by Despina Kartson
The warm summer night, the compassion expressed by our volunteers and the gratitude from our guests made for a beautiful Soup Run last night. We distributed 116 meals to those waiting for us on 33rd Street and to a very appreciative group at a nearby Drop-In Center.
We served chicken, rice and vegetables along with granola bars, oranges, cold bottles of water and coffee. Our guests thanked us and enjoyed their meals while chatting with our volunteers and others. The street was packed with trucks for a concert at Madison Square Garden but we managed to squeeze cars into spaces that our friends from a church in Harlem saved for us.
Every month during the Soup Run, we meet new and interesting guests, re-connect with those we have come to know well and we are pleasantly surprised by the thoughtfulness of others. Last night, a woman to whom we had given a pair of sneakers during the July Soup run, brought them back to us. The sneakers didn't fit her and she wanted to return them so that we could help someone else. She lives in a small room in a homeless shelter with three other women. We also talked with Joe and gave him a backpack that he requested last month. Sheila Sessoms and the parishioners of New Bethel Way of the Cross Church prepared 27 tote bags packed with men's tee shirts, underwear and hygiene products. They previously prepared similar bags for women, promising to return with bags for men - and they did. Four employees of Bombas Socks distributed 150 pairs of socks in just a few minutes. The night ended with James playing Beatles music and patriotic songs on a melodica!
Thank you to the donors, supporters and volunteers of the monthly Soup Run. This month, we express gratitude to our supporters from Westchester County, NY and New York City:
AHEPA Evzone Chapter 405 for their sponsorship
Manny Louros and Zachary Karounos for cooking and Basil Apostle for packing the meals
Minos Samoladas for his generous donation which enabled us to purchase clothing
Melina Morris and Bombas (https://bombas.com/) for socks
Sheila Sessoms and the parishioners from New Bethel Way of the Cross Church (NYC) for 27 tote bags filled with men's underwear and hygiene products
Deb van der Heyden for women's clothing
Helen Hiotakis and Sappho Papaioannu for men's tee shirts and tote bags
May Vlachos (St. George NYC) for preparing the Mental Health Clinic guide and including the Soup Run dates
Constance Mavrovitis and Cynthia Herzegovitch for organizing the clothing
Georgeann Mavrovitis and Loredana Soravito Curtis for preparing the toiletry kits
Remember those who are hungry and lack sufficient housing. We look forward to you joining us next month on August 29. It is a joyful experience and all are welcome.