By Rebecca David
Courtesy of KWQC
Saturday April 21 marked the final day of the Quad Cities Big Table. For two days community members from all walks of life have been gathering across the Quad Cities.Thousands discussed topics on how to make the QCA an even better city and community.
They say food and laughter bring people together and there was plenty of that going on inside Don Doucette and Lynn’s house.
“We like to cook, we like to entertain, so we decided to invite people we didn’t know to dinner,” said Don Doucette, Quad Cities Big Table Host.
Those people were from all different countries like Togo, Mexico, Afghanistan, and others. The agenda for the night was simple to get to know the people in your community, and just like the food the conversations were rich and delicious. People that were once strangers started to form bonds.
“Reaching out to people that we don’t know, reaching out to learn how other people live is almost a guarantee to a greater knowledge that could help us build a better community,” said Doucette.
A better community for newcomers like A.J. Kamahwee. A.J. came from Afghanistan one year ago in search for a better life, but what he didn’t expect to find was a second family away from home.
“I don’t feel I am away from family, so it has just been a great experience so far,” said Afghanistan refugee A.J. Kamahwee.
It’s those experiences that Don and Lynn hope many people feel when they move to the Quad Cities, but know that might not always happen and that’s why they decided to open up their home and host Quad Cities Big Table. A conversation aimed to bring people from all walks of life together to talk about how to make the community a better place.
“Maybe they’d have some good ideas about how we might be a more welcoming and inclusive community,” said Doucette.
Nothing brings people together like food and appreciating each other’s differences.
“I hope that everyone that is here feels that their voice matters,” said Doucette.
“This is what the immigrant’s need, while they are moving into a country like the United States,
This is the first event of its kind in the Quad Cities. Hundreds of big tables were held across the QCA Friday and Saturday.