“I want to spend my retirement giving back.” – Maria

09.5.14 | Food for the Soul, Volunteer Stories

Voice of a Volunteer: Maria

Maria, who retired in January 2014, didn’t take a break from slicing bread on the bitterly cold February morning she spoke with us.  She was eager to get through her task so that everything would be ready for our guests as they started to arrive.

“I want to spend my retirement giving back.”  Maria recently said.  Six days each week she divides her time between Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and other organizations around New York City. “Even when I’m tired, I’m happy and at peace.”

Having lost her husband and daughter, Maria has known tragedy in her life.  She is philosophical about her losses, though.“I asked God why.  This is why, so that I have time to serve others.” She thinks it’s her duty to help, too:  “When I see people lining up to eat … and I know I can eat whenever I want … I have to do this.”

Volunteering is also a way for Marie to be close to her sick mother, who lives in the Philippines.  “By helping people here, I’m there for my mother in spirit.”

“I want to do this for as long as I can.  I’m 63, so at least another 10 years.”  Here at the soup kitchen, we are thrilled to have Maria for as long as she’ll have us!




Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

Sunday Service is held 11AM (on site and via livestream). Weekday services are held on Zoom.


For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.


Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.


Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.


Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Give Layers of Love this Winter

Help Keep Our Guests Warm this Winter.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.


Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.


Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.


Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.


Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.


Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.


See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.


Holy Apostles in the news.