Our Saturday Distribution posts are back! Due to some stress, and normal life stuff, it became a little difficult to write after our vegan food distribution, it’s interesting to note how life sometimes has a way of silencing the heart.
A few days ago though, I caught myself speaking out loud to myself as I did the dishes, arguing about a viewpoint on a Facebook post I had seen earlier that day. I knew then that I needed to find time for writing, that my heart was waking up, unable to contain the yelps of a million voices inside me, piercing through my numbing silence of worry disguised as busyness.
The posts here in Chilis on Wheels blog are the easiest to write for me because they are all heart. Because everyone we meet is beating to the rhythm of kindness and gentleness, and love. From the volunteers, to the people we serve, to those who happen to stop by as they walk the park, everyone has a universe of kindness.
We had two new volunteers this week, Miriam and Tony, leaders of NY Farm Save and the ones who drove us from Brooklyn to the park. They stayed behind, took pictures, and it was a pleasure to talk to them about community, and empathy. We saw our beloved Jimmy and Erica. We also saw Ben and Marcella, who have the weird luck of always coming on days out of the ordinary.
We had to share the space with the Halloween Dog Parade, apparently a big thing in NYC. There were hundreds of people, which made for great leafleting, but not great food distribution. Our friends had been told to leave the park by the police, so an hour into distribution and we still had more than half of our chili! We decided to walk it to the Bowery Mission, but ended up giving it away before we made it inside.
The one memorable person we met was Jane, who recently went through an illness that put her in the hospital. She wasn’t able to afford rent and her landlord took her to housing court for an eviction, but Jane fought back, so hard that not only did the landlord lose the lawsuit, he ended up having to fix and upgrade several fixtures around the apartment! Jane is now on disability and lives in a low income. She was super grateful for the chili, which she ate right away and which she said she loved!:)
Outside of the Bowery we met a sweet man who said he loved the chili, and was super thankful for us. We told him we set up in Tompkins every Saturday, and we he said if he remembers it next week, he’ll try to stop by and get some more.
Overall it was a successful day, even if we did have to go a little further to give away all the food.
I want to update you on several events going on, we are in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign to generate funds for food, equipment, personal care packages. You can find it at www.youcaring.com/olliefeedsthehomeless Please consider making a donation and sharing with your friends! Send it to your family, anyone you think might want to support us!
We are also a charity partner to Hamsa Collection, and they are donating one dollar from every purchase. Get one of their pieces! http://www.hamsacollection.com/
We have a Superheroes for a Compassionate Halloween scheduled this Saturday in the park. It’s our Youth Engagement Program event organized by our high schoolers with games with vegan and social justice themes planned for the kids. I hope to see you there!
Finally I have one less voice needing to speak- it feels god to wake up, even as the leaves are starting to fall. Perhaps the theme is not sleep but transformation and boy am I excited to see what’s under my cocoon!