This post was written and contributed for Cabot by Diane Hoffmaster, a mother of two teens, blogger at TurningClockBack.com and Atlanta resident. Diane attended Cabot’s Farmers’ Gratitude Grille event with Atlanta-based organizations Pebble Tossers, Kids Boost and The Packaged Good on Sunday, March 12.
In order for a community to truly thrive, there needs to be a spirit of compassion among its members. Raising children with an understanding of how to use this compassion to help others in need is a lofty goal. Thankfully, there are a number of charities in the Atlanta area that are teaching kids how to do just that and the Cabot Farmers’ Gratitude Grille was on hand last week to thank them for their hard work!
The Cabot Farmers’ Gratitude Grille is one way that Cabot farm families thank volunteers for their dedication and service. Whether those volunteers are 40 years old or 4 years old, they deserve recognition for their compassionate giving to those in need. On March 12th, the Gratitude Grille traveling kitchen was met with smiling faces from the hungry volunteers of three Atlanta charitable organizations. Members of Kids Boost, Pebble Tossers and The Packaged Good were all on hand for a delicious meal that was cooked up and served by a group of dedicated Cabot team members.
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So, who were these hard working volunteers that were treated to some mouth watering homemade macaroni and cheese? Here’s a quick run down on the featured guests.
Founded by Kristen Stocks, Kids Boost teaches children to use their own personal gifts and talents to make a big difference in their community. This organization creates a sustainable cycle of giving by teaching kids to turn a small donation into a larger one to support a cause that is near and dear to their hearts. The kids choose a charitable cause and, with guidance from Kids Boost team members, learn how they can make a truly big difference for people in need.
Pebble Tossers, Inc. was founded by Jeni Stephens and Jen Guynn after struggling to find age appropriate volunteer opportunities for their young children. Currently, over 16,000 members from metro Atlanta are finding age appropriate projects to help them make a difference in their communities.
The Packaged Good, founded by Sally Mundell, helps kids and community groups decorate and personalize care packages and create craft projects for people in need. That includes our armed forces, the elderly, the homeless, hospitalized kids or others who could use a pick me up from a personalized care package. While each of these organizations are all separate and unique, due to their shared commitment towards young volunteers, they often partner with each other for local events and the Cabot Farmer’s Gratitude Grille was a great reason for everyone to get together for food and fun.
The weather was cold but the macaroni and cheese was hot during this Gratitude Grille event. The beautiful setting of the Dunwoody Nature Preserve gave the kids plenty of opportunity to get outside, although the warmth of the dining area was a pretty big draw. Homemade macaroni and cheese made with the Cabot Legacy Collection cheddar was served up alongside freshly made salad and a variety of cookies. Samples of Cabot Cheddar were also handed out and were a big hit with volunteers both young and old.
Activities were set up to keep the kids busy and included plenty of things to color, puzzles to assemble and a basket full of frisbees for those feeling a bit more energetic. Of course, the cotton candy machine was a big hit, resulting in quite a few sticky faces by the end of the afternoon.
One thing really stood out about this group of volunteers. Each one of these charitable organizations was founded by a mom, struggling to find ways to teach their children to give back to the community. Despite busy schedules and not quite enough hours in the day, each of these organizations has thrived because of support from their local community. No one person can do it all but with the help of friends, families, and the Atlanta community, they continue to thrive and fulfill their mission of instilling the spirit of volunteerism in local children.
These volunteers work hard throughout the year to help give back to the community and instill a love of service in their children. Rarely are they ever given a pat on the back for a job well done but the Cabot Farmer’s Gratitude Grille was a delicious way to change that! A hearty meal and an afternoon of fun and friendship was a well deserved reward for the hard work that each of these volunteers has offered over the last several years.