Voices Newsletter–Spring 2018

06.29.18 | Food for the Soul, News & Events

Voice of a Guest…David

David former guestFormer soup kitchen guest David was making the rounds on his delivery route one morning when he stopped at a familiar church. Realizing it was Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, where he found his footing when he was unemployed and homeless, he knew he had to stop in to express his gratitude. Walking into the soup kitchen after five years had passed, David was transported back in time to his first visit. “I came here and they offered me friendship,” he recalls.

Originally from Miami, David had lost everything—his job, his home, and his marriage —after the 2008 economic crash, and decided to move to New York for a fresh start. “I thought there would be more opportunity…” he explains. But with no savings, he was unable to afford a place to live or find a job. For the first time in his life David was homeless, sleeping at night in the New York City shelter system. Fortunately, a woman at a shelter told him about Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

The emotional support from the volunteers and social services counselors was invaluable to David. “I found it very homey. It was relaxing,” David remembers. “I would sit and listen to the music being played, and the servers were very kind.

But it was the practical assistance they provided that would set David’s life back on track. MetroCards and phone access from our social services program allowed him to call potential employers and travel to job interviews. With these tools, he soon found work driving for a moving company.

“I felt safe here. I felt embraced. There were always listening ears if I had a problem.”

David has now been earning a good salary driving a delivery truck for several years. What’s more, he is overjoyed to share that he has found love again, and is engaged to be married. He and his fiancée are planning a cruise for their honeymoon, but he never forgets that homelessness can happen to anyone.

Today, David is grateful for the support and nourishment he found at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen when he needed help the most. “They accepted me into their home,” he says, “The hope that I found here kept me believing and moving forward.

Announcement of New Rector of The Church of the Holy Apostles and Executive Director of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Anna Pearson

The Reverend Dr. Anna Pearson

A Message from Holy Apostles Co-Wardens, Tom Cunningham and Louise Tranford-A New Rector is Called to Holy Apostles:

We are thrilled to share with you the news that Holy Apostles has called the Reverend Dr. Anna Pearson to be the new Rector of Holy Apostles and Executive Director of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. The governing body of Holy Apostles unanimously elected Mother Anna to lead our parish community and she will join us full-time on June 1st. While we are excited to welcome Anna, we are also incredibly grateful to Bishop Andrew for being a wonderful interim steward of both the parish and the Soup Kitchen for these last two years as we conducted a search for our new Rector. The clergy, laity, staff, guests and parishioners have all benefited thanks to Bishop Andrew’s passion, spirituality and intellect. We are a stronger community thanks to his leadership and will come together to celebrate Bishop Andrew’s ministry this May.

Anna joins us from Grace Church, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, where she has been rector for the last ten years. In her time at Grace, Anna not only raised three sons who are now in college or graduate school, she also initiated the Grace Community Table, a monthly open meal where volunteers and guests cook, serve and eat together. She created the Grace Food Partnership, which collected and distributed fresh produce, canned goods and meals to local organizations in need. And she collaborated with local organizations to offer Breakfast Runs, where volunteers provided hot meals and supplies to homeless and marginalized people in Manhattan. While at Grace Church, Anna also oversaw major administrative projects, including the installation of solar panels, structural support of the church sanctuary, and plans for a complete renovation of the church kitchen.

Prior to her time at Grace Church, Anna was an Assistant Rector at St. John’s Church in West Hartford, CT and before that, the Chaplain and Chair of Theology at the Kent School in Kent, CT. A graduate of Barnard College, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and Hartford Seminary, Anna has 25 years of experience in ministry in a variety of settings.

It is abundantly clear that Anna embraces the radical hospitality and “food for the soul” ethos that are hallmarks of Holy Apostles, and she has gifts that will help expand our outreach deeper into the community through myriad channels. However, what most drew us to Anna is her deeply lived spiritual life, her love of preaching and her keen intellect; through continued prayer, the vestry came to understand that these were the qualities that would enable Anna to provide a deep pastoral care to our entire community, both inside our church walls and beyond them. We thank the Search Committee for bringing Anna as well as the other highly qualified candidates to us.

In addition, some of the Holy Apostles community may already know a key person in Anna’s family. Her husband Charlie Pearson has been a weekly volunteer for many years at our soup kitchen.

Anna becomes the first woman to hold the position of Rector in Holy Apostles’ 173-year history and the first woman to be named Executive Director of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. She joins Susan Hill, Liz Maxwell (who also served as our Interim Rector), and a long line of powerful women clergy at Holy Apostles to be a beacon for the church and society, demonstrating what equality and progress look like. More important, we look forward to the work we will do together as Anna, along with our assisting clergy, Soup Kitchen staff, parishioners, choir, volunteers and the extended Holy Apostles community, come together to challenge each of us to serve humanity, have a deeper faith, and find new ways to provide hospitality and hope to the marginalized.

Please join us in welcoming the Pearson family to our community.

Farm to Tray

We hope you can join in on our 6th annual food and wine benefit, Farm to Tray, on May 17. farm to tray logoA celebration of food and community, this event challenges New York’s finest chefs to produce a “Sustainable Menu” that is rooted in the soup kitchen’s approach to using fresh, locally grown produce, minimizing food waste, and planning nutritionally balanced and delicious meals.

This year, we will be honoring Google for its contributions since moving to their new Chelsea location. In addition to its Food@Google contribution to the culinary line-up, the company has donated the largest single Farm to Tray corporate gift in the event’s history. “Google has shown a level of commitment that dramatically raises the bar, and leads by example,” says Interim Executive Director Bishop Andrew R. St. John. “Their generosity is an inspiration for all of us to step up for the most vulnerable in our city.”

It’s not too late to learn more about ways to participate and support our most impactful community fundraiser of the year. Tickets are still available. You can also join the fun by sharing our #farmtotray social media updates with your family and friends!

Voices of Volunteers…Team Wlody

Improving peoples’ lives is what we do,” says soup kitchen volunteer Corinne Wlody. “It’s our passion.” Soon after she and her husband Jack started volunteering at our daily meal service in 2015, the couple came up with other creative ways to help, like their Annual Glove Giveaway. Every year they partner with friends to hand out 1,000 pairs of warm fleece gloves to our guests. “Team Wlody,” as they call themselves are business owners, health coaches, childrens’ book authors and National Bike Challenge champions.

Team WlodyThey also invest their unstoppable energy into volunteerism and philanthropy. Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is part of that investment. “I love doing this,” said Corinne on a cold morning last winter. “Being able to give people a pair of gloves they need to stay warm, or even a hug. We want them to know that someone cares about them.

Last fall, the couple helped a soup kitchen guest who was looking for a bike after foot surgery left him with limited mobility. Team team wlody bikeWlody quickly responded to our social media call to action, and gave George a brand new bike and helmet. “We’re cyclists, so this was right up our alley,” says Corinne. “George is a sweet human being. We were very humbled by him.

Team Wlody believes that volunteering is an essential part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

We try to lead by example,” Jack says. “And show that you can do small things in your own neighborhood that make a difference.”

We love the spirit of Holy Apostles,” Corinne adds. “The kindness that exudes from everyone is palpable!

Zero by 2020

Working with the NYU Wagner Capstone Project and NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY), the soup kitchen is taking action toward our “Zero by 20” goal coffee cups                                           – that is, creating zerowaste by 2020. How is this done? Among the many steps in the process accomplished so far, we:

  • worked with NYC Wagner Capstone Project to conduct a food waste audit on three separate days in February and March
  • use specialized signs and bins provided by DSNY to promote community involvement
  • compost food and paper products that are soiled with food waste and no longer recyclable by sorting into the Organics Bins for DSNY to pick up. The compost then turns to soil that benefits farmers and a healthy food system
  • replaced non-recyclable waxed paper cups by purchasing reusable cups that hold both cold and hot beverages. An environmentally responsible solution, this will save us over $14,000 in annual purchasing costs.

Volunteer Appreciation Party

John McKibbon and Bishop Andrew St. John Volunteer Award

Joan McKibbon holds her Murial Moore Award for Most Dedicated Volunteer with Interim Executive Director, Bishop Andrew St. John

volunteer party april 2018April is National Volunteer Month and this year Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Volunteers were honored for their service during a 5 day celebrations spanning National Volunteer Week. Thanks to the generous in-kind sponsorship from Starbucks, Happy Chef, TheEdwardMorganBallet, Avenues School band, and the New York Chiropractic Association, we were able to celebrate our gratitude in style on Thursday, April 19th with our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party. “Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen greatly appreciates the over 15,000 individuals who in 2017, volunteered a Day of Service in Social Justice,” says Manager of Volunteers, Revere Joyce. “The soup kitchen is blessed with a large volunteer workforce who help us feed and provide a safety net to the homeless and food insecure.”

Volunteer Joan McKibbon was honored with the 3rd annual Muriel Moore Award for her years of regular, dedicated service.  Arlen Collier was given the Distinguished New Volunteer of the Year award. Additionally, The United Sikh Association at Baruch College was presented with the College Group of the year award, I.S. 230 was awarded the School Group of the Year award, and Starbucks was thanked with the Good Corporate Citizen of the Year award. Dozens of volunteers who contributed more than 100 hours of volunteer service in 2017 were named as Mayoral Service Recognition Volunteer Honorees. Interim Executive Director Bishop Andrew R. St. John, Director of Operations Michael Ottley and Manager of Social Services Richard Trifiro also spoke in tribute to the many volunteers who help the soup kitchen serve hungry and homeless New Yorkers every weekday.


TheEdwardMorganBallet Raises Awareness for the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen with its’ 3rd Annual “Ballet for the Homeless” Benefit Performances

Planting seeds of awareness for the earth and our neighbors most in need, The EdwardMorganBallet presented its 3rd annual Earth Day Weekend benefit performances of Ballet for

The Edward Morgan Ballet – For The Homeless – Church of the Holy Apostles – NYC – 2017 ©Sean J. Rhinehart For more of me: http://seanjamar.com/

the Homeless at Holy Apostles. An eclectic composition of dance and musical styles, spoken word and audience interaction, the troupe of student and professional artists under the direction of Joseph Alexander welcomed participation from Every Voice Choirs and Teachers College Community Choirs for the first time this year. Broadway legend Lynne Charnay returned with a special and poignant appearance in “Save Face,” principals Helen Waite and Andrea Elmore also returned with dynamic force! Among his numerous accolades and impressive accomplishments, award-winning dancer, director and choreographer Edward Morgan is a former principal dancer of the original New York City Joffrey Ballet. He and Mr. Alexander are known internationally for integrating public service into their artistic projects, and their school has provided training opportunities for homeless youth and adults since 1997.


Bite Sized News


A loyal and generous corporate soup kitchen supporter, Investors Bank has an easy and free way for you to continue your support of Holy Apostles. When you open an account with Investors, they will make a quarterly donation to the soup kitchen on your behalf. For more information stop by any Investors Bank branch, or go to their website.

February Flash Fundraiser: Project Safe and Warm

Last year, our in-house survey showed us that 33% of our homeless guests are living on the street, and increase of 9% from 2016, putting them at high risk for illness and injury during the cold New York winter, and this cold Spring. But thanks to our compassionate community who contributed $2,905 to our “Project Safe and Warm” Flash Fundraiser, we stocked our Social Services program with brand new thermal socks, hats, gloves and long underwear sets so our guests could stay safe. Thank you!

By the Numbers

Have you ever wondered how many guests our counselors meet with when you read about how lives have been changed through our social services program? Well, we keep track!    In 2017, counselors met with guests a total of 50,904 times and 2018 is shaping up to be just as, if not more busy. Here are some figures we have to date.

January through March Numbers of Social Services Provided:

  • Meetings: 12,048
  • Shelter Referrals 114
  • MetroCards and Transit Referrals: 126
  • Clothing: 192
  • Personal Hygiene Kit and Haircut Vouchers: 7,983
  • Mail & Phone: 1,177



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