Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chef Stacey Loves Da Kids!

You know, God has blessed me with so much in my life and I find myself always wanting and searching for ways to give back.  One particular way that I love to give back is with my time, because time is my most valuable assets.  Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to children at two different elementary schools, Rainbow Academy and Whitney Elementary.  Wow, the things that kids can teach us nowadays and how knowledgeable some of these children are is unbelievable.  I just want to recap a couple of highlights from last week’s visits to the schools.  It was fun and definitely memorable.  I pray that I was able to make a positive difference in at least one child’s life, because the children definitely made a difference in mine.

Rainbow Academy
I was invited by Mrs. Lashelle Whitmore to read to her 4th grade class for 15 minutes.   I said that I would be wearing my chefs’ uniform and would like to read a story that relates to cooking or food (I gotta always stay within my healthy eating genre and continue to create the Chef Stacey Dougan brand ya know).  When I walked into the classroom, I had about 40 4th grade students oohing and ahhing saying “oooohhh a chef!”  They were so excited!  Then I immediately got the 3rd degree barrage of questions…intelligent questions such as “What inspired you to be a chef?”, “What were your thoughts as a child?”, “What is your favorite thing to cook?”  The children knew the definition of a vegetarian and were amazed that I had not eaten meat in 12 years. 
The children also had some very personal questions for me, which I thought was amusing and did not mind answering…”How old are you?”, “Are you married?”; “Do you have any kids”?  Wow! 
We had a great time and afterwards the children sang two songs for me, while I danced along.  What a day!  I had soooooo much fun and I can’t wait to go back…and give back.

Whitney Elementary
My good friend Rosalind Brooks and I have decided to create a program to teach children about healthy eating.  So we decided to start with the Whitney Elementary after school program for children whose families are living at poverty level and/or are homeless.  We also teamed up with Chipotle Mexican Grill for our first day. 

I showed the children how to prepare a meatless beef crumble from “Smart Ground” and I prepared a vegan burrito. The kids LOVED it!  Chipotle provided vegetarian burritos, fresh corn salad, homemade salsa, fresh guacamole and those awesome lime salt tortilla chips.  Now, I’ll be honest, I didn’t think the kids were gonna like the guacamole because it was green or the veggie burritos because it was filed with, well, vegetables.  But those kids proved me wrong!  They not only loved the food but a few of them told me that they know about tofu and they like tofu!  Now that’s better than most adults.  What a great time we had. And the food was amazing.

The Haile Selassie Children’s Library and Resource Center (Accra, Ghana)
My very dear friend Chiedza Makonnen started this project and I cannot express how near and dear this is to my heart!  Most of you all know that I lived in Ghana for 2 years and I LOVE Ghana!  A few days ago, when I found out about this project, I immediately donated $300 and will give more as the project moves along.  Here is the mission statement:

 “The mission of The Haile Selassie Children's Library and Resource Center is to provide access to literature, literacy classes and computer access to disenfranchised youth 4-19 years of age within the Jamestown, section of Ghana’s capital of Accra. The center also serves as a community space where parents, teachers, mentors and volunteers can create and implement innovative policies and programs affecting positive change for Ghana’s youth”.

If you would like to give back, I would appreciate your support of this project.  You can go to and donate anything from money, to clothes, to books.  Whatever resources you have that you think we can use, let us know.  It doesn’t matter how small.  I can also be contacted via email:

Another day of giving back…gotta love this life! 

Moral of this blog post:  God has blessed you, so find a way to give back.  And please tell me about it, I would love to hear your story! 

In Joy,

Chef Stacey

1 comment:

  1. What a great story, it is so good to help others! We helped provide some of the meals for Thanksgiving at the Whitney Elementary School. I found out about that through our friend Pastor Barry Diamond. It was good for my kids to be involved in helping to provide a meal for those that couldn't afford one.
    May the Lord continue to bless you as you serve others!

    Blessings, Tricia Gann
    ps I met you last night at the food demo! My husband can't wait for me to make the food that my friend Bianca and I raved about! Very tasty!! Thanks