JANUARY NEWS 2019 Infuse your Life with Action

 
 

JANUARY NEWS 2019

We at Monday Night Hospitality wish you the best of 2019. We certainly had a great year end with both Christmas and New Years Eve serving hot Holiday meals thanks to hard working chefs and servers. This past week we had our Annual Coat night where 300 guests received warm coats – mostly new and down filled to provide some respite on these chilly winter days. I know that we will miss thanking some who worked so hard to make this evening a success, but I am confident that the gratitude the guests showed us as they left on a bitter cold night with new coats will be a large enough gratitude. So thank each of you for making that night happen!

Our fundraising continues as we make every effort to reach our goal of $150,000. So many have helped us with large and small donations – each one matters. We are over $100,000 in donations received and have pledges that put us over $115,000. One of those pledges was a gracious anonymous donation of $10,000 toward kitchen repairs – perhaps the giver will read this line and be aware of our gratitude. Can you please help us in the last weeks of this fund drive? Restoring the refrigeration remains our goal, but we will never forget our mission of serving meals with dignity to all in need.

Thank you for all that you have done to help those that join us at Monday Night Hospitality.

Love,

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A BIT OF HISTORY OF MNH

A Bit of Real History of Monday Night Hospitality

In 2004 George Collins and Kathleen Taylor were appointed Co-Chairs succeeding Alex Chee whom had been Director since 2000. In the years prior to this both were assisting Alex at a time when the guest count on a busy day was 100, but none the less the meals that Alex produced was no less loving than today. Today’s meals are more elaborate (with soup, salad, dessert and endless hot coffee and tea), and serving close to 400 guests. We have new stoves, coffee makers, chairs in the hall and an electronic sign-up for volunteers each week. A Hospitality team greets guests in the garden and a carefully orchestrated system fills the halls systematically. Alex didn’t have the opportunity for social workers to help guests and certainly there were no monthly health screenings. The words that follow are from Buzzfeed News and are Alex’s own description of Monday Night Hospitality’s roots. Alex is the author of two books (Edenborough and Queen of Nights) and has been an associate professor of English at Dartmouth. He has worked on screen plays in Hollywood and his mother was a long-time member of the All Souls Congregation. 

In 2000, I became, somewhat by accident, the director of All Souls Unitarian Church’s Monday Night Hospitality program for the homeless, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The former director had a medical emergency and had to leave her responsibilities immediately, and so the next week when I went in for my volunteer shift, I was asked if I would consider running the program, at least until someone else could be found. I would be acting director for three years.

On my first day with the week’s dinner budget in an envelope of cash, I went to Western Beef, a low-cost butcher shop and grocery store where the program did its shopping. And even though I had previously gone along with the director, as her assistant, I was nervous that first day on my own. The program fed 100 guests on a first-come, first-served basis — more, if more showed up. Some diners even took leftovers back to their shelters for those who couldn’t leave. This was a big responsibility. I planned the meal, bought the food under budget, and returned to the church, and I did the job for three years. Gradually the program expanded, especially after 9/11. I was proud of the work we did.” 

Alex had paved the way for an important program and we are all proud to carry on the work that he did so admirably at All Souls Church.


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MEDITATION CLASSES FOR GUESTS

MNH Starts Meditation Classes for guests in 2019!

Pamela Patton, Director of Pastoral Ministries

Starting this year we will be offering guests a small group class on mediation. A quiet space will be allocated in one of the rooms at All Souls. Pamela Patton, an All Souls pastoral care minister will lead the effort. Our social worker, John Sheehan, was enthusiastic` about this work, recognizing the levels of stress that our guests face each day.

If you have any interest in supporting this effort please contact George Collins.


VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

Our Corporate Sponsor this week was Olshan Law

Their help could not have come at a better time. Coat Drive night requires lots of extra volunteers and it is a stressful night as guests are anxious to receive a new coat, without missing out on a hot dinner served to them. We thank Olshan Law for their donation and most of all for their enthusiastic effort to make our night successful. May this year be one of many good things for Olshan and its staff.


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OUR COATS CAME FROM LOVING GIVERS

We need to thank to Companies directly this year; New York Cares for their donated coats – delivered this year directly to All Souls saving us the cost of renting a truck. Over half were new – thanks to New Yorkers that donated to their annual coat drive. Roadway Moving Company for their generous donation of boxes to store the jackets till delivery.

This year we supplemented our inventory with much needed new XXL size jackets purchased from a small portion of your kind donations. One of our volunteers, Jessica used gift cards from her company (Page Six TV) to purchase new coats at Burlington Coat Factory, and was assisted by Michael (who works the serving line) in helping with the hauling and delivery. We wish to thank all of those employees of Page Six TV that donated their gift cards and New York Cares for their annual gift of coats. May our guests be warmed by both of their generosity.