We served 60 hot chicken and rice meals to those who seemed particularly, desperately homeless on the streets of New York City during last night’s soup run. We gave out hundreds of socks, underwear, hoodies and toiletries – but we only had one blanket and that was the request we heard the most.
The incredible appreciation for what we offered to our guests was a constant theme throughout the evening. Victor, who told us that his wife threw him out of their home due to alcohol and drug abuse, accepted all that we offered and ate his meal on the sidewalk while talking with us. He walked with us for several blocks as we made our way around the Penn Station area, saying “I want to follow you” and it was hard to say goodbye to him. We sensed he felt safe with us and grateful for the compassion and conversation we shared. Victor also told us he knows “what I need to do” to get his life back on track. We pray that he does.
As we walked down a busy block on Seventh Ave. and 34th St., we stopped to offer food and clothing to two men. Within minutes, several individuals gathered and asked for items. Right in front of us, one man showed us that he had no socks and took off his shoes to put on the socks we gave him. Another man took off his thin jacket, put on one of our hoodies, and told us how thankful he was for an extra layer of warmth.
Stops throughout the area included the Oliveri drop-in center and St. Francis church. Our guests at Oliveri were hungry and gladly accepted the food and clothing that we served them outside before returning to sleep on folding chairs inside. But our guests at St. Francis were cold, hungry and trying to settle into the makeshift “warm and safe” places they created for the night – inside cardboard boxes, wedged into steps in front of the church doors and under sleeping bags. As we were leaving, we gave a second meal to one man – which was our last meal – and a minute later, another man woke up and asked for food. The man gave his seconds to the other. Sharing and looking out for each other are actions we see so often with groups who share their space on the streets.
The Soup Run is truly a labor of love. Each month, we plan, gather items and organize the Soup Run. It is through the generosity of those in the Holy Trinity community and beyond – including supporters and volunteers from Westchester County, Queens, New York City, the Catskills region, Stamford and Danbury, CT and those of various faiths and friends of friends, who make this important outreach a reality. This month we are grateful to the following supporters:
- Financial Support
- Minos Samoladas
- The Dos Santos Family in Memory of Maria Rokkas – Sponsor
- Philoptochos of Holy Trinity New Rochelle
- Manny Louros
- Dr. Lisa Coplit and Neighbors – Men’s and women’s underwear
- Denise Koltis – T-shirts
- Irene Drivas – T-shirts, socks & masks
- Mary Orfanos – Women’s underwear
- Cathy, Stephen, Dean and Nicholas Liakas (https://www.liakaslaw.com) – Sweatshirts
- Suzanne Negrin, Philoptochos Knitting for Charity (Holy Trinity), Alexandra King – Handknit/Crocheted Hats and Scarves (https://www.etsy.com/shop/HandknitMercantile?ref=search_shop_redirect )
- Melina Morris and Bombas (https://bombas.com/pages/giving-back ) – Socks
- Toiletry Kits
- Georgeann Mavrovitis, Laurie Curtis, Alexandra Speres and Maryann Koutsis
With gratitude and much appreciation, we thank you for your continuing support and participation. Donations of new men’s and women’s underwear and T-shirts are the only items we are currently accepting. The next Soup Run is scheduled for May 27, 2021. Please join us. Wishing you a blessed Easter – Kalo Pascha.