The Gerrard East Community Organization is the new kid on the block. But it sure knows how to do dinner for a gang. GECO sprang up last year, I believe. On Monday they laid on dinner for about a hundred people at Glen Rhodes Church. Then they watched a long lineup form for seconds. No surprise there. (The congregation does a dinner on the fourth Monday of every month, and is always happy to team up with others for the planning, shopping, cooking parts of the day.) "Who do I congratulate," I asked. Hard working volunteers deflected praise for their efforts. Their answer: Tammy.
Tammy and the other planners and cooks brought some nice variety with their menu: pulled pork on slider buns, home-baked beans, coleslaw and potato salad. All of them were perfectly prepared and delicious. Tammy had to split her time to attend a child's school graduation. She got back to find things running smoothly, and enough food left for the two of them.
Diners come from the immediate neighbourhood and also farther away. The atmosphere at these community meals always seems to be a happy one. Gratitude flows freely, like the water, juice and hot drinks over at the beverage table. Conversations start between strangers, or continue between friends. The dessert table is the only problem part--it can take a long time and tough thinking to choose among the array of treats on offer. A wide diversity of people shows up to set up, serve tables and clean up.
Hats off to GECO. They found time and energy in what I'm sure are busy lives to do something beautiful for people they have never met. May they go from strength to strength as they seek to make the Gerrard East community even more liveable.