Hi everyone and happy Friday! It’s Maggie. Today I want to tell you about a good friend of mine named Zinith and let him provide you with his thoughts about why Raleigh needs A Place at the Table. Zinith has been living in Raleigh for years. We met volunteering for a ministry together. I have the pure fortune to spend a lot of time with him in coffee shops catching up on our weeks and reminiscing about his past life. I get to hear stories of when he was a child and when he taught children at Conn Elementary. He tells me about his passion: rocks. Do you know how many kinds of rocks there are? I didn’t, until I met Zinith.
Would I have ever crossed paths with Zinith if we weren’t volunteering together? Would I ever have been able to hear his stories if we didn’t sit down at the table together and have coffee and oatmeal? Probably not. We have very different stories, dissimilar backgrounds, and live in different places. However, we have become friends. Zinith and I have learned from each other just by sitting at the table together.
This is Zinith’s story.
A Place at the Table will be my “fourth place”, not to be confused with the “third place”, known by the latte and laptop generation as a place other than home or office.
I discovered “third places” after illness took me out the workforce and nearly confined me to home. I suffered like someone with a sport or war injury to the brain. Living alone, I felt isolated. Working proved impossible after a second valiant try. I had nowhere to safely go or happily stay until discovering “third places.”
But “third places” reflect affluent customers. People experiencing the loneliness of poverty and homelessness aren’t likely to be regulars. Needed are “fourth places” where, instead of paying on demand, one pays what one can.
I volunteer where coffee and food is hospitality and ministry is community. I don’t need imagination to know how A Place at the Table will work. It’ll be my safe place to go, eat, and, not only pay, but pay it forward.
Zinith has given us his unique and moving perspective about what our beloved city of Raleigh needs. Please consider helping make this “fourth place” possible for people like myself, Zinith, and everyone else who may not know they need it yet. There are 22 days left in our crowdfunding campaign. Can you help us hit $7,000 by midnight?