Dr. Joseph Pantginis was honored today at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy with two outstanding achievement awards for his longtime participation in the Choir as well as service to Holy Trinity Church. Presenting the awards to Jospeh together with Fr. Nick and Fr. Patrick was Anna Dounelis, of the DIrect Archdiocesan District Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians. AXIOS!
Last Night’s Soup Run
by Despina Kartson
Happy New Year! We are thankful for the blessings that enabled us to begin 2018 serving the hungry and homeless again during Last Night's Soup Run. The 20 degree temperature forced many of our guests to stay indoors in the train stations and the set-up for Sunday’s Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden prevented us from serving at our usual spot. Instead, we relocated to our alternative location a block away where we served many of our meals. We also made several trips into Penn Station and distributed hot chili, rice and vegetables along with fleece blankets and hand knit scarves. And we sent Christian Glaser home on the subway with a box of 15 meals to distribute along the way. By the time he boarded the train, he had give out all the meals.
We talked with men and women who were cold and hungry and extremely grateful for what we gave them. They thanked us, blessed us and hugged us. How many of us walk past individuals just like them every day and would never think that they’d reach out for a hug? We connected with Keith who said he feels so much better after he talks with us. He said he feels as if the devil is on his shoulder always tempting him and we suggested that an angel is on his other shoulder guiding and protecting him. He brightened up and said he’d never thought about life that way. When we asked a man later in the evening how he liked the dinner we gave him, he said we “made his night”.
Thank you to the volunteers, supporters and sponsors of the Soup Run who include Deb van Der Heyden and the Yotides family in memory of their father Tommy Yotides. Special thanks, as always, to Manny Louros for cooking, Minos Samoladas for his donation which enabled us to purchase clothing for our men and women guests, Ana and Constantine Dimas for their donation of new coats, socks and t-shirts, Georgeann Mavrovitis for her diligence in preparing hundreds of toiletry kits, Cynthia Herzegovitch and Constance Mavrovitis for their sorting efforts, Alexandra King for knitting 25 scarves, and Andre Herzegovitch for the smoothie packs we gave to our guests to take with them for additional sustenance. Thank you to Manny’s neighbor, Mary Ellen Barbieri, who gave us 40 bags of sandwiches, chips and water that were decorated by children at the Scarsdale Community Baptist Church and packed by her Girl Scout troop! We could not provide warm food and clothing every month for the 125 needy souls without the support of the entire Holy Trinity Community, and beyond, and for that, we - and our guests - are immensely grateful.
We received the following note wishing us a Happy New Year: "Happy New Year 2018 to the ladies and men who help to make this world a better place and who is always given to those who need. May God bless you all for the good work you do. Thank you. Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous New Year. Have a bless, safe and wonderful day. With love."
Please join us on Thursday, February 22.
Dear Parents & Friends,
On Saturday, February 10th, we will be hosting our annual Greek school fundraiser, the Apokriatiko Glendi at the VIP Country Club in New Rochelle.
(Adults $95.00/Children 13 & Under $55.00/Children 4 & Under FREE)
This special event is our main fundraiser of the year! It brings our children, parents & teachers together to bond, have fun and build long lasting relationships outside the classroom. It also allows us to provide cultural and social events for our children. Without your support, we will not be able to provide these events.
ALSO, PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO SELL YOUR RAFFLE TICKETS!
Each family has been given 2 books of raffles to sell. If you are inspired to sell more, additional books can be obtained at the PTA table during Greek school. A free book of raffles will be rewarded to those families selling 4 books or more.
We want to thank you in advance for your support and for being such an important part of our Greek school's success.
The Greek School PTA
Today we celebrate the Circumcision of our Lord in the Flesh, as well as the feast of Saint Basil the Great, Bishop of Ceasaria in Asia Minor. May the Lord our God bless you today, and every day of this new year, bringing you faith, hope, and love!
Christmas came a little early to our guests on 33rd Street during Last Night's Soup Run. We provided more than 100 sets of hats, scarves and gloves knit by our Knitting for Charity group which were packaged in holiday bags and very well received. We served 130 meals to those who were on the street and other hungry souls we found in Penn Station.
We met a number of new guests and caught up with some of our "regulars". One gentleman told us he has been on dialysis for 7 years and is getting a kidney transplant next week. He asked if there was anything left for him and we had one last hat/scarf/glove package that we happily gave to him. He said he has been clean for 9 years and that God has blessed him with a transplant. He looks forward to being in the hospital "in a nice warm bed, with food and people taking care of me".
A couple, married for 20 years and with four children, is living in a homeless shelter in the Bronx and just learned that it is closing in January. They sent their children to live with a grandmother in Puerto Rico but they were displaced after the grandmother's house was destroyed by Hurricane Maria in September. The children and grandmother are now living with other family members in Florida while the parents try to get back on their feet and bring their children "home".
One of our volunteers had a long conversation with Sol. Sol was born and raised in Morocco and moved to Manhattan when he was in his twenties. Early on, he lived in an apartment in Chelsea with a friend and worked as a chef at an Italian restaurant. During 15 years as a chef, Sol learned many cooking techniques but grew bored of the occupation and moved on. He started working in Brooklyn with a friend but was let go and could not afford his apartment which has now caused him to be out on the street. He talked about how hard it is on the street but expressed sincere gratitude for our group's generosity and efforts. He also realized that things could be worse - if he were sick or injured.
After talking with Sol about the bad times, they quickly moved on to the good: his home country Morocco. We talked about his hometown Casa Blanca, which is filled with magicians who eat glass and tame rattlesnakes. He was thrilled when he heard that Morocco had made the World Cup and that the USA hadn’t. He mentioned that about five years ago he was going to move back, said he had 10k saved up but he fell on hard times and had to spend it all to survive. Our volunteer so enjoyed talking with Sol that he is inspired to visit Sol's hometown in Morocco!
We learn and receive as much as we give when we talk with our guests. They may surprise and amaze us with the stories of their lives and perhaps most of all, we are reminded that they are people just like us.
Thank you to our special, most generous sponsors of this month's soup run: Martha Kypar in memory of Manos Kypar and Danna Copulos whose donations enabled us to purchase extra clothing items; Peter Pappas for donations of socks and oranges; Alexis Livanos for her annual Christmas cookie treats; and the Grammas family from The Greentree Country Club who provided the delicious meals of turkey, mashed potatoes and vegetables. Thank you to our many volunteers who served last night and to all who support us through their donations and work behind the scenes.
Please remember the hungry and the homeless in your prayers - always but most especially at this time of year. We are in need of warm clothing: jackets, coats, sweatshirts and blankets. Join us next month on January 25th. Wishing all a very blessed Christmas and a 2018 that is filled with good health and a happy home. #lastnightssouprun