Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Voice of a Donor… Alicia

In Soup Kitchen Stories on June 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm

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Founder and owner of her own production company, director and producer of 11 short films, one feature film and critically acclaimed series ‘What Can You Do’, Alicia Arinella is not someone who would strike you as being nervous. And yet, as she walked into the soup kitchen to begin her first day volunteering, that’s exactly how she was feeling.

‘We’d been looking for something we could do as an office team and we found the soup kitchen,’ she remembers. ‘I really wanted to help but I’d never done anything like this. I didn’t know what to expect, plus I can be really picky about table manners…’

As fate would have it, Alicia was put on table duty, the role with most interaction with our guests. In the busy flurry of a January morning with over 1,200 meals served, any time to notice table manners was soon forgotten, and in only two short hours, Alicia felt she had a life changing experience.

‘Everyone was just so nice,’ Alicia recalls. ‘Everyone I smiled at, smiled back. People thanked me all the time. The people I saw around the tables were not who I expected to see in a soup kitchen. The whole experience just blew me away.’

Shortly after her morning volunteering, Alicia decided to donate. She sold some books on Amazon and donated the profits to the soup kitchen. As the months passed, she found herself donating more – more money, more time, more attention. A little over a year on, Alicia has made a series of videos promoting the soup kitchen, spear headed several social media drives and continues to be a generous donor. Oh, and she types up work from the writers’ workshop as well.

‘It’s kind of an addiction, I admit it,’ she says, laughing. ‘I just love the soup kitchen and what you guys do. As I got to know it better, I grew to love it more. It’s a well oiled machine that doesn’t feel like a machine at all. I’m proud to be a part of it.’

Like most New Yorkers, Alicia encounters the problems of homelessness and hunger in her daily life, which she finds reinforces her connection with the soup kitchen. ‘Walking through midtown, riding the subway – these issues are ones I see all around me,’ she says. ‘I’ve been given a lot of opportunity in my life. You can think you’re immune to these problems but we’re all only ever a step away from a terrible phonecall that can change our lives forever. It’s so important to give back.’

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