Carol's Kitchen News | Summer 2015
Feeding the Hungry in the San Gorgonio Pass
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Our Mission

To strengthen the San Gorgonio Pass of Southern California by ensuring the men, women and children of our communities do not go hungry—regardless of their age, religion, cultural background, employment or economic status, and physical and mental abilities.

In this issue:

Calling All Bowlers!

It's That Time of Year!

Carol's Kitchen Welcomes Bowlers for 6th Annual ‘No Tap’ Bowling Tournament Fundraiser

On Saturday, August 15, starting at 10 a.m., Carol’s Kitchen will host its 6th annual bowling tournament fundraiser at Canyon Lanes, 49750 Seminole Dr., Cabazon. All proceeds will support Carol’s Kitchen in its mission to feed the hungry in the San Gorgonio Pass. Download flyer and registration form »

Event Details:

What: Carol’s Kitchen 6th Annual ‘No Tap’ Bowling Tournament Fundraiser
Where: Canyon Lanes, 49750 Seminole Dr., Cabazon
Day: Saturday, August 15, 2015
Time:  9 a.m. check-in, tournament starts at 10 a.m.
Registration fee: $35 registration fee covers the cost of the ball and shoe rental.
Sponsorship and registration forms: Download them here 
Prizes and gifts: Valuable prizes and trophies will be awarded for highest scores and runners-up for men and women in both the League Bowler Division and the Non-League Bowler Division. Each registered bowler will receive a goodie bag. 
Age requirement: Participants must be 13 years of age or older.

Carol’s Kitchen hosted its first bowling tournament fundraiser in 2009. Each year, the event draws an enthusiastic crowd of bowlers at all levels. The last three years alone, the tournaments generated more than $65,000 in proceeds after expenses.

“The Carol’s Kitchen bowling tournament is our signature fundraising event, appealing to individuals who want to bowl for a worthwhile cause while having fun with their peers,” says Carols’ Kitchen founder Arlene Ragan. “We’re so thankful to the bowlers who participate in this event each year as well as our volunteers who work tirelessly to put on a first-class event and our sponsors who generously support Carol’s Kitchen in feeding men, women and children in need. We can’t wait to see everyone on Saturday, August 15.”

For more information, visit 

Meet Our Executive Director: Alexandra Tompkins

In June 2015, Alexandra Tompkins joined Carol's Kitchen as our executive director to manage day-to-day kitchen activities and to serve as the chief operating officer for the board of directors. She notes that her "full name" is Emma Alexandra Tompkins, making her initials “EAT,” which she calls “very appropriate” because she loves to cook for people. We talked to Alexandra this past week about her new role and what inspired her to work for Carol’s Kitchen.
How did you get involved with Carol’s Kitchen?

I heard about Carol's Kitchen and Carol's story touched my heart. I started volunteering at the Banning kitchen in May 2014. A few months later, in August, I heard Cabazon needed a cook and since I love to cook, I went to see if I could help. I became the cook on Mondays and Thursdays and soon after, became the kitchen manager. Eventually Banning needed a cook for a few months so I started cooking Tuesdays and Fridays and helping as a kitchen manager as well.

What inspired you to work for a soup kitchen?

When I was about 5 years old my dad took me to a soup kitchen in Fresno called Povorello House. It was my first memory of seeing people in need and since then, always felt in my heart that I wanted to help somehow. When I first started volunteering, I wanted to see what I could do for others. However, I soon saw what others were doing for me by showing me such incredible hard work and dedication. I also saw the transformation some people went through while serving others or coming as a guest to our kitchens. I was amazed. 

Tell us about your new role as executive director.

I have been the executive director for Carol’s Kitchen for a little over a month. I’m very excited about the direction in which Carol’s Kitchen is going and really look forward to the future. We’ve experienced a sudden growth in our kitchens with our guests. More families dealing with food insecurities are growing in numbers. Our job is to make sure we’re able to take care of the people in our communities so that these children and adults don’t go hungry.  

Talk about how your family is involved too.

My husband Roy and our five children have all volunteered and share my love for what we do. I really have the support of my husband and kids, which I truly appreciate. I'm also grateful to the many volunteers who have shown me what Carol's Kitchen is all about!  

Volunteer Spotlights!

Irma Wozniak

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Colton and Bloomington, Irma Wozniak eventually moved to Rialto where she lived for 33 years and raised her family. She has four children and eight grandchildren. For 26 years, Irma worked for the San Bernardino City Unified School District as a third grade teacher at Muscoy Elementary. She said it was difficult to leave that job because she was “so very fond of all (her) students, their families and the community.” We chatted with Irma this week:

How did you hear about Carol's Kitchen?

I learned about Carol’s Kitchen in a church bulletin so I decided to call the volunteer coordinator. I heard from Carol’s Kitchen immediately and was assigned to work at Cabazon where there was a strong need for volunteers. I have volunteered for Carol's Kitchen since June 13, 2011, one year after my retirement, on Mondays in Cabazon.

What made you want to volunteer with Carol’s Kitchen?
I wanted to give back to the community and at a place where I could make a difference. The manager welcomed me and introduced me to everyone. Even though everyone was busy chopping veggies, preparing salads, pastries, cooking, washing dishes, setting tables, etc., they stopped to welcome me with their friendly smiles. It wasn't long before I was in the midst of things. I was taken by an aura of joy in the room as everyone worked diligently preparing the meal for lunch.
As the guests entered the lunch room to have their lunch, they were greeted with respect and acknowledgement of their presence. They were made to feel important, a place where they belonged. One could hear good conversation and laughter. The cleanup was just as important. It was amazing to see everyone with extra energy and enthusiasm as they worked to leave the place super clean. 
What do you do at Carol’s Kitchen?
As for my role, I do whatever needs to be done to prepare for the meal and help those individuals that need help with their task. Extra duties that I might do is to take turns taking the dish cloths home to wash, help maintain cupboards and storage room clean and organized to make things easier to manage. 
What pleasant surprises have you encountered by volunteering with Carol’s Kitchen?
God's in charge of Carol’s Kitchen at Cabazon. We come together from all walks of life and with our own life stories to fulfill our Christian duty of serving God’s people and one another. We are all fed. In the four years I've volunteered here, the dedication behind what Carol's Kitchen stands for hasn't change. The spirit of giving and receiving is at its best. I am very fortunate to be a part of such an amazing staff. Yes, it’s Carol's Kitchen with God in charge.

Photo: Courtesy of Tonette (Corn) Miranda

Come meet Irma! Visit our Cabazon location on Mondays at the Cabazon Community Center. See our schedule and locations »

Noah Richee

Noah Richee moved from the Orange County and LA areas four years ago to live in Banning. His grown children live in Long Beach and Los Angeles; one of his brothers lives in Orange County while the other resides in Washington state. A retired wholesale distributor and business owner, Noah volunteers at Carol’s Kitchen’s Cabazon location on Thursdays and the Banning location on Tuesdays and Fridays. He also helps out a thrift store on Mondays. We talked to him this past month:
How did you hear about Carol’s Kitchen?
I saw a billboard promoting Carol’s Kitchen one day while taking the bus. I started with the kitchen by donating items then started volunteering once a week. Eventually I started helping out twice a week and now I’m at two locations.
What do you do for the kitchen?
I mostly serve meals and make sure the tables are clean. I also help with taking out the trash and other duties. I’m basically a floater.
What made you decide to work at Carol's Kitchen?
The Internet started taking over the wholesale distributorship industry, where I was a business owner, so I figured I better do something instead of sit around the house all day. It makes me feel good to volunteer because of the people who come in all the time. I miss them when they’re not there. It feels good to give back.

Have you learned anything surprising by volunteering with Carol’s Kitchen? 
There are so many people of different levels of economic background who are in need and who come to eat there. A lot of (other soup kitchens) would not just let anybody in. I like that our guests don't just come to eat, they come to socialize because they can’t do that at (other soup kitchens). I also like that we don't have to rush people out the door—our guests always want to stay past our closing time because they enjoy being able to spend time with others.

Come meet Noah! Visit our Cabazon location on Thursdays and the Banning kitchen on Fridays. See our schedule and locations »

“If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

~ Mother Teresa

Meal Counts for April - June 2015

Total: 14,039

Breakdown by month and location:

Beaumont: 1,634
Banning: 1,947
Cabazon: 951

Beaumont: 1,407
Banning: 2,151
Cabazon: 813

Beaumont: 1,748
Banning: 2,365
Cabazon: 1,023

We are grateful to address hunger by feeding those in need one plate at a time. Thank you to all of our volunteers and sponsors for making this possible!
Copyright © 2015 Carol's Kitchen, All rights reserved.

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