Chad Houser Writes About One Man’s Transformation Sunday Night at Cafe Momentum
Ed. Note: Last Sunday night, while you and I were sitting busy celebrating Cinco de Mayo, Chad Houser was changing the world.
He is a superhero, changing lives one day at at time through a mission supported by Cafe Momentum fundraising dinners, which sell out in less than one minute.
Chad carries out his Atlas works quietly. Humbly. Powerfully. And without a lot of fanfare. The at-risk youths he mentors at Cafe Momentum are better for having Chad in their lives. And so are you and I.
Each of the kids that he wraps inside his enormous superhero cape knows that Chad has their back. That Chad can be the role model they never had. That Chad and every one of Cafe Momentum’s volunteers cares about them. Spend a Sunday at a Cafe Momentum dinner with these kids who have lost their way, and you’ll know it, too. No, you’ll feel it. Deep in your soul. You will stand up and applaud. You will tear up. And you will want to be a part of it.
Chad will tell you that when these wayward teenagers complete their assignments with Cafe Momentum, they will have earned not just self-respect, but they will have uncorked the important employment elixers of tenacity, teamwork, kindness, accountability and self-worth.
Read on. Chad will convince you that he and Cafe Momentum are changing lives. And you will want to be a part of it.
Thanks to the folks at Cafe Momentum, these kids will make the world a better place. Quietly. Humbly. Powerfully. And without a lot of fanfare.
Just like Chad, who really is a superhero.
Sunday night we talked a lot about mentoring, and how Cafe Momentum plays a unique role in mentoring by exposing our young men to nearly 100 mentors on a nightly basis in the form of you all, our guests and supporters.
There was a story that developed with one of the young men that exemplified that very role, the story of Cameron. Sunday night was Cameron’s first Cafe Momentum dinner. As the first course began to roll out from the kitchen, Cameron turned to me and said, “Sir, I’m embarrassed to be here.” I inquired as to why and he told me how he got in trouble and how he knew that the dinner was a reminder that he had done something bad. We talked about how 65 people paid $100 (in 8 seconds no less) to be at that dinner. I told him that they did so because they believed in who he is and what he will be, not what he had done.
Cameron began to nervously serve food and was visibly embarrassed when he dropped a fork while clearing a table. At one point, he confided the same anxieties to a Cafe Momentum volunteer, the incredible Aaron Collins. Aaron reiterated the same message regarding the special environment that is Cafe Momentum. Slowly Cameron began to grow comfortable and started working with purpose rather then nervousness. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that Julie Quaid was engaging him in conversation and compliments every time he found himself serving her table. (THANK YOU, JULIE!)
Halfway through the dinner, Cameron switched form server to kitchen assistant. Chef Tiffany Derry immediately took him under her wing and set him up working on the applauded banana pudding.
As the evening came to an end, Cameron said two things that drive home the power of Momentum…