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Sunday, September 27, 2009

200 Open Mouths

Tonight I fed 200 Homeless People through a NYCares project involving the Coalition for the Homeless. I have wanted to do this project for a long time, but either the vans are always full or my schedule is always full! My cousin Amaya jumped on this project almost immediately after she moved here and it was instantly her favorite and most frequent Sunday night activity (or any other night she could swing). Tonight the stars aligned, and I was able to join her in the Bronx Van and give out meals at 5 different stops to lines upon lines of hungry homeless people. As if the instant gratification of knowing/seeing I'm helping someone isn't enough, the hugs, God Bless you's and handshakes just put my heart strings over the edge.

My favorite moments of the night:

1. I was able to speak in Spanish to a 3yr old who took in the site of food with wide and weary eyes. Thank you 3 months of living in Mexico!

2. There was an Elderly Man named Julian pushing his cart up towards the van ever so slowly and hunched. He was missing almost all of his teeth, wearing old, torn up and dirty clothes, a gray beanie and the sweetest smile. My heart melted when I saw him.
JULIAN (as I approached holding out a bag for him to put passed out food into): Oh no. I don't need a bag. I'm not homeless.
ME (smiling sympathetically and debating whether or not to tie it to his cart handle): Ok...are you sure?
JULIAN: Oh yes. But it's so nice what you guys do. It's just wonderful. You know so many of these people (gesturing to the long line) depend on this food.
ME: Yeah. It feels really good to be able to help.
JULIAN (gazing at the sandwiches, oranges, milk and juice eagerly being accepted): Alright, hand me a bag.

And hooked.

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