On Sunday, December 10, we were presented with a beautiful concert of American and Greek Christmas songs, played by the very talented Westchester Country Greek Youth Orchestra. Once again, we thank all of the members of the Orchestra for their dedication, their parents for their encouragement, and especially Mr. Thanos Kokkalas for teaching these musicians and leading the orchestra. BRAVO!
On the occasion of the feast of Saint Nicholas, we express our heartfelt best wishes and Χρόνια Πολλά to our own Fr. Nick, and we pray that our Lord continue to bless him and his family for many years. Happy Name Day!
"Attitude is gratitude" was the theme of Last Night's Soup Run when one of our guests on 33rd Street told us how he tries to stay positive and how appreciative he was for the food we provided. We served 110 delicious meals of turkey, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots to the group that awaited us. Our caravan of five cars and 20 volunteers distributed hundreds of clothing items including new jackets, fleece-lined flannel shirts, sweaters, socks, t-shirts, pants and toiletries. As we parked our cars, some of our guests helped us unload them and others worked with us to distribute food and clothing.
Imagine our delight when Joan showed us the coat she was wearing which was one we had given her last month. She was proud and happy to be wearing a warm coat and thanked us again for giving it to her.
We talked with Alberto, a former building Super, who lost his job, depleted his savings, has no family in New York, and has been living on the streets for five months. He met another homeless person one night who shared food with him and took him to a location where others live outside and in tents. Alberto is thankful that he has met good people on the streets who look out for one another. He also told us that "I pray to God every night to keep me safe until morning but I don't think he's listening to me." We suggested to him that God is listening because he is keeping him safe. Alberto, and all of our guests, need to be remembered in our prayers.
One of our teenage volunteers gave a guest the gloves he was wearing and plans to return next month to give away all of his sneakers that he no longer wears. And we never know what to expect on the streets of New York...what requests will we receive and what stories will we hear. Last night one man asked us for teeth!
Thank you to Angelika Kypar-Krischke, sponsor of this month's soup run, the many volunteers who serve and who organize the clothing and toiletries, and to the entire Holy Trinity community for being so supportive. We were able to purchase many clothing articles this month with the generous donation from one of our volunteers, Christian Glaser. Christian ran in the NYC Marathon earlier this month, established a Go Fund Me account and donated the money to the Philoptochos for use with the Soup Run. Thank you also to Alexandra Baudouin who provided a number of new coats, jackets and flannels. This month we also wish to give a very big thank you to George Kalyvas who completed his Eagle Scout project of creating a new storage solution for the Soup Run items. George installed rolling shelves, color-coded storage bins and a system that is efficient and well-organized. God bless you, George, God bless all of you!
The annual Philoptochos "Hats & Gloves for the Homeless" sale will be held on Sunday, December 17 after Liturgy. We will be selling $5 gift sets of scarves, hats and gloves which are knit by the Knitting for Charity group. The sets will be distributed with a Christmas card to our guests on December 21. Please support this important outreach and join us next month. #lastnightssouprun
Καλό μήνα! Now we begin to countdown to 2018. Come join us to usher in the New Year.
Fr. Nick with students from our parish, and sister parish of Our Savior in Rye, who are studying in Boston. Joining the group this year was the Rev Dr. Anton Vrame, Director of the Archdiocese Dept. of Religious Education.
Holy Trinity Parishioner Despina Kartson publishes her memoirs of 10 years of Soup Runs!
A memoir full of stories about the often-overlooked homeless population, Last Night’s Soup Run tells a tale of compassion and love via a collection of emails by Despina C. Kartson, a member of an outreach program that feeds the hungry on the streets of New York City.
Through these monthly Soup Runs over the last 10 years, the group has served more than 10,000 meals to their guests on 33rd Street. In these pages, you will learn about real people with real challenges. These individuals have taught Kartson so much, and she's privileged to pass their stories and lessons on to you. They are just like the rest of us, but they're often unseen -- passed over and lonely.
For years, via e-mails to the volunteers and supporters, Kartson has summarized the highlights of their Soup Runs. These first-person accounts offer a glimpse into the lives of those struggling every day with poverty and hunger. She has compiled those e-mails and accompanying comments from members of the outreach into Last Night’s Soup Runto inspire others to help the hungry and homeless. Whether it’s sharing one meal or starting your own Soup Run (which Kartson’s book will help you do), you can pass on this tradition of compassion, dignity, and love. Kartson's hope is that the compassionate among us continue to love them and feed them until none who walk among us are hungry or homeless.
By purchasing this book, you are helping the very people you're reading about: All proceeds go to Philoxenia, a nonprofit founded by Kartson, which provides funding for organizations that feed the hungry and care for the homeless.