This post is about what we hope will be a semi-regular MWC volunteer activity at one of New York’s favorite charities, GOD’S LOVE WE DELIVER. The next slot is on MONDAY, APRIL 17th at 9am and our group size will be limited to 20. A MWC group went this past January and we spent the morning peeling and chopping onions and carrots – and, generally, having a great ol’ time in the convivial and chatty atmosphere of the GLWD volunteer kitchen. Sign-up (on the Members’ site menu ribbon) will be via TILT in order to cap our attendees and serve as No-Show Insurance but also to request a donation (completely voluntary).
COMPASSION IS ON THE MENU: Founded at the height of the HIV/ AIDS crisis in New York, in 1986, GOD’S LOVE WE DELIVER plays a vital role in the City’s health network by providing individually- tailored meals to meet the nutritional needs of those who are homebound and suffering from cancer, Alzheimer’s, MS, or other debilitating diseases. That first year, when hospice worker Ganga Stone was stopped on the street by a neighborhood minister while en route to deliver a meal, he said, “you’re not just delivering food … you’re delivering God’s love” – and the name was created. And a spark was lit where many began to realize that a meal is more than just food – it’s dignity, and connection and comfort. No one is ever turned away.
Ganga started working with restauranteur Jane Best and they expanded the initial effort to include about fifty restaurants and volunteers who delivered meals on foot and on bikes. And, like many deserving enterprises in New York City, God’s Love We Deliver grew and grew. It is now housed in a brand new building at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Spring St in Soho (thanks to the generosity of David Geffen and Michael Kors) and includes several huge kitchens specially outfitted for the armies of volunteers who help with the meal preparation. GLWD has approximately 10,000 volunteers and only 93 staff.
Part of GLWD’s magic is their new, state-of-the-art, 9,600 sq. foot kitchen which features natural light, and includes four industrial-size refrigerators, three freezers, five blast freezers, five 80-gallon soup kettles, and a waste digester that converts up to 1,000 lbs. of organic food waste into disposable water. This equipment and layout makes it possible for GLWD’s volunteer labor to work efficiently to prepare approximately 7000 meals a day. Since it was founded, GLWD has served over 18 million meals. One of GLWD’s tradtiions is to always deliver a personalized birthday cake to each client on her or his birthday. For many clients, their contact with the person who delivers their GLWD meals is their sole one-on-one, human interaction on any given day.
So, join this effort – because amidst all of the amazing statistics are the basic facts that potatoes need to be peeled, celery needs to be chopped and soup needs to be stirred. And, in the meantime, it’s a great way to be with each other (yes, we gab a lot!) and to be part of the heart and soul of New York.