By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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In fact, Hannah, 8, a second-grader at Roosevelt Elementary School in Port Angeles, is so dedicated to the cause that she ran into the frigid Strait of Juan de Fuca not once, not twice, but three times during the Jan. 1 Polar Bear Plunge at Hollywood Beach to raise funds for the kitchen.
Over the past year, Hannah and her mother, Susan Anderson, have volunteered almost weekly at the soup kitchen, which is run by their church, the Passionate For Christ Fellowship, which operates at the Armory Square Shopping Mall, 228 W. First St.
The effort is intended to fill in the gaps where there are no services for the homeless or needy and was founded by Richard Thomas and Walter Smith of Port Angeles.
In addition to the soup kitchen, the organization also distributes warm clothing and hosts holiday meals, Smith said.
Smith is very appreciative of the junior volunteer, who he said quickly picked up food-handling techniques, including wearing gloves to lay out and separate hamburger buns to help the lunch line move faster.
Hannah helps dish out food and also carries plates to tables when diners have too much to carry or cannot carry them because of a disability.
In December, she learned that the kitchen needed more tables, so Hannah asked friends, neighbors and relatives to sponsor her chilly New Year's Day dip.
At first she had a goal of $100, but by the time word of mouth got around, Hannah had $200 to donate.
“I had $190, then I got another $10,” she said with a happy grin. “I didn't expect that much.”
The folding white tables were set up Sunday, enough for about 20 people to sit while they eat. They also function as serving tables.
The soup kitchen, which relies on donations from the public, serves lunch every Sunday, “rain or shine,” in the parking lot behind Armory Square in downtown Port Angeles.
Donors drop off hot food items at about noon, and lunch is served from 12:30 p.m. to almost 3 p.m.
“We never know what we're going to have. It's like a potluck,” Susan said.
This past Sunday, volunteers served hot potatoes and enchiladas, and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.
Hot coffee and other drinks were available.
To make a donation, Smith said, simply show up at the parking lot behind the shopping mall at noon Sundays.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.