Gail Blair was named the 2012 Volunteer of the Year at alley’s house. Gail has been volunteering with alley’s house since 2008. She has been hosting the monthly alley’s house cooking workshop for the past three years. During the workshop, she shows the moms at alley’s house how to make simple, healthy, affordable and delicious meals.
“I’ve been nutrition minded for most of my adult life, and I understand the importance that good health plays in having a happy and successful life,” Gail said. “The old life saying ‘we are what we eat’ is very true. It just seemed natural to me that along with the tools and skills that alley’s house provides, cooking skills and a knowledge of good nutrition would also serve these girls very well.”
She loves the satisfaction of getting the moms to try new foods.
One of her favorite aspects about hosting the cooking workshops is, “the look of pleasant surprise on the girls faces after they’ve tasted something that they were sooo sure they wouldn’t like,” Gail said.
Gail has not only taught the girls, but she has learned things while teaching them.
“I learned to meet people where they are and really listen to be effective,” she said. “Something I’ve always known but haven’t always applied.”
This year the cooking workshops are going to have a new twist.
“Each class this year will be directed by the girls,” Gail said. “They will tell me what they want to learn to cook and I will teach them a healthy and delicious way to do it.”
Her classes have a greater message of lifelong health.
“I want them to understand they are in charge of their health and their future,” she said. “The food choices they make today affect their health, their children’s health, the health of future generations and the health of the planet!”
There is no sign of Gail slowing down at alley’s house.
“I consider it a profound privilege to be a part of alley’s house,” Gail said. “I can’t think of anything more important and gratifying than providing this young generation of mothers with the tools and skills they will need to succeed as excellent mothers with successful careers that make a difference. I wish them every bit of health and happiness they deserve!”