Volunteers put compassion to work

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Venerable Pannavati, left, and Nalanda West volunteers worked at ROOTS Young Adult Shelter to help prepare a meal.

With mixing bowls, spoons and spatulas in hand, a group of volunteers from Nalanda West and Venerable Pannavati, who was teaching a workshop at the center, recently put their compassion to work helping prepare ‘Friday Feast,’ a restaurant-quality meal served every Friday night at ROOTS Young Adult Shelter.

Inspired by the call to compassionate action teachings given in Seattle earlier this year by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, the volunteers worked side by side with experienced, dedicated staff members of ROOTS. The menu for the evening included a green salad, baked chicken, sweet potatoes and peach cobbler for dessert.

Friday Feast began in 1996, by former ROOTS Executive Director Sinan Demirel as a way to honor the memory of his mother, a woman dedicated to service and hospitality. Since its inception, Friday Feast has served over 100,000 meals to the homeless in Seattle. Real Change has called it, “The best of all soup kitchens.”

Nalanda West volunteers said the experience was both eye-opening and satisfying. One volunteer remarked, “It was a pleasure to work with so many helpful, open, diligent people. As the saying goes, ‘Many hands makes light work.’ It was a great way to spend a Friday night.” Her enthusiasm was echoed by other volunteers and garnered so much interest that Nalanda West is planning a follow-up volunteer event in October. Check our website nalandawest.org for details.


Book Event at Nalanda WestAnd speaking of upcoming events in October! Be sure to join us for a special program with acclaimed local authors Dr. Charles Johnson and David Guterson and poet Samar Abulhassan. The topic for the workshop will focus on Buddhist practice in the Creative Arts. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 3 at Nalanda West.

During the daylong workshop, we’ll hear readings and contemplations by the authors on how Buddhist practice informs artistic work and how that work in turn informs practice. Participants will also have the chance for writing and Q&A.

For more details or to register go to our events page!