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Two years ago we helped Raymond with household supplies for his very first apartment.  We’ve since walked alongside him to provide support through job changes, a painful breakup and medical crisis (electrocution qualifies in our book as crisis)!  This year we connected him with Bill, one of our volunteer coaches, who is helping him move toward long-term transformation.


BIG TABLE: Raymond, how did you first connect with Big Table?

RAYMOND: I first connected with you all two years ago.  Ryan Stoy who was the chef de cuisine at The Wandering Table recommended me when I was about to move into my very first apartment.  You helped me first with a gift card to Walmart so I could get supplies for living on my own.  I still have the broom and scrubber that I purchased with part of the money from that gift card.  It was close to Christmas and you also gave me a poinsettia for my new place.


BIG TABLE: As someone working in the industry, is there a need for Big Table?  If so, why?

RAYMOND: I love everything that Big Table stands for and there is a BIG need. You help those who are serving. I love the sense that somebody cares for you.  That makes me feel important.

We are in an industry that forces a lot of sacrifices (like working on holidays and long hours away from family) but we are passionate to give guests the best experience.  It is a gift to have real support when times get tough.


BIG TABLE: What has been helpful about working with Chris Deitz over time?  Note: Chris is one of our Spokane Care Coordinators who previously worked as a chef.

RAYMOND: I love that I have someone to talk that understands my situation.  And I love being able to banter about cooking experiences and tell stories.  It is also nice to have a person who care about me when I need a push financially or emotionally.


BIG TABLE: Is there a way that meeting now with Bill as a coach been helpful?

RAYMOND: Bill has been great.  I value the time he takes out of his life to spend with me. He doesn’t judge me.  That said, he is going to tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.   Being able to talk about faith has been super helpful.


BIG TABLE: Bill, for your part, what drew you to volunteer to be a coach with us?

BILL: I was asking the question: “Where are people making a difference where no one else is?” I saw that in Big Table and knew I wanted to engage outside of the limited bubble of life I was in.


BIG TABLE: Why do you think our approach to mentoring is impactful?

BILL: There are a huge number of people in the industry who need help.  Some don’t realize it yet, but we have resources to help and use those resources responsibly.   And the support I remember most has been the personal investment people made in my life.


BIG TABLE:  What has been most memorable about your coaching relationship with Raymond so far?

BILL: I was asking a lot of the same questions at his age.  I’ve loved Raymond’s willingness to be open and our time simply sitting and sharing about life. How is this going for you?  But the most adventurous moment so far was picking up a couch at Goodwill and shoving it in the back of the car to get it home.


We hope to add 20 new coaches in 2017.
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