On December 19, 2008, LGS students volunteered on the last day of the Mary Brennen INN’s three day holiday bash which helped over 700 families in the community. My Friday at the soup kitchen was much like a game show. People would run up to me, hand me a ticket, and I would then dive into an ocean of bags filled with presents, searching for the bag with a number that matched the ticket handed to me by one of the other volunteers. It was quite a day.
In addition to the regular INN volunteers, over twenty volunteers were spread out between different sections. One group greeted and signed in the guests; another group was tasked to be ‘runners,’ sprinting through the kitchen into the garage where my group searched for, found, and retrieved the bags for the ‘runners.’ These volunteers then sprinted back to the main hall. Another group was tasked with taking the guests on a “shopping trip.” The guests, mostly parents or older siblings representing their respective families were able to pick out toys and stuffed animals for their children or younger siblings. In addition, they were given a bag filled with presents by the INN.
The rest of the Adelphi volunteers helped organize the daily food donations that were being dropped off throughout the day and rearranged the different sections. They also filled bags with canned goods such as veggies, fruit, beans, meat, and also included pasta or rice. These bags were going to be handed to families throughout the week.
By the end of the day, I had retrieved over 50 bags. I remember hearing that over 300 guests had come through the INN that day. It was truly an amazing experience to see the parents’ eyes as they were handed a bag of presents for their children, and the relief they expressed when they picked out gloves and scarves. Near the end, LGS volunteers took over the walk-through in the “store,” spending some quality time with the different guests and listening to some of their stories about their children and how the donated food and gifts will make their holiday warm, healthy, and fun for the while family.
Written by Matthew Sanfilippo '10
Volunteering at the Mary Brennan INN
On March 6, a few LGS students and I helped out at the Mary Brennan INN. The INN is a place that gives families a chance to provide themselves with food and clothing. All types of donations are sent to the INN, and they need volunteers to help with sorting and various other tasks. Our first job was to help clean and sort their clothing section. After hanging and organizing the clothes, it was time for lunch. We went to the kitchen and dining area to help serve food to the patrons that came. I noticed that there were lot of families and people of all ages coming in to have lunch. One of the workers explained to me that this is the only meal that the INN is able provide each day, so usually lunch is only the meal that most of the people who come there will eat for that day. That made me feel sad because I usually eat two to three times a day. It is remarkable how the Mary Brennan INN serves everyone that comes by. Lunch was over, and we helped clean the kitchen, the tables, and helped stack up the chairs.
I’ve been to the Mary Brennan INN before, and each time I go, I find it to be very meaningful. I know that the hours I spent at the Inn are elevated to such a high value compared to my hours spent anywhere else. I’m glad that I was able to volunteer at the Mary Brennan INN with LGS and help ease the work at the INN while trying to help put a smile on someone’s face.
Written by Clifton DeMeco '11
Edited by Roshini Givergis '12