By Kim Brandon
On the third Sunday in May, 1993, four guests and twice as many volunteers sat down together in the Dempsey Center here in Brooklyn to begin a journey of building community in the face of one of the worst epidemics of our time. We are still far from a cure for AIDS, yet there have been strides made that have increased awareness, treatment and understanding.
Over the past 25 years, the HOPE Dinners have provided a sage and nourishing environment to celebrate personal and collective milestones, declare our hopes and dreams and mourn our losses. One constant throughout the years is the love that has found its way into the home-cooked, nutritious food, the friendly conversations and the material and spiritual support for our guests.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the HOPE Dinners. We have served over 20,000 guests and hosted 300 HOPE Dinners and counting.
We would like to acknowledge our Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture member, the late Donna Roberts, and Rev. Janine Deitz for starting the HOPE Dinners. Thank you, Donna and Janine, for showing us the powerful legacy of building helping and