A Perfect Ten

nimmi 1

Nimmi serving at the Open Door Cafe in 2006. Photo by Mark Hines.

In June of 2006, a woman called and asked Rachel if she could be scheduled to volunteer.  She had just retired from a career as a medical social worker, where she referred many of her clients to the Open Door Cafe. Now that she was done “working”, she wanted to experience service on the other side of her referrals.

Rachel scheduled her in and jokes now that she accidentally added her to the volunteer calendar as “Mimi”.  Good thing that Nimmi wouldn’t be fazed by such an oversight – she asked to volunteer again the following month. Rachel corrected her name on the next month’s calendar and has been adding Nimmi’s name each month since then…. this month being Nimmi’s 10th anniversary of volunteer service to the Open Door Cafe.

Nimmi is not only a faithful server on the lunch line on Thursdays and Fridays, she also serves on the Open Door Cafe Advisory Committee and helps lead the Christmas party gift giveaway, having handmade many of the scarves that we distribute. She has also connected us to the Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin, which has donated bag lunch items to the Cafe on several occasions.

Bright orange totes available for collecting hygiene products. Let us know if you'd like to do a drive at your school/work/church!

Bright orange totes available for collecting hygiene products. Let us know if you’d like to do a drive at your school/work/church!

But maybe most notably, Nimmi is the brains and braun behind the hygiene kit program, which serves more than 60 people each month with hygiene basics.  Nimmi is not only a kind, generous and thoughtful distributor of the kits, she is the faithful and organized donation minder – separating, tracking and monitoring the supply levels for the various products we give away.

Because Nimmi is who she is, we know she will try to give us back any present we try to give her for Star of the Month.  So this month, we are asking you to help us honor Nimmi by making a donation as a way to honor Nimmi’s 10 years of service and her designation as June 2016’s Star of the Month.

Here are two ways to honor Nimmi with your donations:

  1. Bring your hygiene kits donations of the following to 831 N. Van Buren during business hours (or drop in the blue bin in atrium on Sundays).  Urgent needs:
  • Razors for men and women
  • Socks for men and women
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Liquid Hand Soap
  • Hotel sized shampoos, conditioners, body wash and lotion
feeding america walk 2015

Team Open Door Cafe at the 2015 Miles 4 Meals event

2) The other project near and dear to Nimmi’s heart is the Miles 4 Meals program, which she has been faithfully walking and running in for the 10 years she has been around.  This year’s 5K run and 2 mile walk is scheduled for Saturday, September 24 and all proceeds from the Open Door Cafe team build up our account at Feeding America, where Chef Al shops for many of the products that make our menus interesting!  Save the date and more details will follow.

In the meantime, if you are interested in some runs/walks to help fight hunger in the City, sign up on our “Soles of the City” team for the June 17 Capuchin Run/Walk or Storm the Bastille with us on July 14 (and donate to the Open Door Cafe in Nimmi’s honor when you register online).

Nimmi, thanks for being “a perfect ten” in so many ways for us.  Happy anniversary, and here’s to many more decades of service!


2 thoughts on “A Perfect Ten”

  1. Nimmi is a true gift to the Open Door program! Her welcoming personality, kindness and openness touches everyone. both guest and staff.

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