The job of giving away toys has long been filled by Santa Claus.
The role of delighting millions with laughter and much needed support has been keenly played out by Ellen.
So what does one do with a enlarged sense of giving when two of the top positions are taken?
You become a Food Ninja. Well at least if your name is Elif, this is what you do.
Having been the benefactor of many a stealth mission I can say this local Ninja has caused a quiet yet stir with her process of giving.
Recently I inquired of Elif to explain what makes her food gifting tick. Here is her reply.
Being a Food Ninja is an extension of my core character. I feel that everyone should have a moment in which they feel loved, validated, cared about, and thought of. In my own way, I try to become stealth like a ninja and leave something by someone’s door who may need a smile. It is not about recognition for me but for recognition of the recipient that someone cares about them.
I have always been a “giver” but I began to get more serious and organized after reading the book “29Gifts” by Cami Walker. The concept is to give 29 gifts in 29 days and see how your life can change. If you want to live in a more caring world, then you need to actually put more “Care” out into the world. Is it a movement? Yes, people need to learn that kindness and caring toward each other is more valuable than criticism, greed, and selfishness. When someone is given an unexpected gift, it brightens their whole being and they, in turn, do a nice deed for someone else. Maybe someone is a “coffee” ninja and buys the stranger behind them a coffee and quietly leaves the cafe. My venue is food because I love to cook. As I went through the 29gifts process, my daughter and I one day baked up cupcakes in Ice Cream Cones on a snowy Valentine’s day. We walked down the street with 2 dozen cupcakes and handed them out to whoever we met. The warm energy, love, and appreciation from everyone was so palpable that my 3 year old exclaimed: Mama, it may be snowing outside, but it is so warm in my heart with everyone’s smiles as they eat their cupcakes.
Slowly, the Food Ninja concept began to take shape. Make up extra food and leave it by friends and family’s doorsteps for them to come home to after a long day’s works. I am a mother, so I am also concerned that those that I love are eating well. If I knew that a friend was having a difficult time at home, I would cook up a full meal and leave it by their door or in their refrigerator if I had the key. At least, I knew they were eating well one night a week. Friends who go on vacation, come home to a full fridge and an easy to bake meal because I understand how tiring it can be to travel. Who wants to go grocery shopping and cook after a long day of traveling?
People work so hard in their daily lives that sometimes they just need to take a break and have someone care of them. If I could feed the world, I would. It bothers me greatly that kids do not have home cooked meals or what it is like to have a wholesome meal around the table with their family. It hurts me that families have to work so hard to make enough money that they don’t have enough time to be present with those that mean the most to them. The meal, for me, is the connection that brings the family together. If I could provide an outlet or support for busy people with my food so that they have more time connecting and loving their family, then I will have felt successful.
If you would like more information on Elif Ekin I suggest you check out her blog: Mostly Happy or perhaps read her book: Mostly Happy, A Stay-at-Home Mom’s Journey through Divorce.