Last Saturday, six students from Mrs. Phillips’ Spanish I classes traveled with her to First Spanish Baptist Church in Rohnert Park. Pastor Rodriguez (Mrs. Phillips’ brother) and his church opened a soup kitchen on 10/16 to serve people affected by the fires, including all first responders and personnel assisting Sonoma County, by offering free home-cooked meals. Church volunteers are serving three meals per day and distributing goods for displaced families for thirty days. However, because this is a small church, additional volunteers are needed to meet the anticipated needs.
Nathan Calvert, Caleb Enos, Michael Goldman, Danielle Harrell, Giana Pepsin, and Braeden Smith worked from 8:30 am to 6:45 pm. One of the main tasks was to make 300 tamales from scratch! This included grinding the corn for the dough and folding the husks. In addition to food prep, students helped vacuum, clean bathrooms, sort and fold clothes, and unload vehicles arriving at the church with donations.
Mrs. Phillips shared that it was a great experience for her students because not only did they work hard to fulfill a significant need, but they were immersed in the Spanish culture. Being in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood and church, students were challenged to speak with and understand those they worked with and those they served. The group also took a small tour around Santa Rosa to see the fire damage.