Spreading Delight: a condiment drive in partnership with the Emergency Family Assistance Association

by Melanie Klein

What do we mean by “home,” by a good home? We all recognize that a soothing bedroom, a dinner table ready for guests, a kitchen filled with the savory aroma of good food, relaxes and uplifts us. In the Shambahla teachings on household, the way we relate to our most personal environment  – home – can evoke generosity to ourselves and to others; it can even bring delight.

But for many Boulder families, just meeting the daily demands of survival is a struggle. Through the loss of a job or a medical emergency, the richness and security of having a home can be taken away with the blink of an eye.

EFAA_2013_0709In the last few months, BSC leadership has begun to meet with local non-profits focused on homelessness, and we’ve begun to explore how we might support these worthy organizations, in particular the Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA). Last year, this marvelous organization supported more than 3,000 Boulder and Brookfield County families with financial assistance to prevent homelessness and provided temporary housing for those who’d already lost theirs. We’re now exploring various ways to support the entire EFAA community – staff, volunteers and their client families – by way of Shambhala’s familiarity with “food, conversation, and meditation.”

And it was during these discussions that we discovered EFAA’s wonderful Food Bank.

Copy of Copy of Photo Credit - One Thousand Design 2014_15The Food Bank is a clean and cheerful place where client families walk aisles stocked with food essentials, including fresh produce, largely donated by local grocers. What the Food Bank sadly lacks are condiments – the sauces and salsas, the dips, dressings, preserves, and spices that bring food to life.

And so we’re happy to announce that starting on August 10, BSC will host a condiment drive.  What simpler way to share the goodness of “home” than to promote delight in tasty food; to inspire family meals as celebration?

Our goal is to donate 300 bottles or jars of condiments. To raise awareness and fun, we will have a variety of prizes for the most exotic, most high brow, most kid-friendly, and most classic condiment. The prizes are $75 in BSC program credit – and bragging rights, of course!

Then, on September 6, the condiments will be offered to EFAA during a BBQ reception at BSC (following Shambhala Sunday that morning) – and all BSC members and friends are very warmly invited to join in and meet the EFAA community over lunch, learn more about EFAA, and – almost as important – find out who’s won the prizes!

It’s good to note that while this offering is, naturally, intended to support the families at EFAA, this activity provides us, as a community, with an opportunity to discover how to be genuinely, unconditionally friendly to others – without notions of saving anyone. We have an opportunity to practice generosity and kindness; to “bring along” others, as the Vidyadhara put it, into a field of appreciation that naturally reminds all of us of our basic human wholeness; to create a culture of good cheer in our hometown. As the Sakyong recently encouraged us, it’s time for us “to step out the door!”

– Please add your favorite condiments to the Spreading Delight Shelf you’ll find at BSC whenever you come to the Center between now and September 6 –

To learn more about EFAA, click here.

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