The social issue for our trip is AIDS/HIV and terminal illness relief and today we were able to learn more about that issue as well as an organization that goes to great lengths to bring relief to the sick. God’s Love We Deliver was founded in 1985 by one woman and toady delivers 4,000 meals a day. We knew that our job today was going to be kitchen work and when we arrived Kate, the volunteer coordinator said, “I hope you like chopping.” I thought she was joking but she was most definitely not. Chopping up vegetables was one of our main tasks for the day. We chopped carrots, 200 pounds of potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, and 100 pounds of onions. Some of us also prepared chicken and fish and wrapped 1200 rolls. After our lunch break, we then packaged meals for delivery. The kitchen at God’s Love was extremely organized and almost factory like. The packaging of food was done on assembly line. This made the process very efficient. As Anda commented, “I thought today was amazing to see the number of meals we made.” Jess also said that she was concerned that today we wouldn’t feel like we were helping people because we didn’t see them but that she felt like we did help people because we packaged and prepared so much food.
Tomorrow our experience at God’s Love will be different. Instead of working at “headquarters,” we will be out delivering the meals to different parts of New York and New Jersey. I think the team is more excited for this than they were about kitchen prep. For a lot of the team members, personal interaction and actually seeing the effect our work has on people is very important. As Lara said, she is excited to see the personal
side of the organization.
In comparing the Bowery Mission to God’s Love We Deliver we felt that the two were very different organizations; in their mission and the people they serve and in the way they were organized. God’s Love caters specifically to those with illnesses and they are proud of the fact that they have never turned anyway away who needed a meal. The Bowery Mission provides services to a larger variety of people. Although most team members liked the personal interactions at the Bowery Mission more than the “stiffness” at God’s Love, we understand why God’s Love has to operate more like a “business.” As Kester pointed out, we all witnessed today what it takes for an organization to develop.
During reflection, “If you had the money to give to an organization, what would you choose?” was proposed. A good amount of the team felt that they would give money to the Bowery Mission because it seemed like they needed it more. Others disagreed. I cautioned the team, though, to remember that no organization is “better” or “worse” than another and that they were just different. God’s Love receives a lot of money from corporate and other sponsors and it is amazing to see how many people are passionate about this cause. I hope that whatever the cause, my team and I walk away from this experience with a cause we are passionate about, whether it be the Bowery Mission and the issue of hunger and homelessness, God’s Love and terminal illness relief, or one of the many other organizations and social issues.
<3 ASB NYC