BLACK DIAMOND, Wash. -- Around Black Diamond, Ginger Passerelli is known as the Soup Lady. She runs Mama Passerelli's Restaurant, but she also has runs a non-profit “The Soup Ladies.”
Their mission: feed first responders during an emergency or disaster.
“It was the first disaster I saw and it changed me,” recalled Passerelli.
Hurricane Katrina was Passerelli's first volunteer trip. Since then, she's helped in Joplin, Missouri, for Superstorm Sandy. Now she's off to Oklahoma.
“Oh the children, that just gets to you - seeing moms crying because they just want their babies. I'm a mom, I'm a grandma,” said Passerelli.
“You want to protect your clothes as much as possible, so we can wash our aprons out at night. We just pack real light.”
The 58-yeara-old grandma also packs years of experience in the kitchen.
“I can cook. I can cook a lot – fast, but a lot of really good food,” said Passerelli.
She serves up hearty, comfort food for the fatigued first responders.
“It's not about the food, it's about the connect, the hug. How many hugs do we give out? Thousands,” said Passerelli.
With her bags packed, Passerelli carries the groups' motto: Warming the world one bowl at a time.
“I never imagined I'd be doing this,” said Passerelli. “A gray haired grandma from Black Diamond, I get to do this.”