We have a very active and dedicated group, The Irish Volunteers for the Homeless, which was set up in 1990 to help feed homeless people throughout New York City.
The idea of setting up a voluntary group came about when Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich visited New York and suggested the Irish people give back to the city in some way to show thanks for the success and opportunities they had experienced since immigrating to New York.
We are always delighted to welcome new volunteers! There's no better way to get the week off to a great start than doing a good deed! If you would like to lend a hand or can drive, please consider dedicating a few hours on a Monday evening once a month. We need drivers (transport provided) to bring volunteers down to Manhattan on a Monday night and hand out food to the homeless. It only requires a commitment of a few hours once a month or less, and is a great act of kindness towards those who are less fortunate. Please call 914-237-5121 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved.
The group, comprising 40-45 volunteers, prepares 800 sandwiches at the Aisling Irish Center every Monday afternoon. We are also very fortunate to receive donations of soup, pastries, bread rolls, chips, cookies, chocolate, etc from some local restaurants and delis.
The food is then taken to various locations throughout the city on Monday nights and handed out to approximately 300 homeless people. One of these streets is Fifth Avenue which is filled with wealthy shoppers and tourists by day while hundreds of homeless and hungry people line up on this very street by night to get "Irish" sandwiches, pastries and hot soup from the Irish Volunteers for the Homeless.
This group is very valuable not only on a philanthropic level, but it also serves as a wonderful social outlet for many newly arrived Irish immigrants as well as the more settled immigrant community. As members of the Irish Volunteers for the Homeless, they have the opportunity not only to help the less fortunate, but also to get together with peers and identify with the broader society.
The cost of running this program runs at $15,000 each year...not bad for over 35,000 sandwiches! It is funded by donations, fundraising events and the Irish Government. One of our most thoughtful, generous and imaginative donors is "The Other Guy" who hangs out at An Beal Bocht in Riverdale on Friday evenings to listen to talented singer and musicians, Mary Courtney and John Redmond. Friends of "The Other Guy" are also the brains behind the annual "World's Shortest Saint Patrick's Day Parade" fundraiser!
We are very grateful to the local restaurants, bakeries and delis for their weekly donations of soup, hot chocolate, bread, pastries, etc:
New Volunteers are always welcome!
We also welcome donations to fund this program. If you would like to make a donation towards this program, click here.
Contact us today to learn how you can become a volunteer!