Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Maria’s Story

In Soup Kitchen Stories, Uncategorized on March 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

 

SK Stories 2016-maria

When 57 year old Maria was in her early twenties she survived a tragedy few can imagine: losing  her parents, her sister and brother to gun violence.

So, after decades of just getting by, carrying the burden of trauma and grief, her recent job loss from an Atlantic City Casino came as just another small hurdle get over, “You know, these things happen. You just have to figure out what’s next,” she says, brightly. Moving back to Queens, where she’d spent a majority of her life, she enrolled in a Back-to-Work program that’s located near the soup kitchen.

“I heard you could get a meal here,” she says, “So I stopped in after the program one day and I’ve been coming here since.”

For Maria, who has no savings, getting to and from the Back-to-Work program is expensive, but, she said, the hot meals from our kitchen and the MetroCards from our social services program make the daily commute much more manageable.

“The volunteers are always so compassionate, and I know I can get at least one good meal every day.It’s always a full meal, and very healthy, and  I do love getting to have a cup of coffee before my ride back home,” she says, relaxing for a few minutes with her hands wrapped around a warm cup.

The impact of the tragedy Maria survived  has of course made an indelible print on her life but despite all the trauma she endured, Maria  somehow chose early on to keep her feet on the ground, and live life with gratitude and dignity.

“I’ve always had to get by on my own wits, and not rely on anyone else,” she says, “but the people here are so kind, they really want to help – and I can’t tell you much that makes  me feel very, very blessed.”

 

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