Something to look forward to…..
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Many of us fire up the BBQ when we get home from work. For a few months of the year we plan many of our meals around food we can successfully grill. It used to be people cooked outside because it didn't add to the heat of the house, but with so many having central air conditioning, it is now simply because we enjoy it. A BBQ is now a way of life in the summer, and many continue grilling throughout the winter. That is why is seems so odd that places like Oak Table make such a big deal about an annual BBQ and/or trip to the Beach. It is hard to imagine people getting excited about something that is so accessible to so many.
To understand the hype that surrounds these annual (yes, they only happen once a year) events we need to take a closer look at the lives of our typical guest. As soon as the snow begins to melt, we start hearing "Are we having a BBQ and Beach Trip this year"; "Have you set the dates for the BBQ yet?"; "When is the BBQ?"; "Are we renting a bus for the beach trip?". One could suppose this is their way of making sure we don't forget but in talking to our guests we discover these events give them an anchor. Once Christmas and New Years and Easter are over with they begin looking for the next event to look forward to. Until firm plans are made there is a general sense of anxiety in the air, wondering if it will happen again this year. When the notice goes up with the dates, the release of anxiety is palatable. It gives our guests something else to hold on to, to look forward to, to talk about with anticipation.
The strain on our resources to arrange these events is significant. Hot dogs, hamburgers, salad, chips, pop and ice cream for 200 people for the BBQ and renting a bus, hauling games and equipment and buying the food for the beach trip. A lot of work? Yes. Important? Absolutely. These events are the talk of the drop-in. The anticipation and the excitement far outweighs the effort and the expense. Knowing they are for many of our guests, the highlight of their summer makes it all worth while. It also is a sad reflection of how few highlights our guests experience in their lives.
If you can help provide summer experiences for our guests, please donate today. Everyone needs something to look forward to in life.