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SEPTEMBER 24-26, 2024
Austin Convention Center - Austin, Texas

The Leaflet

Lasagna Love

December 16, 2022

Writing this column is sometimes a challenge in December when there is so much going on. Wrapping up year end projects, trying to clear the inbox before time off for the holidays and getting ready for the holidays of course. I often come up with inspiration from what is going on in my life and tie it back to the Symposium. Instead, this month, I’m going to share my story about a grassroots project I got involved with almost two years ago. If you think back to January 2021, it was a pretty dark time for a lot of reasons. One of the ways I survived COVID lockdown and the many, many months of when it was safer at home, was cooking.

I love to cook. It is often how I relax, and it is how take care of the people I care about. Like a lot of you I cooked a lot during COVID, but I really dove into learning new recipes and getting a lot better at techniques I had only dabbled in previously. I was special ordering food online from all sorts of sources to recreate meals I’d had in restaurants or trying recipes I had wanted to attempt for years. It really was a lot of fun and saved my sanity. And then one day I saw a social media post about Lasagna Love.

Lasagna Love is a global nonprofit and grassroots movement that aims to positively impact communities by connecting neighbors with neighbors through homemade meal delivery. They also seek to eliminate stigmas associated with asking for help when it is needed most. Such a simple concept and talk about a way to directly give back to someone in your own community.

I signed up immediately and before I knew it, my Fridays were filled with cooking lasagnas and driving to strangers homes and leaving a hot meal on their steps. It was such a meaningful way to do something for others. In the past 8 months as life has gotten back to a more pre-pandemic pace, I haven’t been able to make as many lasagnas as I’d like. In fact, at one point, I spoke to my regional leader about everything that was going on in my life, including the increased level of care of mother was needing at the time, she suggested that I needed a lasagna made for me. It seemed weird to accept. My instinct was to refuse. And then I remembered the advice I had given to people in my life time and time again . . it is ok to ask for help. I’m terrible at taking it myself but this time I did. And so one Friday afternoon a Lasagna Love volunteer showed up at my house with a lasagna.

The good news is that in recent weeks I’ve been back to delivering lasagnas myself. Last week I delivered to a woman who texted me later she shared it with an elderly neighbor. It truly warmed my heart. Tomorrow I’ll be dropping off a hot lasagna to a mother of 3 whose husband has been picking up extra shifts to support their family.

Every year at the Symposium through our raffle we make a donation to charitable organization supporting worthy causes. Like most of you, as the year end approaches I make sure I’ve supported the organizations that are near and dear to my heart. All of this is important but what I truly value about Lasagna Love is the direct impact it has on someone who for whatever reason needs a little help.

As you are rushing around this time of year, make sure you are also stopping and thinking about what you can do to give back in one way or another to someone who needs a little help.

Wishing you and yours the best this holiday season!

Jenabeth Ferguson
Vice President, Symposium Director
Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo