JUNE NEWS 2018 Hospitality is so vital to our Guests

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Hospitality is so vital to our Guests

Summer in New York can be magical – and it can be welcoming for our guests as well. We stress the hospitality theme of Monday Night Hospitality because that is often the thing that our guests need most. Hospitality to us is a very large word. 

It encompasses the lemonade and greetings in the garden. The courteous entry to our hall with seniors and the disabled treated with great care. It is a special dinner cooked moments before serving. It is the china plates with food assembled respectively. It is all part of our promise of a lovely evening, of loving people serving and of hope and possibilities of better days ahead. 

We, the volunteers of Monday Night Hospitality, are the flowers on the table, the vegan meals prepared with great care, the welcoming greetings in the hall, the “right this way” and our many "thank you, good nights" to our guests – thanking them for joining with us. Our guests are our gift. They give us the chance to be truly human and giving. Take a look at the Volunteer Spotlight in this issue. It will be a regular feature so that we can all get to know each other and those that often contribute to Mondays. Originally created by Tom Dougherty, in our early newsletter, we are glad it will be back as a feature column.

There are also lots of things happening at MNH over the summer. All Souls will be rebuilding the elevator (meaning that some of our guests will have to have meals-to-go if the stairs are too great a challenge). Our plumbing should be repaired and we anticipate being back to china and flatware by August. We encourage all of our volunteers to celebrate summer and have fun but remember us on Mondays when you are in the city and check in with Nancy (nancyellisyates@gmail.com) to be sure that we have enough volunteers. The summer can be a challenge, but it is also beautiful at Monday Night Hospitality. Please join us.

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Eviction – Maybe One of the Greatest Evils

Our social workers are battling a great evil of New York City – the practice of landlord’s seeking to evict tenants in order to secure apartments that can be rented for much higher rates. It is something John Sheehan and Irene Friedl our two social workers, are both seeking to stop – both on a case-by-case basis and by advocating for fair and affordable housing in our City. De-cluttering is something that many of us can use in a small way but the word has an evil connotation in the housing world. For our guests it can be the start of a legal process that forces a senior or other tenant out of their apartment. Our social workers are helping our guests clean up their apartments and remove trash. Sometimes a porter is paid, other times it is a MNH volunteer that is trusted by a guest – often a woman for our female guests. Before and after photos and a letter from an LMSW can stop the process and has a standing with the courts. Some landlords will invite other guises but our social workers will be ready to fight for the rights of our guests. Say hello to John and Irene if you pass them as you enter or leave. To many of our guests their work is as vital as the meals that we cook and serve.

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Nicola Mills, A One Women Tour-de-force

There is no other way to describe Nicola’s performance at Monday Night Hospitality. She is a talented Opera singer from England that gave us a tremendous performance. Mixing show tunes with opera she enthralled both the guests and volunteers. Her performance was highlighted by several strolls into the audience, passing at tables, occasionally sitting and being with our guests while performing. Check out her blog at (www.asopranoasuitcaseandarucksack.com) and follow her worldwide adventures on Instagram. She not only sang for us but a few weeks ago served meals as a first time volunteer. By way of the high accolades showered on her were caught in the words of a guest leaving through the front door at nights end (and certainly our guests wanted to stay as long as possible). She said “that this was a night to remember – that she can’t remember when she last had such a wonderful evening. Thank you.” And we thank Nicola Mills. She will be back in September and if time permits also over the summer. Lucky us!

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Our spotlight is back and there is no better place to start then with an amazing couple. You can find them in every job that needs a volunteer. Kevin often scrapes plates (with great care) but when plastic was substituted he helped Kamal by greeting guests in the garden. He is bringing his associates from work and has already set up MNH in the matching gift at work. He is a long distance and marathon runner and takes his training ethic of working hard to Monday Night Hospitality. Erica’s contribution is right in front of you – she is the graphic designer for this newsletter and our website. That does not stop her from serving meals, checking in coats and doing whatever is needed. Many of the pictures are hers – she is an accomplished photographer as well. We are grateful to have both of them serving our guests and being such an important part of our Monday Night team.