Volunteers Celebrate at Namaste

On Dec. 5, 2021, volunteers from Clark County Adventist Community Services enjoyed a festive occasion at Namaste Fine Indian Cuisine in Portland, Oregon. The story behind it is worth sharing.  

Many years ago, while looking for a venue for an awards banquet, Eleanor Hetke, CCACS executive director, called several local restaurants. Because she and her husband had developed a special fondness for Indian food while serving as missionaries in India for 23 years, Hetke included Indian restaurants in her search.

When Hetke spoke with Harjinder Chand, owner of Namaste, he offered CCACS use of the banquet hall, buffet and servers for no additional cost. Knowing CCACS is a non-profit organization helping people in need, Chand wanted to support CCACS. 

Upon receiving this tremendous gift, Hetke decided to put the money that had been set aside for the banquet toward sponsoring two children at a mission in India. Chand was so moved by this act, that he donated an additional $500 for the children. This has become an annual event — Chand hosting the banquet free of charge, and CCACS putting the money toward sponsoring children in India.

During the banquet, "Santa" showed up with gifts (from God). Each package contained a list with names of people and talents they used when volunteering at CCACS in various capacities.

Medals were awarded to those who had achieved milestone-hours and years of service. (Volunteer hours and years of service accomplishments are listed below.)

No one gave Hetke a medal, but someone snuck an additional slide into her presentation that referred to the “countless hours” she works to keep things running smoothly.

Tom Przedwojewski, board chairman, proposed a toast to volunteers, including young violinists, Anne and Chelsea Gibson, and Shelbie Hammon, who graced the guests with Christmas carols.

The food was fantastic. If you like Indian food, you will enjoy Harjinder Chand’s restaurant, Nameste. It is located at 8303 NE Sandy Boulevard. namasteindiancusine.com

Through collaboration with local food banks, Northwest Harvest, Chuck’s Produce, Fred Meyer and six Adventist churches in Clark County, CCACS provides emergency food and clothing. Last year, CCACS served 4,394 families, 3,851 homeless individuals and distributed 142,794 pounds of food. More than 50 volunteers donated a total of 14,143 hours.

Visit CCACS in Vancouver, Washington, at 3114 E. 4th Plain Boulevard. If you're in need of services, would like to donate items, or are interested in volunteering, learn more at clarkcountyacs.com.

Volunteer Hours and Years of Service Awards

Sue Chumrau 200 hours / 2 years

Irina Ziyu 250 hours / 2 years

Karen King 300 hours / 2 years

Donna Silsbee 300 hours / 2 years

Kathy Anderson 600 hours / 3 years

David Lackey 600 hours / 3 years

Ed Johnson 1000 hours / 5 years

Belinda Rodriguez 1000 hours / 5 years

Jeffrey Herbster 1110 hours / 3 years

Helen Carlton 1400 hours / 5 years

Tom Przedwojewski 2400 hours / 17 years

Dan Weston 2400 hours / 7 years

Mary Hartsell 4000 hours / 6 years

Miriam Redfield 7000 hours / 14 years

Joann Reznicki 13,700 hours / 20 years

Norman Wilmot 14,000 hours / 14 years

Karen Armstrong 2000 hours / 8 years

Debby Cramer 2000 hours / 8 years

Featured in: May/June 2022