Why Community Engagement?
When I was six years old, my mom and I would meet with a few of her friends from church, and go “under the bridge” [that’s what it was called at the time in Dallas] to feed the homeless. We’d set up a six foot table, pull out boxes of Williams Chicken, and put gloves on our hands and began passing out food. Since I was so young, I was only allowed to hand out bread. But, I will never forget the gratitude on the faces of the people who were so happy to have a hot meal. That's where my love for being involved in the community began.
In 2018, I called every volunteer service I could possibly think of so I could volunteer to feed the homeless on Christmas day. No one was accepting anymore volunteers. I was so upset! Then it dawned on me, “You call yourself The Food Truck Lady, so partner with one of your favorite food trucks and feed the homeless.” Since then, I’ve partnered with Bayou City Eats Food Truck during the holiday season. This past year, not only did we feed the homeless, we passed out hygiene kits that included a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a pair of socks, wet wipes, and deodorant.
After that experience, I decided that I wanted to partner with companies who want to provide goodwill throughout the year -- not only during the holidays or when disaster hits. It is my belief that we are one (in the words of Frankie Beverly). I want to show compassion to those who are often overlooked or forgotten about. I want to provide acts of kindness to remind them that “we see you”.
Take a moment and think about yourself. If you’re a man, think about how you feel like you can conquer the world when you have your best threads on. If you’re a woman, think about how you feel when you put on a dress that makes you feel nothing short of amazing. This is the same impact we have when we go into the community and not only provide food to the less fortunate, but when we provide simple things --like socks, undergarments, free haircuts, etc. When we give to the community, it brings out the joy in others by providing them with the simple pleasantries in life. I’ve witnessed individuals become so excited and grateful because we provided them with Famous Amos Cookies, a washcloth and a bar of soap. It builds their confidence. It reminds them that someone actually cares about their wellbeing, especially if these items are provided in July versus at Christmas.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you were excited that someone purchased a toothbrush for you?
When companies partner with Brand Appetit, they provide a sense of hope to the community and remind members of the community that they are loved. When the community sees that someone like them has “made it” it gives them hope that they, too, can make it. How do we all feel when we know that someone cares about us? That is the same feeling that we bring into the community when we do something unexpected. Believe it or not, there is an individual out there who just needs one person to see and hear them...and that one thing alone could set them on a different path.