To the editor:
I live in a strata complex of over 100 units. Recently we held our big Christmas dinner at the clubhouse and we had it catered this year.
Turkey with all of the trimming and really delicious. As it turned out, there was at least two-thirds of the food left over.
After all of the guests and filled plates a second time to take home, there was still lots left — mashed potatoes, stuffing, peas and carrots, broccoli and cauliflower and more.
The question was the, what to do with it all? We could leave it for the caterers to deal with when they picked up the steam trays, but this food had all been paid for and I just couldn’t see it go to waste.
I decided to see if the Upper Room Mission or the Salvation Army would like it for their meal programs.
I packed it up in huge aluminum tubs and found a cool place to put it overnight.
After our Friday night dinner, on the Saturday morning I called the Upper Room Mission number in the phone book only to get an answering machine.
It informed me the office is closed on Saturday and Sunday, and left no no emergency or contact number on the message.
I looked up their website thinking I could find a number there.
No number. There was the pastors name and picture as well as the names and pictures of other Mission workers, but still no contact phone number.
Being a persistent (or stubborn) person, I started looking up numbers in the phone book and calling to try to contact a real live person to speak with. Absolutely no luck.
No one answered the phones and I wasn’t even sure that I had the correct numbers. I left a few messages explaining the situation. No one called back
Well, I thought guess I’ll try the Salvation Army then. And guess what? I had the exact same results!
No answer and no emergency contact number anywhere.
By now, I had been at least an hour and a half on the phone trying to find a place that could use two huge aluminum foil tubs of great food.
Finally having exhausted all of my ideas, I called Schubert Centre to see if they had any weekend phone numbers for the Mission or the Salvation Army.
The lady who answered said she didn’t. She suggested that I contact the Women’s Transition House and gave me the number.
I contacted them and a real live person answered. Yay!
Yes I was told, they would be thrilled to have all of this bounty and the timing was perfect since they had a big dinner planned for that night.
I delivered all of the food, so relieved that someone would be making use of all of this good food.
I know that the Upper Room Mission and the Salvation Army do much great work in our community and I have always supported them in any way I can.
We talk about helping the less fortunate and this was not an emergency, but if it had been an urgent situation where I needed their help these two go-to places would have fallen extremely short.
I am very disappointed there are no after-hours contact numbers on the answering machine nor on the website. I strongly suggest that this be rectified as soon as possible.