Just like every Monday, lunch was ready and the food looked great. Except on this day, after eight years of serving lunch on Mondays, something struck a chord for Sandra Miller, Rasmuson Foundation's executive assistant and board liaison. Learn more in today's post.

I was there, in the midst of some 400 other people. You could tell the food was prepared with care and it looked delicious: fresh garden green salad, seasoned baked salmon steaks, deep fried clam strips over rice, sliced cooked carrots, wax beans, rolls, and, for dessert, an assortment of pies: pecan, mixed fruit, banana cream, and pumpkin. The wait-staff were bustling to keep the serving dishes full so that those gathered for a noon meal would be served without delay.

Where was “there” you wonder? A buffet luncheon at Hotel Captain Cook or Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center? Neither, I was at Bean’s Café with several of my co-workers from Rasmuson Foundation to help serve lunch.

The Foundation encourages its staff to volunteer; it is a privilege for me to be able to go to Bean’s once a month to serve. I’ve been doing this now for eight years and on this day, 385 people moved through the serving line, non-stop, for one solid hour. It was not Thanksgiving or Christmas – it was Monday, four days ago.

I have never experienced a time when there wasn’t a slow-down of clients moving through the line to be served. Normally, there is a call for seconds, but on Monday there was no time for seconds because the last person went through the line just as lunch service ended. As much as I am so very thankful for Bean’s Café, it breaks my heart to see that the numbers of people in the line are not decreasing.

Every person there is special to me. Where else will you hear someone say, “I love you,” “God bless you,” or “thank you for being here?” If no words are spoken, very often there will be a smile to return mine. Each time I leave Bean’s Café, I am already looking forward to the next opportunity to be there.