It’s not surprising that Trudi was inspired to engage with the Center after meeting Paul, our executive director. Maybe you were, too. Touched by his genuine understanding of the community and its needs, she asked how to get more involved. She remembers Paul’s big mission at the time: “We need to get a center, and we need it on school property.”  What they needed was school board permission, and Trudi, not one to deliver a big speech, went to meeting after meeting to sign the petition to get the building up and running. Permission was granted. State law was changed. Over half a million dollars were raised. And on October 17, 2008, community members came together to celebrate the grand opening.

“All I did was go to a few meetings, but I guess that’s all it took. It’s amazing the power one individual has,” Trudi remarks.

Having been here for over a decade, what keeps Trudi coming back? “It’s the warmth, the compassion, the relationships that I love here.”

Today you’ll find her leading a dedicated crew of Food Pantry volunteers, just one way “the Center creates an inviting, safe, and inclusive space for all races, genders, and generations.”

This story is part of a special series celebrating 10 years of open doors at 55 South Gammon Road in Madison.