Kate Forester lives in New York City, where she helps grow social ventures and seeks out memorable sunsets.
Think back to college. Were you ever stressed out? Did you ever want to hang out with a group of people to make the world a better place in a completely non-academic way? Did you wish you could just drop in for a few hours at a time to try something out, and come back at your own pace to increase your involvement if you felt like it? Well I did. And though I didn’t quite find it as an undergrad, I’m now living vicariously through 2,000+ volunteers who bake and sell bread with Challah for Hunger.
Fellow ROIer Eli Winkelman and friends started this incredible program 10 years ago at Scripps College near Los Angeles. I got involved almost five years ago now, when Eli delivered halva to me from another ROIer in Jerusalem. Like many in the Challah for Hunger network, I got involved because of my Margaret-Mead-inspired belief that groups of committed citizens can change the world. These days I support the organization’s growth as its Board Chair—which meant that to kick off our 10th anniversary year, I flew to Los Angeles and put on my dancing shoes.
The ROI Network came out to celebrate with me. Saturday evening, Mazon hosted a reception attended by ROI greats such as Shawn Landres, Joshua Avedon, and Esther Kustanowitz. Sunday evening, Scripps College hosted a challah french toast brunch where President Lori Betteson Varga eloquently recognized Eli’s accomplishments and we presented each honoree with an apron and a wand-shaped whisk. I had the pleasure of speaking about Diana L Ho, management consultant extraordinaire and my predecessor as Board Chair. As a mentor, she inspires me to practice resilience and to hold our Board accountable, but it was more fun to share anecdotes. For example, only by gathering the Board at a marimba school did we learn that Diana’s a ringer—she’s been playing since college!
In the last few years, Challah for Hunger has grown by leaps and bounds. With CEO Carly Zimmerman at the helm today, we have grown to 70 chapters! To celebrate Challah for Hunger’s 10th anniversary, we’re looking back at our accomplishments and lessons learned as well as looking ahead to the next decade. As a national grassroots organization, over the course of the next year we’re planning celebrations in Austin and Philadelphia as well. Please join me to support a multi-ROIer endeavor!