ASB2009 in New York

During Alternative Spring Break 2009, nine SMU students and a staff adviser will be working in New York City for an organization called God’s Love We Deliver. They will deliver food and nutritional support to families affected by HIV/AIDS and life-altering illnesses.

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Delivering meals – and hope

An update from Megan:

My experience in New York City for Alternative Spring Break thus far has been very rewarding. I have traveled halfway across the country with a group of people whom I barely knew before departure, and whom I now am proud to call friends. We have taken in the sights together: Times Square, enjoyed a New York pizza slice or two, and even caught a Broadway show last night (Chicago).

But the real point of this trip is service. The God’s Love We Deliver organization is one that I am extremely impressed with. In a nutshell, a large team composed of PR people, cooks, volunteers and other staff members work to provide high-quality food, all made from fresh ingredients, to people suffering from HIV/AIDS or other terminal illnesses. They took us in with open arms yesterday, and our relationship has been growing ever since.

Yesterday I worked in the kitchen chopping vegetables and packaging and compiling meals. Today, however, brought a new and unique experience. I drove around the Bronx and Harlem with one of the organization’s drivers, Curtis, in a very old van with tubs of food in the back. I went to each apartment that we were assigned to and hand-delivered each meal. The appreciation on the people’s faces was something I can only describe as God smiling through someone who has clearly seen better days.

I visited places in the New York area that I probably never would have if it had not been for this trip. At times I felt scared, other times brave and even others sad. I cannot imagine having to live with an ailment that there is no sure cure for. Yet the people I encountered seemed to be persevering through life and leaning on a support network of people living around them. New York apartment complexes foster these neighbor relationships.

So far, I’ve seen the city through a different set of eyes, and it has given me a whole new appreciation for each and every part of the world. It has also showed me what great things can be accomplished with just a little bit of manpower.

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