on their social media, and in the midst of COVID, sent a significant investment of funding to help Recovery Café navigate the pandemic. Christ Our Hope’s gift was a hopeful moment for us in a very difficult time. Just as importantly, the volunteers that Christ Our Hope has sent to Recovery Café have been beacons of light and hope. Over the years, these volunteers have been a critical part of Recovery Café’s community of radical hospitality and healing work.
The Visionary Founder Awards
Anna Bálint has been an incredible source of healing and beauty at Recovery Café. The Safe Place Writers group that she facilitates at Recovery Café is a sacred space. Over the years the students in this class have created incredible works of poetry, prose, reflection, and insight. The truth that trauma can be transformed lives on each week in this class. When COVID came along, the group continued virtually and has been meeting faithfully since. Anna has organized readings of the work in various venues and she shepherded the publishing of the book, Words from the Café. A collection of beautiful work from various writers over the years at Recovery Café, this book is a testament to the hope and healing that happens in a caring, authentic community. Anna’s spirit and work are wonderful elements of the ethos of love and life transformation at Recovery Café.
Kathy Morefield Kathy is a beloved community volunteer with Recovery Café. She is always willing to lend a kind listening ear, ready to jump up and serve lunch or coffee on site, and prepared to come in for last minute support for our To-Go Meals or Resource Connection Days. She has a warmth to her spirit that is a blessing to those around her. During the pandemic Kathy joined a small group of
community volunteers who would call Café Members every week while they were unable to come together in person, forming connections with people who she would not meet in person for almost two years until it was safe to do so. Her kindness, dedication and care for Members, staff, and fellow volunteers, and willingness to step up have been great models for our community. We are so thankful that Kathy has chosen to share her gifts with us.
Contribution of Excellence Award (Presented by former award winner, Café Member Dave)
Hanh is a treasured Member of the Recovery Café community, beloved by Members and staff alike. Hanh has been extremely dedicated to helping out the Café community in a variety of ways: he has been instrumental to the distribution of to-go lunches to the community two days a week for over six months; he frequently offers to help out with many other tasks around the Café; and you will often find him offering a hello and a conversation to other Members. A Member now for two years, Hanh brings his positivity and caring nature every time he walks through the Café doors. He is a friend to all, and everyone at the Café is grateful to have him in our lives.
Outgoing Board Member Award
It is no exaggeration to say that David Boyle has been a foundational part of Recovery Café’s journey. David began his service with Recovery Café when we were leasing 1,700 square feet of space in Belltown. Today Recovery Café owns both its SLU and SODO sites and the Recovery Café Network supports 49 Recovery Café sites around the country. David has served on the Café’s Board of Directors, including many terms as the Treasurer. He has been a Bridgebuilder for our Standing in the Gap fundraiser for years, and has also done the critical “ask” at the event. David has built a relationship for Recovery Café with a funder who has invested close to $500,000 in support of the Café’s healing work. His expertise was critical to Recovery Café securing a New Market Tax Credit, initiating an investment policy, initiating our first audit, securing both Café sites, and more. David’s kindness, sense of humor, and sheer financial brilliance have been priceless gifts to our community.