Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

Fast-a-thon FAQs

In Uncategorized on September 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm

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I can’t fast on November 20th, can I participate another day?
Yes! If November 20th doesn’t work for you, you can simply choose another day to fast.

How long do I have to go with only one meal?
The official Fast-a-thon hours run from 6am on the day of your fast to 12:01am the next day. You can enjoy your meal any time during that time. Please make sure to drink lots of fluids while you are fasting – water, tea, coffee, juices and sodas are all allowed!

Do I have to eat my meal at a certain time on the day of the fast?
No – you can eat your meal at any time during that period.

Do I have to eat certain food for my meal?
We don’t have any specific requirements but we suggest that you use the soup kitchen menu as a guide. Some favorites that we regularly serve are rotisserie chicken, whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce or meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy. We always serve fresh vegetables and fruit for dessert so don’t scrimp on nutrients on the day.

Can I eat my meal at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen that day?
Yes, on November 20th we’ll be serving a special Fast-a-thon meal from 5:30pm –  7pm or you can also eat here during regular soup kitchen hours (10:30am – 12:30pm). We’ll also make our recipe available online, so you can cook your fast-a-thon meal at home.

I have special dietary requirements, can I take part?
Sure! You can simple make a meal that suits your diet. If you have a pre-existing medical condition we suggest you check in with your doctor before signing up.

I don’t want to fast – can I do something else to fundraise?
Of course! You can raise funds in any way you’d like for the soup kitchen. Some people raise money on our behalf through sponsored runs, cycles and walks. Others ask friends and family to make donations to us in lieu of holiday gifts, birthdays or even wedding presents. The choice is yours and you can be as creative as you like!

Where is Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen?
We’re at 296 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10001, at 28th Street. We serve in the nave of the landmark Holy Apostles church.

How many meals do you serve at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen?
We serve over 1,000 meals every day to hungry New Yorkers. We are the biggest soup kitchen in New York City and in 30 years of service we have never turned anyone away.

How much of the funds raised go to help hungry people?
We’re using Causevox to raise money online because they have very low fees for processing payments – 96.75 cents of every $1 you raise will go to the soup kitchen to directly help hungry people.

How much should I ask people to donate?
We’ve found that asking for specific amounts can help. Letting your friends and family know that $28 buys a meal for a guest for a month and $65 buys a meal for a family for a month helps people to understand where their donations will go. Last year, some of our fundraisers also had success asking people to donate the price of a recent meal they had eaten out at a restaurant together.

Some people don’t like to donate over the internet, can I raise funds another way?
Yes! Call us at (212) 924-0167 to ask for a paper sponsorship pack and we’ll be happy to send one to you.

Can I volunteer on the day of the Fast-a-thon?
Volunteering opportunities are available for teams and individuals taking part in the Fast-a-thon on November 20th. For more information on volunteering on the day contact Brooke Wiese at bwiese@holyapostlesnyc.org

For more information about Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen check out:





Sweet & Low

In Poetry on September 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm

hot chocolate

My baby loved to call me sugar
How was she to know
I’ve been a sugary substitute
Oh so sweet, but so very low

My angel likes hot cocoa
Equal spikes it just so
She also liked my cocoa ness
Sans the bittersweet of my sweet
but low

Without her I am saccharine
Sickly aftertaste sorrows seep
Into my heart, piercing my soul
Bleeding out the salt I weep

Constant lamentations season
My daily nutritional intake
Give me pure, smooth, sultry yumminess
Served as her honey love, for my sake

Let me show her my marshmallow center
Coated with hot love
Let me prove my core is only sweetness
Dipped in her white chocolate Dove

Candied Yams – I know I’ve been bitter
Pushed aside for poisoning your ego
Taste me now – lick, suck, BITE DEEP!
I am sweet heart, but without your love

So sweet and solo…. so low

By Stephanie Lawal

My life in a notebook

In Guest stories, Stories, secrets & dreams on September 18, 2013 at 2:41 pm


If I had to do it all over again, I’d pay more attention to my education and learning. I would have listened to my freshman algebra teacher Mr. Church’s advice and gone to college. I wouldn’t have let things bother me so much, obsessing over them for decades.

I would have taken the job offered at Goldwater in ’64 headquarters and met Rich. I’d have listened to my inner voice and taken opportunities, living in Portugal for six months or indefinitely in Greece. I’d have drunk my way through France.

I’d have never gotten married, or then I’d have listened to my grandmother, who a month before my wedding tried to tell me I didn’t have to wed. Barring that, upon returning from the honeymoon, I’d have gotten a divorce and run like hell to California.

I’d have lived life more fully, saved money, flown first class more often, taken more chances. I’d have listened more, talked less, and loved more greatly.

I’d have written about my life in a notebook and become a writer sooner. I never knew my writing was my magic.

By Carol West

September 11

In The worst of times on September 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm


I knew a young man named Patrick Brown who was a captain in the FDNY Engine Company 3. Pat and I knew each other for more than ten years. We went for walks and talks and to the beach. He was a character, a strong virile male whose life was quite different than mine – Irish Catholic ex-Marine, who from the time he was a little boy always wanted to be a fireman.

I remember once I asked him, “If you hadn’t become a fireman, what would you be?” He looked at me and said, “Now, Joe, I never thought of ever becoming anything else.”

He liked black coffee and hamburgers medium rare. He loved women (all types) and was always happy when they responded to his greetings. Pat was a good-natured character, but a character nonetheless.

He died somewhere in the World Trade Center. Probably one of the upper floors. They found his body on October 19, 2001, but he wasn’t buried until November 7, 2001. His funeral was at St. Patrick’s Cathedral near Rockefeller Center. So funny for a guy who didn’t attend services there. Six blocks were blocked off for his special day. He would have been proud. He did like attention but never grandstanded.

By Joe Negrelli

HIV Story

In Keeping hope alive, The worst of times on September 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm


In June 1996, late one morning, John decided to have a blood test for HIV.

Two weeks before July 4, 1996, John went for his test results.

The doctor stated the test was positive.  John was confused about ‘Positive’ and ‘Negative’.

At that moment John ears became mute.  He couldn’t hear anything, no sound, he could only see the doctor’s motion of opening and closing his mouth.  Finally, the doctor realized that John was not listening to him, so he got up and came around to where John was sitting and spoke, touching John on his arm.

“John”, the doctor said.

John looked up, bewildered, shocked.  The doctor stated in order to confirm, that he was sending John for a different test.

John’s mind was in overdrive now, wondering how long before he dies.  Leaving the doctor’s office in a state of panic, John was still determined to follow up on the doctor’s orders.

During this period, there’s a lot to process for John. What comes into play is John’s medical coverage, but primarily at the moment, the test results upset John very much.  Being connected to a verified clinic for HIV patients was essential.  Also trying to stay focused is the key to it all.

John did research on his own into HIV. Some things he read frightened him. Even though he was terminal.  It was recommended that John see a psychiatrist.

Sessions started, John spoke of the stigma around the disease. He wanted to talk to people, to help him understand what was happening.  His therapist advised him to think objectively about decisions and give himself time to process what occurred.

In 2001, John began to write creative writing at a NYC AIDS Center.  It was quite rewarding to be among fellow writers who may or may not have been experiencing the same as he was.  John continued writing and attended his therapy sessions.  Creative writing allowed John to write about his denial, disclosure, and stigma, and to allow his feelings to be put into words.

To become mature about HIV, can take days, months or years but if you persevere and stay focused, you’ll do just fine. This is something John realized after months of therapy/psych, and by taking his HIV medication, which was not an easy decision at the time for him.

It sounds so strange to hear someone say to you – “give yourself time.”

John didn’t know how long that would be, how much time was needed. John reminded himself that what was most important at the time was to have the PRESENCE OF MIND TO BE TESTED.

Some articles John read were very encouraging at the time of his diagnosis in 1996.  John’s experiences during this process were to take his meds as prescribed by his doctor. He came to realize that his relationship with his doctor was about more than just meds – his relationship with his doctor inspired confidence and trust. Keeping his doctor’s appointments became very important to John.

As the years passed, John’s immune system changed mentally and physically for the better.  In general, over time, John became more adaptable to his status as an HIV person.

Now in 2013, John is doing well, looking forward to a lovely spring in New York City.

By Fred D. Street