The first thing you notice are his eyes: they’re brown and kind and crinkle at the corners when he smiles. Which he does a lot.
Alta Lee Brown, who goes by Pete or Peter, is a guest-turned-volunteer at Open Table in Concord, one of the hundreds of organizations that receives funding from the Walk for Hunger.
Pete brings his warm demeanor to Maynard on Mondays and Concord on Thursdays. In his two years of volunteering, he has done every task, from organizing the frozen goods to handing out the milk, cheese and yogurt.
“I have the time, and I just like to help other people,” says Pete. "My grandmother used to say, idle hands are the devil's workshop."
It’s safe to say Pete’s hands have rarely been idle. He has been a floral arranger/deliverer, home health aid, EMT – he was a first responder to the Carol DiMaiti Stuart shooting – and an Army medic, beginning during the Vietnam War.
Raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, by his grandmother, Pete remembers sneaking into the University of Alabama's football games and seeing Joe Namath play. “I follow two football teams: the Crimson Tide and the Patriots,” he said.
He is now a disabled veteran who relies on Open Table for groceries, as well as friendship through the volunteers and guests with whom he connects each week. When not at Open Table, Pete is riding his bike (in all weather) and spending time with his granddaughters. Anyone who comes for a meal or groceries gets a warm welcome from Pete. “I’ve been there,” he says. “I still am there.”
Open Table in Concord is just one of hundreds of programs funded by Project Bread's Walk for Hunger, and Pete is just one of thousands who benefit from these programs. Join us on Sunday!