Jul 1, 2024
Author: Trenton Soup Kitchen

A Man of Many Hats (And Aprons)

TASK wishes a happy retirement to long-time colleague Charlie Orth

This summer, TASK will bid a fond farewell to Volunteer Coordinator Charlie Orth, who is retiring after a long and gratifying career at TASK.

Orth’s journey with the soup kitchen began unexpectedly when his wife, Ann — at the time a TASK employee — asked him to temporarily fill in as a driver for an injured colleague. When the regular driver returned, Orth was asked to substitute for a floor manager on leave. Then he was offered the role of volunteer coordinator, a position he has held ever since.

“Charlie has worn many hats at TASK over the last 18 years,” says TASK CEO Joyce Campbell. “Charlie’s initial role on the dining room floor gave him a deep appreciation for the critical importance of volunteers. Over the years, Charlie has literally provided thousands of hats and aprons to volunteers and has been ready to don them himself to ensure our diners were fed.”

Charlie has always remained down-to-earth and dedicated to ensuring everyone has what they need.

During his tenure, Orth has witnessed and contributed to several significant changes at TASK.

Charlie Orth poses with volunteer Naisha, a local student whose classmates rolled 3,000 utensil bundles for MLK Day earlier this year. During his 18 years at TASK, Orth has helped thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds find meaningful service opportunities at TASK.

Initially, patrons lined up cafeteria-style for meals, which often increased stress and sometimes led to altercations. At Orth’s urging, volunteers began serving meals to patrons at their dining tables instead, which significantly reduced incidents and created a much better experience for both patrons and volunteers.

“Charlie has always been good at diffusing tense situations when they arise,” says TASK Senior Director of Radical Hospitality Jaime Parker. “His calm demeanor helps soothe even the most stressed-out patrons.”

Another major change Orth helped implement was the transition to a volunteer management system. When he first started, Orth relied on a combination of paper notes and emails. Now, much of the process is managed online.

Orth has not only built strong relationships with diners and program participants, but also many of TASK’s regular volunteers and groups — from religious organizations to corporate volunteers — who regularly help at TASK several times a month.

Orth says he is deeply grateful to the thousands of volunteers he’s worked with over the last two decades. A man of few words, with his characteristic understated smile, he adds, “This job has been life-affirming and rewarding, even when it’s a challenge.”

On behalf of the thousands of patrons, volunteers and colleagues that Orth has impacted during his long tenure at TASK, we wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement!


Tag: Patron Services - retirement - Volunteering - volunteers - Date Posted: Jul 1, 2024 - Author: Trenton Soup Kitchen