Volunteer ideas for the time-poor
Busy New Yorkers might only have two hours to spare.
At God’s Love We Deliver, they can work with a flexible chunk of time power-packed with hands-on helping.
Volunteers at this place — started in 1985 by a woman delivering food to an AIDS patient by bicycle — come in for chopping, dicing and baking, as well as seeing the food they touch become a meal for a person in need.
The 800 volunteers filtering through their SoHo headquarters choose two- or three-hour chunks of time to serve.
Gene Colon, 45, has woken up at 5:30 a.m. weekly for the past four years, serving a 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. morning shift with 20 others before going to work on Thursdays.
After pouring, packaging and storing soup for two hours — all delivered to someone’s table that day — “all of the sudden your day has meaning,” Colon said. “And your day hasn’t even started.”
Although Susan Oher, director of volunteer services and special events, wants to rope in steady volunteers, “sometimes life happens,” she said — and they try to remain flexible.
Two-hour shifts fit well with Colon’s full-time job at L’Oreal. “If it was something you needed to devote a half-day to … I probably couldn’t do it,” he said.
Coming up, the group needs drivers for its Winter Feast, delivered Dec. 24. All meals are driven that day around the city, Newark and Hudson County, N.J.
God’s Love volunteers, many of whom are regulars, create friendships, often grabbing dinner after shifts.
“It brings some of the big city home and makes it a little bit smaller,” Oher said. “Everyone has known someone who’s been sick, who needs some kind of nutritional food that they can’t prepare for themselves.”
To get involved
Call 212-294-8158 or go to www.glwd.org for more information.