I love New York City Relief! After a week serving along side the awesome staff my conceptions of homelessness were transformed. This ministry seeks to change the way we look at people on the streets; to move from identifying people in terms of what they lack to who they are as humans deserving of love.
I can't wait to volunteer with them again.
Words cannot express how powerful this non-profit is. Every interaction was meaningful and deeply convicted my heart. One person I met that stood out to me was Rosemary. When I met her I saw such strength in her. As she shared some of her struggles with me my heart just grew for her. I asked her "if you could receive national recognition for anything, what do you think you would receive national recognition for?" and her answer blew me away: "my want to create change to better people's lives." This is why serving with the Relief Bus is so impactful. Not only because you get to bless others through your actions, but you get to receive blessings and insight from your conversation with people on the streets.
I'd like to share what I shared last August. "As much as you volunteer believing that you are helping others and making a difference in someone else's life, the reality is that it is YOU that comes out changed. I am still moved to tears by my experience and by the friends I made in Midtown Thursday evening, Chelsea Park and East Harlem. May God continue to pour his blessings upon those at the NYCR who are serving as the hands and feet of God."
I'm still so humbled by my experience last July. I arrived in NYC with the typical "awe" of a tourist. However, after the Don't Walk By experience, as I was heading by shuttle bus to the airport and listening to the conversations around me of "things and places" people saw, I couldn't help but feel a little sadness that my fellow tourists really missed out on seeing the heart of New York. My daughter and I can't wait for the chance to go back again.
John 13:35 (NIV)~ By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
NYCR is the single, most transformational and extraordinary experience I have ever had with a non-profit. The Relief Bus is a well oiled machine that delivers not just food and resources but compassion ON TAP! From the minute a bus rolls up on site, the volunteers are engaged in face to face activity with those we have come to serve. You cannot escape the opportunity to be blessed and more importantly to BE a blessing. Serving the homeless and potentially being part of their first step in recovering from life on the streets is a gift you won't soon forget. I am addicted to the process of loving people back to life and making eye contact with those we serve in hopes that THEY see that WE see them. NYCR makes that process of acknowledging human life so simple. The formula is genius.... just show up, work hard, and LOVE hard.
I've had the awesome opportunity to serve on the Relief Bus in Jersey and NYC My husband loved it too and we're planning to take our kids so they can experience first hand lending a hand however we can albeit a cup of soup or a heartfelt encounter. There's nothing but love from those who dedicate their lives to this cause...keep up the good work!
I was honored to serve as a volunteer with the Relief Bus last week. Watching the Relief Bus missionary's care and compassion for the homeless was inspiring. To pray with and serve these lost souls was life changing for me. The tears of joy in a man's eyes when I told him he didn't need to remember the rosary prayers to talk to God and his whispered "I can pray again" after we prayed together. A woman hugging a pair of socks and saying "New?? for me?!" Smiles shared over soup and bread. Can't wait to do it again.
I can easily tell about the reliable charitable work that the NYC Relief Bus brings to those in need in NYC and NJ week in and week out. The thousands of meals served in the heart of the poorest neighborhoods, the distribution of clothing and other necessities, and the readiness to build relationships in order to discover and assist with deeper needs such as shelter, jobs, medical help and addiction recovery programs.
But to me, one of the things that NYCRB does best is to bring together literally thousands of volunteers from around the area, the country, and the world to serve with compassion, to pray with, to relate to, and to love in the Name of Jesus Christ, those who have so little but who are so quick to respond with that same love of Christ. The Relief Bus is a blessing to both the volunteers and to the people they minister to.
Ever been confused or frustrated about what to do when you see the man or woman on a street corner with a "Will work for food. God Bless" sign? I know I was. Until I became involved with New York City Relief, the operators of the Relief Bus. The Relief Bus has served literally millions of meals in the last 20 years. They have connected tens of thousands of homeless and poverty stricken folks to the resources they need to get their lives back on track. Most importantly though, they graciously dispense HOPE. That is the key poverty on the streets, a lack of hope that things can get better.
The volunteer opportunities are amazing. Simple conversations with people living in dire circumstances changes lives, yours and theirs. You can contact the Relief Bus at www.reliefbus.org to begin your personal journey to making a difference.
Review from Guidestar
This is everybody's favorite place to volunteer in NYC. I came as part of a team and most of us are repeat volunteers. It is especially meaningful to be able to engage people on the street who are really in need. Some of the conversations I have had are "lifetime" memories. I especially appreciate the staff, who are dedicated compassionate people. And, I also appreciate that they are well organized. It's an amazing organization!
Review from Guidestar