If you’ve ever been in crisis, you know that simple jobs like making food can be overwhelming and stressful. Thankfully, there are people in our community who see that need and aim to fill it- for no reason other than to be kind.
Shannon Grochowski stands in her kitchen, a baby on her hip, stirring something that smells so good it’s making my stomach growl. She apologizes again for not being “ready” for me to interview her- as though keeping four kids alive and also being dressed and articulate isn’t already an accomplishment.
A Home-Grown Kindness Movement in Langley
Shannon is a blogger and stay-at-home mom of four beautiful kidlets; she’s also the woman behind what she calls a “Kindness Movement” in Langley.
Pretty much every week, Shannon makes dinner for a family in need.
“In need” here can mean a variety of things; It could be a family going through an illness or loss, victims of an accident or disaster, or just someone going through a tough time. Shannon cooks them something homemade and delicious, packs it into a box with some goodies and a card, and delivers this package of kindness to their door. It’s a small but impactful gesture, and one that many families in the Langley area have been lucky enough to receive.
Shannon’s favourite meal to make people is soup- instantly comforting, it’s like packing a hug into Tupperware and giving it away. She usually includes thoughtful treats in each box, depending on the family it’s going to.
She finds deserving families through putting a call out on social media- then hits the kitchen.
Paying It Forward
Shannon started writing online in 2009, when a college course required her to start a blog. She intended to write about her love of adventuring and motherhood, although it quickly evolved to become something more meaningful.
After a series of miscarriages rocked her growing family, Shannon found herself dealing with intense depression while trying to fill her role as mother and wife.
I remember standing there at the library checkout, trying to get my brain together to move faster and trying not to cry as people made rude comments about us behind me. I couldn’t understand how they could be so insensitive.
After a negative experience with inconsiderate members of the public, she spoke out about her struggle on social media and soon found herself surrounded by her community. Meals were cooked, support was offered, and slowly but surely she was able to get back to more stable place.
She credits that experience to laying the foundation of the Kindness Movement. Shannon immediately saw the impact of community support on her own life and decided to pay it forward by doing the same for others. She also began opening up more on her blog; sharing real and raw stories and struggles with her followers.
As she deals with the physical and emotional aftermath of an unexpectedly hard pregnancy and delivery, Shannon is sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly with her readers in the hopes of uplifting others who are struggling. She’s still making meals, calling it “a way to help heal other souls while nurturing my own.”
Shannon hopes to eventually turn her blog into a source of income and be able to grow her grassroots meal service into something larger and farther-reaching. You can follow her journey here, here, and here.