by Despina Kartson
On a hot, sticky evening in New York City, a large crowd awaited our caravan of cars and more than 25 volunteers as we turned onto 33rd Street to serve 110 meals during Last Night's Soup Run. Anticipating our arrival, some of our guests helped unload bins and set up tables while others patiently stood in line. We served spaghetti with meat sauce, vegetables, oranges, water, juice and coffee.
We met new guests and talked with some of our "regulars" who expressed their gratitude for our food and clothing. One man talked about the beauty of caring for one another no matter the race or ethnicity. He told us how much our monthly outreach is appreciated and that those guests who have come to know us will always look out for our safety on the streets.
Last night, we had an extraordinary outpouring of generosity from our volunteers. Melina Morris of Bombas Socks distributed 250 pairs of socks. Bombas donates a pair of socks for every pair purchased. Zoe MacMahon distributed 54 backpacks and tote bags that she collected from students at her high school.
At the end of the evening when all of our food and clothing had been distributed, we walked to a homeless drop-in center on 31st Street and distributed 75 sandwiches that were made by Kathryn Papataros. The drop-in center opens its doors at 9 p.m. every night for homeless to sleep on folding chairs. It does not provide food. The supervisor of the center announced to those inside that our group was distributing sandwiches. Immediately, we were surrounded by a crowd and we gave out the sandwiches.
Without the support of our generous donors and volunteers, we would never be able to help feed and clothe those whom we do every month. This month, we express gratitude to our supporters from Westchester County, NY; New York City; Queens; Long Island and Connecticut:
Diane Louros for her sponsorship and clothing donations
Manny Louros and Zachary Karounos for cooking and Basil Apostle for packing the meals
Kathryn Papataros for 75 sandwiches
Minos Samoladas for his generous donation which enabled us to purchase clothing
Bombas (https://bombas.com/) for donating 250 pairs of socks and to Melina Morris for joining the Soup Run
Zoe McMahon for 54 backpacks and tote bags
The Legal Marketing Association for 35 tote bags
Maria Dikeos, Irene Drivas, Tina DiMino, Kevin & Christina White for clothing, toiletries and shoes
Koula Paloungos and the Martinez family for 25 pairs sneakers
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
Keep those who are hungry and homeless in your minds, hearts and prayers. Give what you can, when you can, and join us next month on July 25.