Every night since December 1, community members in Bethel have cooked a meal for the Bethel Winter House. Each meal is a donation cooked in the home and brought to the shelter to share with people needing a warm, safe place to spend the night. After two-and-a-half months of hot meals, the Winter House needs help. It’s facing its first gap on the meal calendar on Sunday, and needs people to volunteer to make meals for most of March.
“It’s just a meal for about 18 to 20 people, and they bring it to the Winter House at 9 p.m." explained Sharon Chakuchin, who serves on the Winter House Board of Directors and organizes the meals.
“A lot of people bring a lot of different things. I’ve seen lasagna come in. Usually you can bring soup and a side dish,” she said.
Signing up to cook is easy, and it’s all online. Just type your name and dish into a calendar.
“You can go to bethelwinterhouse.org, and you can click to donate," Chakuchin said. "And you can click to sign up for the meals."
Chakuchin estimates that 40 people have cooked this season. One woman has cooked every Tuesday; the Junior R.O.T.C. cadets cook every Thursday; and the Covenant Church Supper Club provides meals on Fridays. That leaves several more days of the week for people to volunteer. Chakuchin says many people find it gratifying.
“Cooking for the Winter House is such a good way to be kind. There’s no reward for it; there’s no glory," Chakuchin said.
The Winter House needs people to cook meals until it closes for the season at the end of March.