By Despina Kartson
Last night we provided 110 meals - lemon chicken, vegetables, rice - to our guests on 33rd Street in Manhattan who were patiently waiting for us on a windy January evening. Our caravan of cars loaded with volunteers, food and clothing pulled up to a crowd lined up on the sidewalk. We quickly set up tables, unloaded boxes, bins and bags full of warm food, toiletries, winter coats, sweaters, pants and blankets. To witness the soup run operation, from the time we leave church until the time we return, is to witness a beautiful coming together of volunteers working so well together to serve the hungry and the homeless.
We provided clothing to many women and men and received requests for underwear and socks - always the two most needed items. To some of our guests, our meal was their only meal of the day, our clothing was their only opportunity to wear something warm, dry and clean and a coat was what a pregnant woman needed most.
While we feed their bodies, we also offer food for their souls. Thanks to Eirini Metaxas, we offered beautiful icons with scripture and encouraging words. As one man told Eirini that he was grateful for the icon and said “soul food is the most important kind of food”.
Our friends Luther and Carolyn are happy to be in an apartment for the first time in years. As they told us, they were finally sleeping indoors, on a bed and able to enjoy watching Cheers on TV! The very simple, yet critically important things in life - to be indoors and to sleep on a bed! Thanks to George and Colleen Kourakos, we gave them linens and housewares and Phil Herzegovitch drove them to their new apartment with a trunk full of goodies!
Special thanks to all who volunteered, those who support the monthly soup run behind the scenes, Georgeanne Mavrovitis, Constance Mavrovitis and Cynthia Herzegovitch for organizing the clothing and toiletries, Manny Louros for the delicious food, and for this month's anonymous sponsor. We are also most appreciative of donations of socks, underwear (men's and women's), coats and blankets - which are the only donations we are accepting at this time. Please join us on February 23rd.