Every third Friday of the month, we welcome a group of meal volunteers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who serve dinner for women living at Calvary. The IMF is an organization with a global membership, and its employees come from all over the world to work in DC. The meal volunteers who serve dinner at Calvary hail from places including Uruguay, England, the U.S., France, Colombia, Mauritius, India, Peru, Canada, Haiti, Russia, the Philippines and beyond! Marina Primorac, a longtime volunteer, said, “Most of us work with numbers, but we all enjoy a good meal!” We’re pleased to feature Marina and all the volunteers from IMF in our September spotlight. Thank you for your service!
How are you involved at Calvary Women’s Services?
The IMF group has been preparing meals for women at Calvary since about 1995! We are a large enough group that even when lots of people are traveling for work or visiting their home countries, we still have enough cooks to prepare a tasty dinner.
How did you first hear about Calvary?
About 20 years ago, someone at the IMF began serving monthly Friday night dinners at Calvary and I’ve been cooking for them ever since. For several years the IMF’s community outreach director organized and served most of the dinners. When she moved to the west coast five years ago, I took over that role.
Why do you volunteer at Calvary?
To stay in touch with women in the DC area, and share our favorite dishes and love of good food with women who deserve the best!
What do you like best about your work with Calvary?
I love the warm greetings we get from women – one nicknamed us “the salmon ladies” since we often serve it. I get inspiration from talking to strong women who are open to new ideas, face truly tough life challenges, and make the most of their opportunities.
What has been your most memorable experience at Calvary?
When we were serving dinner last month a resident got a letter notifying her that she had qualified for Social Security benefits, and did a “happy dance” in the dining room. We all felt like dancing with her!
What has surprised you most about volunteering at Calvary?
How energized I feel after a couple of hours with such inspiring women. I always drive home from our Friday night meals feeling good about life. The residents have a great sense of humor and linguistic abilities. Once we prepared chicken stew from Peru and French coq au vin, and a resident asked, “Where’s the ‘vin’!?”
What would you tell someone considering getting involved at Calvary?
Do it! You’ll get more out of it than you give.