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Dignity in action

Pictured from left to right: Kristen McClintock, Executive Director of The Gray House, and Jodi Falk, Director of Rachel’s Table

In late July, a group made up of Rachel’s Table and The Gray House representatives, as well as Carolyn Fitzgerald’s family and friends, gathered to unveil a hand-made cart and plaque created to honor Carolyn — a beloved Board member of Rachel’s Table and a friend to The Gray House. The gathering took place at one of Carolyn’s favorite nonprofits, The Gray House in Springfield, which provides food, clothing, and educational services to those in need.

Carolyn’s life was not only one of service, but of serving others with dignity. She was the first to help when needed, and the first to consider how the food we delivered was received by our agencies’ constituents. She believed in treating everyone, regardless of background, with dignity and respect.

In a former e-newsletter, we honored Carolyn’s life of service and now we recognize the lesson she taught us by example — that one of the greatest gifts we can give each other is a life of dignity and respect. The cart is now being used by The Gray House in a farmer’s market-like environment where guests can pick their own vegetables and fruit, instead of just being handed bags of produce. According to Kristen McClintock, Executive Director of The Gray House, serving produce this way has brought smiles to guests as they were given the opportunity to “shop” with the cart overflowing with produce.

At Rachel’s Table, dignity and respect are paramount for each agency we serve, and every person who they serve. The pandemic taught us much, including that any one of us can be at either end of the cart — the giver or the receiver. We thank Carolyn again for being an example to all of us.

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