As general manager of the Asheville O’Charley’s restaurant, Alex McDonald was considering local organizations as a community impact project for the restaurant. He remembered one of his regular customers, a former employee of the VRQ. Alex had met this customer years before while he was still a server at the restaurant, and the two had formed a friendship. The customer had even recommended a former resident of the VRQ for a position at O’Charley’s who was hired and still a great part of Alex’s team. Along with these two men, Alex also remembered the many Veterans who loyally eat at the restaurant. He decided to give back to local Veterans and chose the VRQ for their community impact project. He and some of his employees bought flowers and planted them on the VRQ property, and even donated the tools they used in the process of planting so that the Veterans could use them in the VRQ garden. “It was a lot of fun,” said Alex. “Gardening is a peaceful thing, and it’s a beautiful project they have going on at the VRQ.” Alex’s restaurant also donated $300 worth of O’Charley’s gift cards to be given to the residents. “In this process, I thought, ‘What place does Asheville have where we can reach out?’” said Alex. “We can reach out to help the Veterans.” Alex felt a duty to serve the Veterans at the VRQ through this project, and through his restaurant’s generosity, there is colorful, new life in the VRQ gardens, as well as many fun opportunities for the Veterans to eat out in Asheville. Alex also plans to bring his employees back for more service projects in the future.
Through thoughtful acts of service, the residents of the VRQ are blessed. In the same way, your generosity and volunteerism is a blessing to all of ABCCM’s ministries. Thank you!
Buxton Hall Barbecue
In the process of learning, sometimes hands-on experience can change the course of a student’s life. This is what Chef Elliot Moss, one of the founders of Buxton Hall Barbecue Restaurant in downtown Asheville, hopes for the Culinary Commandos who took a field trip to Buxton Hall in earlier this year. Veterans in the program have been to Buxton Hall a few times before, but this was the first time that Chef Moss was able to be there to meet them. The Veterans met Ashley, the Buxton Hall pastry chef, who showed them the process of creating Buxton Hall’s legendary pies. They also observed the process of putting a whole pig on to roast and, subsequently, making barbeque. “After completing their training, if one of the Veterans is inspired enough by this field trip to come work at Buxton Hall someday, I would definitely look into that possibility,” said Chef Moss. “It’s important for them to get their foot in the door in the restaurant world.” He mentioned that he spent years working in fast food restaurants before he “made it” in the fast-paced, competitive restaurant world – and now, Chef Moss is the owner of multiple restaurants and a nominee for Best Chef in the Southeast by the James Beard Foundation. Chef Moss knows the importance of hands-on training, and he is equipping the VRQ Culinary Commandos to do great things once they graduate. His willingness to open his kitchen is a testament to his respect for these Veterans and fellow chefs.
Thanks to community members like Chef Moss – and congregations like yours – residents at ABCCM’s VRQ and Steadfast House have a chance to find new opportunities as their lives are rebuilt. Thank you!