Noah Richee moved from the Orange County and LA areas four years ago to live in Banning. His grown children live in Long Beach and Los Angeles; one of his brothers lives in Orange County while the other resides in Washington state. A retired wholesale distributor and business owner, Noah volunteers at Carol’s Kitchen’s Cabazon location on Thursdays and the Banning location on Tuesdays and Fridays. He also helps out a thrift store on Mondays. We talked to him this past month:
How did you hear about Carol’s Kitchen?
I saw a billboard promoting Carol’s Kitchen one day while taking the bus. I started with the kitchen by donating items then started volunteering once a week. Eventually I started helping out twice a week and now I’m at two locations.
What do you do for the kitchen?
I mostly serve meals and make sure the tables are clean. I also help with taking out the trash and other duties. I’m basically a floater.
What made you decide to work at Carol’s Kitchen?
The Internet started taking over the wholesale distributorship industry, where I was a business owner, so I figured I better do something instead of sit around the house all day. It makes me feel good to volunteer because of the people who come in all the time. I miss them when they’re not there. It feels good to give back.
Have you learned anything surprising by volunteering with Carol’s Kitchen?
There are so many people of different levels of economic background who are in need and who come to eat there. A lot of (other soup kitchens) would not just let anybody in. I like that our guests don’t just come to eat, they come to socialize because they can’t do that at (other soup kitchens). I also like that we don’t have to rush people out the door—our guests always want to stay past our closing time because they enjoy being able to spend time with others.
Come meet Noah! Visit our Cabazon location on Thursdays and the Banning kitchen on Fridays.