Meet Tracey Porter – Bold Journey

Thank you to Bold Journey for doing this piece on Tracey.

We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Tracey Porter a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.

Hi Tracey, you’ve got such an interesting story, but before we jump into that, let’s first talk about a topic near and dear to us – generosity. We think success, happiness and wellbeing depends on authentic generosity and empathy and so we’d love to hear about how you become such a generous person – where do you think your generosity comes from?
I believe that as humans we were put on this earth to care and love for one another.

Great, so let’s take a few minutes and cover your story. What should folks know about you and what you do?
Food Trucks Against Homelessness began early 2021 on the heels of what was going to be a one-time holiday donation to our houseless neighbors. Originally, we wanted to provide a warm meal for the week of Christmas and New Year’s to our houseless neighbors. It was during Covid, food trucks had been sidelined due to the pandemic and donations were down to most non-profits. We thought, how can we help and make the biggest impact at once. The idea came, we would commission a food truck for each week and feed anyone that showed up, additionally, we gathered items of necessity; socks, underwear, hand warmers, toiletries, etc.. It was wonderful! Westside CARES, a local nonprofit, serves a large population of folks that live on the margins and the streets, so they were the perfect place to partner with for this event.

Food trucks were asked to donate their time and provide the meals at cost. We started asking for donations to purchase needed items and reimburse our food trucks on social media. Food Trucks Against Homelessness was born. We now line up food trucks, ask our community for donations, arrange everything, and serve a meal every Monday. We have incredible volunteers that show up every week, donations of needed items that roll in and social media has brought in monetary donations. We currently have a food truck that also partners with us regularly.

It has been a challenge to run our organization due to lack of funds on a regular basis and to find willing food trucks to show up. There have been times that we have thought about ending the initiative due to lack of funding and just when we were seriously considering it a donation rolls in that keeps things going.

We specialize in helping those folks that are underserved and have served over 10,000 meals to date. Our mission is to partner with businesses and individuals to provide meals, resources and human connection to our houseless neighbors.

Looking back, what do you think were the three qualities, skills, or areas of knowledge that were most impactful in your journey? What advice do you have for folks who are early in their journey in terms of how they can best develop or improve on these?
I have been volunteering since I was in my teens and realized then how important it is to help others. My volunteering increased over the last 10 years and due to that I became friends with the Executive Directors of our local non-profits, I took on Volunteer Coordinator positions and gained much knowledge all not knowing that one day this would be my life. Those friends were and are still my mentors for which I am grateful to have them in mine and our houseless neighbors corner.

To close, maybe we can chat about your parents and what they did that was particularly impactful for you?
My mom is the one who introduced me to the world of volunteering and has always told me how proud she is for all I am doing as well as my father who also volunteers 1-2 times per week.