VOICES Newsletter-Fall 2015

09.14.15 | Food for the Soul, News & Events

In This Issue


Voice of a guest…Joan

Joan, a guest
As a full time homemaker, wife and mother, Joan has spent many years taking care of others. She certainly never expected to be spending her days in a soup kitchen and her nights in a shelter. But now, in her mid-60s, Joan has experienced first-hand the truth about homelessness: it can happen to anyone.

Joan’s nightmare began eight months ago when divorce rocked the world she had always known. “I lost everything,” she explains. “After all those years, I couldn’t get back into my own home.”

Cut off from her marital assets and support, Joan had nowhere to turn. Thankfully a friend told her about Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and she’s come here every day since.

“Sometimes it’s the only meal I have in a day,” she remarks, adding that because of a chronic medical condition, if she goes too long without a meal she’s stricken by debilitating dizzy spells.

It didn’t take Joan long to discover that the soup kitchen offers a lot more than a hot meal. “They set me up with shelters right away,” she recalls. “I couldn’t believe that they could help me find housing, legal and medical assistance.”

“Sometimes it’s the only meal I have in a day…If it wasn’t for this place, I don’t know where I’d be.”

Joan quickly learned that, because of high levels of demand in shelters, she can only count on a place a week at a time, and that sometimes she won’t even have a bed. The Social Services team has helped her navigate this uncharted territory, providing practical and emotional support.

“I often have to sleep in a chair at the shelters, which is really bad for my medical condition,” Joan explains, “so David, [from our Social Services team], is on the phone right now with a shelter where you can stay for twenty-one days at a time, to see if they have a bed for me. They’re such dedicated people here, I’m so grateful for everything they’ve done.”

Joan’s health problems make traveling around the city difficult and she’s been grateful for the soup kitchen’s MetroCard program.

“I never thought I wouldn’t even be able to afford the subway or bus fare to a doctor’s appointment,” she says. “As soon as they heard that, they made sure I got to those appointments.”

Joan’s hopeful she’ll be able to make ends meet when her divorce is finalized, so she’s trying to find affordable and competent legal representation and the Social Services team is helping her with that, too.

 “Today, they’re sending me to 115th street to get free legal help,” she says with a smile. “If it wasn’t for this place I don’t know where I’d be. These people are angels.”


Voice of a Donor…John

John Rock, donor
For John, a chef who grew up in a family of “foodies”, making sure others have enough to eat is important. “My grandmother, who immigrated here from Italy would always greet us with the phrase, ‘Did you eat?’ ” he recalls. “I grew up in the food business, my mom was a chef.”

John continued the family tradition by starting his own business, T.I.E. Professional Food Services, bringing restaurant style meals to private homes in the New York area. John’s clientele enjoy his culinary creations, but John’s deep-rooted belief that no one should go hungry led him to support Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen as a member of the Monthly Giving Circle, and as a generous guest at our From Farm to Tray fundraiser.

 “I’ve been in need and people have come to my rescue,” John explains, remembering how hard his business was hit by the recession, when suddenly the man who fed others was unsure where his next meal would come from. “I never stopped donating, no matter how bad things were for me, it was so tough. Sometimes I would think, ‘Oh my God, this is it, I’m going be homeless!’”

John worked hard to build his business back up and today it’s thriving once again. “You can endure anything,” he says, “if you have a full stomach and you know where you’re next meal is coming from. I saw the scale of what you guys do, helping a thousand people a day, and, if I can help one person to have a lunch, I’m satisfied.”


Fast-a-thon November 19th, 2015

Are You Hungry for Change?
Fast-a-Thon 2015
1 in 6 New Yorkers go hungry every day and for many of our guests, their meal at the soup kitchen is their only meal for the day.

Our annual Fast-a-thon is a bold and effective way to make a difference in the lives of hungry New Yorkers. By pledging to eat only one meal on November 19th, like many of our guests do every day, you can raise awareness about chronic hunger and raise money to help us continue to serve a meal every weekday, including Thanksgiving.

Signing up as an individual or a team is easy.

With your personalized fundraising page that links to our overall goal and social media, you can share with your family and friends why this is an important issue to you. Who knows? Someone you know may also be ready for a change, and decide to fast too.

For more, contact Hannah Albee at 646-998-6104.


PLANNED GIVING 

photo of tray, planned giving

Hunger is an unrelenting problem in New York City and sadly, it’s not getting any better. By planning ahead and leaving a gift to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, you can make a lasting impact on the lives of our guests who’ll rely on us, for many years to come. Planned Giving is a way to leave a legacy to many people in need through bequests or trusts, gifts of stock, mutual fund shares, life insurance and retirement plan assets. Your attorney or financial planner can help you to arrange this using the following information:

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
296 Ninth Avenue
New York NY 10001
Tax ID #: 13-2892297

For more information please contact Jane Van Ingen by phone at  (212) 807-6799 or by email at jvaningen@holyapostlesnyc.org.

On behalf of all our guests – we thank everyone who has already made a lasting legacy of your support to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.


Voice of a Volunteer…NancyNancy, volunteer

Over the last three years, Nancy’s become a familiar face at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, serving meals or greeting guests at the door.

While our guests come from as far away as the outer boroughs, Nancy recognizes many from the area where she lives, in close proximity to the soup kitchen. “I see them in here, and I like to say ‘Hi!’ to everyone!

With an extensive resume, Nancy was in her early fifties when health issues led her to seek new job skills through volunteering.  “I came here through the Work Experience Program,” she explains, “and I just kept coming back.

Nancy’s contributions have added stability to her life as well as the guests’. Since joining the Writers’ Workshop she’s found an important outlet for her creativity. “My goal is to write a book of poetry about life,” she says. “I like the readings we have every year, and the chance to meet some big name authors.”

An integral part of Nancy’s role as a volunteer is to let guests know about the programs on offer so they can benefit as she has. “I like to spread the information that’s given here,” she remarks. “Everybody’s experience is different, but they take care of the community, they feed people, and they give free workshops on a lot of things that anyone can start.”

Nancy is vital to the life of the soup kitchen and it’s vital to her life too.

The soup kitchen is important to me,” she says simply.  “It keeps me moving.”


Bite Sized

Investors Bank introduces Care2Share – a Free and Simple Way to Support the Soup Kitchen 

Investors Bank

Investors Bank is now offering an exciting and easy new way to support the soup kitchen at no cost to you! Simply put, Investors will make quarterly donations to us based on new or existing account holders. You can find out more about how this program works by calling Jennifer Smith, Assistant Vice President, Community Development Office at 718-330-3830, stopping by any Investors Bank branch, or going to the Care2Share website.

Your enrollment in Care2Share will help Investors Bank continue their generous history of supporting the soup kitchen.

 

Small Children, Big Hearts

Lemonade stand

Inez, Blythe and Katherine had an old fashioned lemonade stand in July and, even though they may be small, their big hearts made a big difference when they decided to donate their $70 profit to the soup kitchen! That right there feeds 70 hungry New Yorkers for one day. Thanks, girls!

 

From Farm to Tray

From Farm to Tray was once again a resounding success and for the first year tickets sold ahead of time!  The gathering of 350 supporters applauded speaker Charlese Harris who bravely shared her story of homelessness and the help she’s received from the soup kitchen.

 

Annual Public Reading

HASK Writers Workshop reading

 

On June 25th, we hosted the Writers’ Workshop Public Reading.  After reading samples of their creative work to a full house, the writers offered a Q & A session with the audience to discuss their creative process and growth. Their poems, plays and short stories can be found on our blog.

Nichole Guerra

Nichole Guerra

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