Maria, who retired in January 2014, didn’t take a break from slicing bread on the bitterly cold February morning she spoke with us. She was eager to get through her task so that everything would be ready for our guests as they started to arrive.
“I want to spend my retirement giving back. Maria recently said. Six days each week she divides her time between Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and other organizations around New York City. “Even when I’m tired, I’m happy and at peace.”
Having lost her husband and daughter, Maria has known tragedy in her life. She is philosophical about her losses, though. “I asked God why. This is why, so that I have time to serve others.” She thinks it’s her duty to help, too: “When I see people lining up to eat … and I know I can eat whenever I want … I have to do this.”
Volunteering is also a way for Marie to be close to her sick mother, who lives in the Philippines. “By helping people here, I’m there for my mother in spirit.”
“I want to do this for as long as I can. I’m 63, so at least another 10 years.” Here at the soup kitchen, we are thrilled to have Maria for as long as she’ll have us!