I Got Your Back! How Jack Allen’s Kitchen Came to Outfit All the Kitchens at The Refuge Ranch
“I Got Your Back!
THE STORY OF THE REFUGE: How Jack Allen’s Kitchen Came to Outfit All the Kitchens at The Refuge Ranch
By Steven Phenix, PR Director for The Refuge for DMST
This photograph was taken at a Home Gathering hosted by Lisa Oden Knapp for The Refuge back in December. In the foreground, you can see the smiling faces of Courtney Koch Bush and Lisa Oden Knapp. In the background, center, see the longhaired gentleman in gray talking to Brooke Crowder, Founder and Executive Director of The Refuge? That’s Jack Gilmore, Owner/Chef of Jack Allen’s Kitchen.
On this fateful day, Jack and his team came to Lisa’s house to help cater her Home Gathering for her friends. Everyone in attendance heard Brooke talk about some of the latest statistics like:
- 80 - 90% of reported cases of child sex trafficking are children born in the U.S.
- The average age of a trafficking victim is 13 years old.
- 90% of runaways will be approached by a trafficker in the first 48 hours.
We consider Home Gatherings to be “friendraisers,” not fundraisers, and at every event there are always one or two people there who are set on fire by what they hear. Even though the most harrowing statistic of all -- that there are almost 79,000 minors and youth victims of sex trafficking in Texas today -- wouldn’t be published until later in the year, this Home Gathering still set Jack ablaze.
The photograph above may have captured the first of many times Jack has said, “Whatever you need, I got your back!”
The Studio building at The Refuge Ranch is designed to have a commercial kitchen so that we can provide both cooking classes as well as community meals. Jack found out about the Studio and the commercial kitchen at Lisa’s Home Gathering and when he heard that the commercial kitchen needed a full range of kitchen equipment (from an industrial oven and refrigerator to countertops to commercial grade cookware), he told Brooke, “Whatever you need! We’ve got your back!”
The girls’ cottages will have their own individual kitchens and will need pots and pans, plates and bowls and silverware, too.
“Whatever you need, I got your back!”
Jack even covered the the catering for Lisa’s Home Gathering the day he met Brooke. And later he hosted a luncheon at Jack Allen’s Kitchen for some of the consultants and contractors who are helping us design and build The Refuge Ranch.
Jack’s huge-heartedness extends throughout his organization, too. After the Home Gathering, Lisa made sure all the servers each got a generous tip. One of the servers, after hearing that this event would raise funds to help sex trafficked girls find hope and healing, he insisted that his tip go toward helping the girls.
It's people like this young man that make Jack Allen's Kitchen such a special place.
If you’d like to host your own Home Gathering for your friends, church group or community group, sign up here on our website.
“The Story of The Refuge” is our series of newsletter articles that highlight the people and organizations who are working together to build The Refuge Ranch.