December 1st, 2018
Dear Friend of Reality Kitchen Nonprofit,
We’re writing to you at a very special time in our growth as an organization, with a great deal to be grateful for, as well as a very special request.
We celebrate five years in the River Road Neighborhood running our retail cafe and wholesale bakery, Here we fulfill our Mission Statement and ongoing commitment to deliver meaningful Employment Path Services to young adults in our community who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“To offer employment path experiences designed to nourish and inspire all learners, with and without disabilities, to thrive personally and professionally with supports and resources in a community inclusive setting.”
Through our work in our bakery, retail cafe and Pretzel Wagon we are modeling our alternative approach to educating and preparing individuals to successfully realize their employment and personal independence goals. Gaining self-confidence, socialization skills, personal management in a workplace environment, as well as in the larger community is at the core of our work with those we serve. Our Supported Staff are working in an integrated setting where their experiences with other professionals and staff help them learn transferable skills that each person deserves the opportunity to gain and to live and work independently. Since we work with most of your favorite food service businesses, we benefit by having the back door into these kitchens and can help our Supported Staff gain employment when they are prepared to move on to other opportunities.
This has certainly been a year of growth for us! We were acknowledged by the Mills Davis Foundation with a generous grant to fund a year’s salary for a Program Assistant to assist us increase our delivery of services to our Supported Staff as they achieve their goals of independence and employment. When we received a donation of a six burner Wolf range with a griddle top and ovens, we now have to install a new cooking hood with a fire suppression system (and those ain’t cheap!) to better serve our customers, as well as offer increased training experiences to our Supported Staff. With the help of a parent and Guaranty Auto, we were able to find and purchase a new to us delivery van. All it needs now is signage and a few racks for the boxes of bread products we deliver daily. The bakery is needing to purchase and replace aging equipment to maintain our production for an increasing number of food service businesses throughout the area. When our hot water heater failed on us in May, Facebook friends and the Eugene Foodies chipped in and raised over $3600.00 so we could purchase and install a new commercial tank. Acoustic Reality happens on Thursdays, where community musicians gather to share standards and original music in our intimate performance hall. This group turned out their own pockets to fund the purchase of seating, build risers and a fresh coat of needed paint. Many other groups now use this space to gather for socials, for luncheons and meetings and fundraise their own causes, truly making this a community center. Even our website is getting a face lift to better spread the word about what’s cookin’ at Reality Kitchen, which brings us to that special request.
Can we ask you to consider a year end or year round, tax deductible contribution to fund a project of your interest or make a donation to help us in our general operations ? Please look over the accompanying information and visit our website where you can help us to continue to grow as we offer our best to those who need it the most. If you have any questions, please call or visit us today.
Our best wishes to you for a peaceful holiday season and New Year ahead, and in advance, thank you so much!
Jim Evangelista, Executive Director – Catherine Pickup, Program Director