St. Ann’s Homeless Kitchen, Bronx

Last week I decided to sign up for New York Cares, a volunteer programme that runs throughout New York

I’ve been looking at it for ages and now that friends are using it to go walk puppies I decided I really wanted to get involved too

But to start you need to do an orientation

All the online ones fill up quickly, so the next one wouldn’t be for ages, the ones in an office were at awkward times, and then I saw one that you do a quick orientation and then do some volunteering which sounded much more beneficial

So I signed up to help in the homeless kitchen at St. Ann’s

…although it’s not technically a homeless kitchen, I don’t know what you’d call it

They provide food to people in need, either elderly people, families with low incomes, people that have come into hard times through insurance trouble

And everyone is welcomed on a Sunday morning/afternoon after mass to have a sit down meal

The kitchen part is run by a few ladies (old wifeys) that go in early and cook up a storm, everyone gets a main with a side, and a dessert

And then the volunteers run the floor. Giving out food and juice and making sure nobody smuggles extra

Some of the volunteers have been going every Sunday for a year and a half, the guy that runs it has been helping since he was 13, and everyone just felt like a big community

They were really proud that they had 4-5 volunteers from the Bronx because it was so hard to motivate people in the area, never mind that people like me had traveled from Jersey, and others from Queens

My main reason for being interested in this project was because my work funds outreach programmes, and this is one of them

To start with it all seemed a little shambolic, and that didn’t really change

But toward the end of the shift other volunteers were asking questions about why I wanted to help there, where I lived, the type of volunteering I wanted to get involved in

Which was really nice to feel a bit more involved and part of it

Granted I felt I had very little to do with New York Cares to start with, but it got better

And then I got some free lunch 🙂

Now I just need the motivation to go back for an hour of travel on a Sunday morning from now on

Cause who doesn’t want to do what they can to help people and meet people?

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