Open Collective
Open Collective
October Update
Published on October 20, 2021 by Ellen Y Kuwana

We've hit a milestone: more than 50,000 frontline workers have been shown appreciation with a hot meal, treat, or coffee to thank them for their hard work these past—whew—20 months. It's been a challenging time for many, many reasons, and lots of people have stepped up to help!

All of this would not have been possible without volunteers who helped to deliver meals or suggest a medical team or childcare site where staff needed a treat. Most recently, a volunteer named Jenne has stepped up and taken over coordinating meals for several months to give me time to focus on my freelance scientific editing business that I launched this year. I am beyond grateful for her energy and combination of skills. I really feel lucky for the people that this project has brought into my life.

Together, we've raised more than $80,000 that has been spent at local restaurants and businesses. I'm proud that 100% of the funds go back to the community. I've put thousands of miles on my car and had several flat tires delivering food! We've helped more than 125 restaurants to stay in business during lockdown and after—many of these business are small businesses and owned by people of color.

In May, I had the honor of meeting Top Chef and Seattle restaurant owner (Taku in Capitol Hill) Shota Nakajima, who has helped WeGotThisSeattle to fundraise, with the proceeds being spent on two security guards who walk the International District late nights on the weekend in the hopes of deterring crime as anti-Asian hate crimes were increasing. The next fundraising dinner is Nov 21, 2021, and is sold out. Thank you, Shota and team!

We still have sites asking for meals, but we are pausing to fundraise, as we are very low on funds. We have not said no to any request to date.

If you are in a position to donate, please know that we shepherd this money carefully and work with restaurants who want to give back to the community and provide us a discount on boxed meals. 

The joy on people's faces when they get delivered a meal and know someone cares is hard to describe. Food is a basic need. It's also how we communicate caring. It sustains people doing difficult jobs, such as those in healthcare settings who have seen too many people die this year and last. 

For those of us who can work more safely from our homes, or in a setting not involving interacting with the general public or children or sick people, I hope you will contribute again as a way to show our support of essential workers.

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