FEBRUARY NEWS 2019 Love is in the Air, show us you Care.

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President's Day was an especially rewarding evening for Monday Night Hospitality. We had a record number of guests for a third Monday of the month with enough food and love to go around. We did not have as many volunteers as normal as the Holiday claimed many, but those that came had a great evening and truly worked hard. The serving line stretched the chicken & rice, and we served every drop of the vegetarian meals. The extra plus for our guests was a to-go sandwich made the day before by the All Souls Religious Education Youth & Parents. As guests departed, they got an extra bag of food to take with them.

Don't forget too! We are still accepting donations and have passed the $100,000 level. A City Council grant for $5,000 toward the proposed kitchen repairs should come through shortly. We are also receiving matching funds from many of your employers whom we are indeed grateful to each.

That amount is just enough to do the repairs to the kitchen that are so needed. In the coming weeks, volunteers will see a new stand-alone freezer and refrigerator in the kitchen where we dry flatware now. A new and far more robust ice machine will be in place and ready for the warm weather (which will come). The commercial ovens are being professionally cleaned (first time since volunteer funds paid for them ten years ago) and the pilot lights will be adjusted or replaced. Finally, we will be restoring the existing walk in freezer/refrigerator. It will get new parts, door seals and a thorough cleaning. It will be ready to store food for our guests for another ten years. For all who participated in the Fall Drive we hope the restored kitchen will provide proof that each dollar donated makes a difference.

Other projects in the works include Meditation (Mindfulness) classes before dinner for our guests, CUNY Medical School Health Screenings and a diet with more vegetables and healthy alternatives now that the new refrigerators are on the way. 

Please come celebrate 2019 with a volunteer night on March 21st and accept our thanks for helping us fund this vital work (details below!). 

In the meantime in the last two weeks Tax letters went out to donors and it was a joyous task. At last count there were 539 donations counting individual, family, corporate and matching gifts. Some gifts honored specific volunteers and each will be acknowledged during a feature evening. We have been asked to return to volunteer gatherings once a month after the service ends. We have a couple of local places in mind and John Sheehan (our social worker) has agreed to talk about the work he does which is always inspiring.


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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. 



SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, March 21st 7:30pm

Join all of us right here in the MNH Hall for great raffle, prizes, gourmet food, complimentary wine, entertainment and of course GREAT company – your fellow volunteers!

Jet Blue wants to put you into a suite at the St. James Antiqua Beachfront Resort! Picture golden sand, blue skies and the silent lull of the ocean waves... wouldn’t that feel good right now! Other prizes include Broadway & Sports Tickets, Theatre Outing, Food & Wine Gift Baskets and much more! Amy Legge has arranged for the music that entertains our guests each Monday and she pushed for the extra tickets from Jet Blue and Tara McNamara is arranging to make the night a huge success. Let’s all support them and Heart & Soul. I hope you win the tickets to Antigua. You deserve the break! MORE INFO HERE.


MNH anticipates its new install of new Fridge & Freezer

These commercial units are designed to live a hard life – in kitchen temperatures over 90 degrees and having their doors opened regularly. No home unit could ever withstand the wear and tear in a busy kitchen. We selected these specific units for our new kitchen refurbishment by True in St. Louis because of its excellent reputation and ease of securing parts (made in the USA!) We expect that new menu items donated by City Harvest will help fill them and stretch our food budget.



Our Immaculate Cleaning Team at Work!

Heli, Alexandria and Jim on the dishwasher each take on hard jobs, but still smile in anticipation of serving so many guests. Much of what happens in the background is vitally important to each evening. The work of these three assure that our pots, plates and utensils are clean and sterilized to meet the requirements of the New York City Health Inspection, but more importantly proper hygiene is maintained every step of the process. Every plate that our guests are served is immaculate. That is a promise we never fail to keep. Among our staff are NYC Certified Food Safety staff members – who know proper temperatures for serving every type of food and the safe storage of raw ingredients. Such is the nature of this work that we attract amazingly loving volunteers who truly care that the evening is one of joy, while also protecting the health of each guest.


A Very Special Donation, from a Very Special Social Worker

Every year a retired social worker that has long attended All Souls makes a donation at end year. In response to her 2018 tax letter, she sadly said that she no longer has the ability to get to Sunday services, so instead will send Monday Night Hospitality the $10.00 a week that she spent on transportation to MNH. That will be over $500 to help us provide meals for over 100 guests. Love comes in many ways and her gift is one that we are thankful for. In her email, she thanked us for making Monday Night Hospitality happen. It could not happen without almost 100 volunteers each Monday.