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hOURLUNCH Week 20… 19 Weeks Longer Than Expected!

Week 20!? How did that happen?

Let me take you back to Week 2 when, based on the “success” (i.e. not getting run out of town) of that previous Wednesday, I returned to Director Park with a spring in my step!

Well it turns out that hOURLUNCH generated instant word-of-mouth within those few square blocks there in downtown Portland. Those square blocks happen to contain the KGW Studios and Fox Tower (the lighting rod for that early buzz); but also the management office for Director Park…

So when I stepped into the Park that second day I was met by both KGW’s Erica Heartquist AND a representative of the Parks Department. If it wasn’t for Erica, I don’t think we would have survived that second week (permits? what permits?). But incredibly, it has been the involvement and subsequent support of the Portland Parks Department that has given hOURLUNCH an OFFICIAL home in Director Park for at least the next year!

In that first interview with KGW I had trouble defining what this whole experiment was… because I truly had no idea. I was just out there to sit at my little table. It was also my first time on camera and I couldn’t get past the whole process of being a part of something that, for the first time, felt larger than me!  Check out those first baby steps into multimedia here.

This week, when Anne State and KOIN 6 stopped by the park to chat, I had the benefit of more time to think about what hOURLUNCH has become. What people see in a guy sitting at a table in the park. What may be beneath the surface that continues to peak peoples curiosity and garner their support.

From our interview, which aired on Thursday: “I think the important visual is the empty table because it allows people to look at hunger in a different way.” As basic as it sounds, I’m not sure a comment like that could have come out of me those first few weeks. I just didn’t have even that level of understanding about what spoke to me about this idea yet, let alone what interested others in it. Watch the full KOIN segment here.

Thanks to Anne’s segment, this week ended up a surprising social media success!  Not only did we raised an additional 850 MEALS through visitors to hOURLUNCH.org… but as I am writing this (at Coffee Time on 21st and Irving; before my Chicago Bears try to recover their season) our Facebook page boasts 827 Likes!

I am proud to say that is nearly 100 more followers than last week…. and 800 more than when that first KGW interview aired 18 weeks ago!

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