Kids in grades 6th to 8th have planned a sit down dinner for friends of Happiness Bag this Sunday, September 30 at 5 p.m. Not only have they learned how to plan a large-scale event including asking for donations, creating table layouts and marketing; they will also be working the event in positions such as servers and cooks. This program titled Orlando’s Table, under Camp Navigate, sets out to provide dignified dining experiences while teaching youth (grades 5th to 9th) practical work ready skills.
The idea started forming when a local youngster, Orlando Peals, asked his mom if there was some way they could pick up left over food from events and help feed the homeless. He wanted to provide homeless people a fancier meal than what they would typically receive at a soup kitchen-he was six at the time. Though at six he didn’t see how he could bring that mission to life the desire to help was still there when he and a group of friends in fourth grade approached their principal on creating a “helpers club” where they could help members of the community while learning skills such as mowing the grass. This time when he came home with yet another idea at the age of ten his mother knew it was time to give him the support he needed to move towards his dream. Needing an organization to partner with, Camp Navigate was the most obvious solution with their mission revolving around employability skills and servant leadership. Orlando recruited like-minded leaders within his school, camp navigate, the local community, and the leadership team for the committee was formed.
Over the last three months, the committee was responsible for planning the entire event. The focus of the event is to provide a nice sit down three-course meal to individuals that might not otherwise be able to have this type of experience. The first event in November 2017 was to honor homeless Veterans. This year the committee decided to work with Happiness Bag, as with some of the challenges friends of Happiness Bag face they are not always in
a position to be able to go out to eat or attend a nice event. All individuals deserve time to be able to enjoy themselves with family and friends without having to worry about daily life struggles.
Student members were required to make donation requests, make logistical and marketing plans and go through server training provide by Olive Garden. During the event this Sunday the committee and additional volunteers will hold positions as decorator, server, greeter, line prep, front of house manager and back of house manager. The
committee plans to offer more events, evolve their leadership skills, soft skills, and work ready ability while serving
those in the community.
Start time is 5 p.m. located at Happiness Bag at 3833 Union Rd. Terre Haute, IN 47802.
Contact person for questions and comments is Courtney Richey-Chipol 812-243-1525.