"The kindness I saw."

2015 Table Host of the Year: Allison Delong

"I arrived as a luncheon guest but had the background and bandwidth to be able to contribute more than a check.  My bandwidth has narrowed in recent years, but remaining involved in my community in varying doses will always be important to me.”

NOVEMBER 16, 2015: For Allison Delong, our 2015 Luncheon Table Host of the Year, supporting Wellspring Family Service loops back to her parents and the core values they taught her. 

Fittingly, Allison’s introduction to Wellspring Family Services was through a luncheon. About 12 years ago, she came as a guest of her business friend (“technically I’m a client”) and then-board member Larry Almeleh.  That’s where she learned about Wellspring’s broad range of services and how we solve problems from both sides:  securing housing for clients, but also helping families stabilize their lives and giving homeless children the specialized early learning they need.

It was the Baby Boutique, though, that caught her heart. Allison was a new mom and hearing about our free store for homeless families struck a chord.  She would donate items as her baby outgrew them.

Only she couldn’t, she later discovered, because Baby Boutique was only open during business hours, when she was working.

But … “I had Larry, and he said this is the person you call.”

End result: For about six years Allison and two friends volunteered one Saturday a month so other working parents could drop off donations. Eventually, they graduated to helping clients in the store, and that deeper connection is what she’s found most rewarding about being involved with Wellspring Family Services.

“The interaction with volunteers, staff and clients. The kindness I saw. I loved bringing in a pair of shoes that were in great condition, that my son had simply outgrown, and seeing them go home that same day. Seeing who actually got them.”

Today, Allison contributes through table hosting, which brings its own sense of community connection. Thinking back to that first lunch, Allison was struck by the people she knew ─people who she didn’t realize had a Wellspring connection. 

As for her table:  “My mom (Maridee Garvey, another Baby Boutique volunteer) is always an annual guest, and two of her good friends attend every year too.” 

And the parent lesson in this? Google “TP guy, Delong” (or click here). Between her mom and dad, you can see Allison comes from a rich tradition of giving back, which Allison has worked to instill in her son as well.

“I feel blessed every day to have had two such wonderful parents who gave me a safe, sound and loving childhood, and who taught me giving back to my community as a core value,” Allison said recently.

On behalf of the extended Wellspring family, thank you, Allison Delong! 

Our Baby Boutique still has monthly Saturday hours, and our luncheons are filled with community members and friends wanting to give back.