Volunteer with the food van

Each month, members of RCWS volunteer with the Coalition for the Homeless Food Van.

Read this club member’s thoughts on the volunteer experience:

The Food Van trip was a humble and eye-opening experience for me and it made me feel sad but it was rewarding at the same time to see how much suffering people endure with tremendous grace.

It was a rather cold Monday night we spent in the Bronx. People were desperately waiting in line expecting us. I may sound awkward, but I actually felt somewhat like a movie star coming to a concert with fans waiting at the entrance gate, waiving and cheering at us. While we were serving our traditional food and drinks including a hot soup, fresh fruit, rolls, croissants as well as water and milk, people were patiently waiting in line for their turn. Most of them were very appreciative and I have never ever received more ‘God bless you’ and thank you comments from anybody before in my life.

A special highlight was that whenever the Rotary goes out to hand out food we typically give away extra gifts as a special surprise. At the tour I joined we handed out socks for the winter. The only other time I have seen people more or at least as happy and surprised is when children stand under the Christmas tree opening their presents or when bankers at Wall Street get their million dollar bonuses. Again, it made me sad but kept me thinking how much joy and appreciation you can generate with a small token like a pair of socks. There are some things money can’t buy and people who have that ‘luxury’ should be grateful for that, unfortunately, most of them are not taking it for granted and I was one of them.

By the way, the late dinner snack I had that night after returning home never tasted better, I mean it!