Carmen Tolosa, group leader at the Sutton Place Hotel at 21 E. Bellevue Pl. in Chicago, attended a volunteer orientation at Inspiration Cafe in May.

The hotel’s managing director, John Price had volunteered with us in the past and suggested their hotel organize a group service project with us.  Just a few months later, Carmen and her Sutton Place group are our August 2012 Volunteers of the Month!

Sutton Place was interested in cooking and serving a meal at Inspiration Cafe, but like many of our volunteer groups, had to wait for the schedule to open up.  Due to outstanding volunteer support this spring and summer, there were no openings until the end of July.

Carmen asked what the group could do to help immediately, and as soon as they heard that we were in need of toiletries, executive housekeeper Lillian Hull instructed the room attendants to collect unused amenities from all checked out rooms to be donated to Inspiration Corporation participants.  The huge amount of toiletries has helped us provide extra support to our participants during the hottest month of the year!

The group, which included Supachoke O, Amela Alagic, Rosalba De Santiago, Jamar Gaddis, Liliana Montesinos, Annarita Pipino and Carmen Tolosa cooked and served dinner on Thursday, July 26 and had a great time in the kitchen with kitchen coordinators Keith and Willie as you can tell by these photos.

We have been blown away by the Sutton Place Hotel group’s generosity and look forward to a long partnership!