by Despina Kartson
by Despina Kartson
We served pasta and gave out clothing and toiletries to a large group of cold and hungry souls who had gathered on 33rd Street in New York City during last night's soup run. Our large group of volunteers included teenagers and those who traveled from Westchester, Long Island and Connecticut and others from Manhattan.
When we first set up our tables, food and clothing on the sidewalk, one of New York's finest stopped by to ask what we were doing. He had a nice conversation with Fr. Andrew and asked us to keep a portion of the street clear for the NYPD canine vehicles that were parked outside Madison Square Garden. At the end of the evening, the officer asked, "How’d you do tonight?" We thanked him for allowing us to serve on the sidewalk and double park our cars. He said, "How could we not, you’re taking care of people."
We distributed toiletry kits, nearly 50 backpacks, tote bags, coats, sweaters, hats, underwear and socks. The backpacks and tote bags are among the most needed items and we never seem to have enough. As we were leaving, a man approached and asked us if we had any food. Unfortunately, we had given out all meals but one of our volunteers had a bag of snacks and water in her car that she gave to him. Another volunteer gave a guest his own gloves, saying that he needed them more.
Our monthly Soup Run is a special and much-needed outreach to those who are living on the streets or eking out a marginal existence. We are thankful for the dedicated community of volunteers and supporters who give from their hearts, including:
Ellen Musante for this month's sponsorship in memory of her son Ryan
Manny Louros for preparing the meals
Minos Samoladas for his donation which enables us to purchase much-needed socks and underwear
Emmy Kalmanidis for her monetary donation
An anonymous donation of T-shirts and socks
Irene Drivas for men's shoes and clothing
Deb Van Der Heyden for clothing and introducing new volunteers to the Soup Run
Athena Gregory and her 8th grade Sunday School class for toiletry kits
Constance and Georgeann Mavrovitis and Cynthia Herzegovitch for organizing the clothing and toiletries
All are welcome to join the monthly Soup Run. In-kind donations, including coats, warm clothing, hoodies and backpacks, as well as financial donations, are very much appreciated. Please join us on March 28.