On many mornings, Philip will arrive early, bundled up for the cold weather and greeting other guests with a smile and a word of encouragement. A retired Parks and Recreation Director on a limited income, Philip isn’t comfortable just having a meal here without giving back.
“I’ve donated some of my old clothes…things like that,” he explains. “I’ll get a hot meal, and that helps, but a lot of what I am thankful for is the social part,” he explains.
For Philip, this civic minded way of thinking can be traced back to a lifetime of public service and leadership as a Parks and Recreation Director, a youth hockey coach and team sports.
Philip remembers playing baseball in high school so competitively that he was scouted for college teams. “But my mother said no, and I had to respect her wishes,” he says, adding.”I’ve made peace with it. I’ve done other good things with my life that I’m proud of.”
After earning a degree in physical education, Philip enjoyed a productive career with both the New York City and New Rochelle Parks and Recreation departments. His lifetime contribution to the the well-being of countless New Yorkers, from the young athletes he coached to older adults who found happiness and health because of his leadership in their local parks and recreations programs is immeasurable.
“I led my teams to the state championships,” he remembers with pride. “Even when they weren’t expecting to get that far.”
We are seeing more New York retirees like Philip join us regularly for their daily meals. In fact, in our latest survey, over 14% of guests reported they are over the age of 65, a 4% increase since 2014. Like Philip, who has contributed so much to society, they too are struggling to make ends meet in New York City on limited retirement incomes. Sitting down for a meal alongside the most vulnerable and homeless New Yorkers, Philip is one of these many senior citizens who are valued members in our community, offering motivation, hope and wisdom to others.
“The community here means a lot to me,” Philip says. “I like to help out where and when I can.”
To find out more about how people come together to help hungry and homeless New Yorkers at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, log onto our special holiday video on our website at: