The welcomed spring temperatures brought out many to Last Night's Soup run in Manhattan where we served more than 125 hungry and homeless. Pasta and meatballs were on the menu and some commented that they were the best they had ever eaten. One guest remembered our serving "Greek lasagna" and said that was his favorite meal!
When we arrived at our spot on 33rd Street, our guests were lined up all the way down the block. They patiently waited for us to set up our tables of food and clothing and were happy to receive a hot meal. One man asked for extra meals so that he could "get through the weekend".
We witness a broad spectrum of personalities and actions from those we serve - some troubling, some heart-wrenching and some kind-hearted. Last night was no different. Some guests came back to us after taking a couple of clothing items and returned an item that they decided they didn't need so that someone else could have it. "Magic", telling us he wanted our area on the street to be left cleaner than when we arrived, was gathering up the empty food containers and throwing out the trash in garbage cans. Another man said he "heard about us two months ago" and was happy to finally meet us and enjoy our meal.
Sometimes we run out of food and clothing because we have served so many and other times an extra item seems to materialize out of nowhere just when it is needed. Last night, even though we served the last meal, guests kept approaching our tables asking for food. Thankfully, we at least had bagels, granola bars and fruit to give. And then, toward the end of the evening, a large man asked us for any clothing we might have for him. All of our bins were empty but one - it contained an extra large jacket and pants! That was all we had and it was meant for the man. We distributed a handful of remaining blankets when another guest said the only thing he needed was a blanket. One of our volunteers removed the clean moving blanket lining his car trunk and gave it to the man.
Talking with our guests and engaging them in conversation to learn about their lives, hear about their problems and simply listen when others may not are the simple things that our volunteers do that are so special. Deacon Simon and Seminarian Cornelius talked, laughed and listened to so many last night.
Our amazing group of volunteers, supporters, and sponsors make the monthly soup run possible. Thank you to Cleo Canelos for sponsoring this month's soup run, Manny Louros and Kelly Sisco for preparing the meals, Minos Samoladas' monetary donation which enables us to purchase clothing, Peter Pappas for dozens of bagels, Deb Van Der Hayden for the clothing donations, the Philoptochos and the entire Holy Trinity, New Rochelle community for all that you do. Please join us on May 31.