At God's Love We Deliver, Volunteers Outnumber Employees 10-To-1

"You know for me it’s like a therapy."

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 Volunteering has proven benefits including feeling better, living longer, better friendships, it even reduces the risk of hypertension. That might help explain why over 600 men volunteered to attend a "dad breakfast" for kids without father figures. Or why so many people went to Texas after Hurricane Harvey to help out. And why volunteers now outnumber full-time staff 10-to-1 at God's Love We Deliver, a nonprofit based in the heart of Manhattan, that makes and delivers meals to the New Yorkers who need it the most. 

God's Love We Deliver began in 1985 at the height of the AIDS epidemic with one woman delivering food to one man. Since 1985, the organization has grown rapidly. It now serves over 1.7 million home-cooked meals a year, have over 100 full-time staff, and over 10,000 volunteers annually. It has also expanded its mission to serve not just those suffering from HIV/AIDS but anyone in New York who is too sick to shop or cook for themselves and their families. 

Because this organization is such an institution in New York, we decided to stop by and see the facilities and talk with the volunteers. We got to meet some regular volunteers, first-time volunteers, and even the executive chef. 

See what they had to say:

1. Yash Arun

Katie Ward / A Plus
Katie Ward / A Plus

"I just feel good about [volunteering]. It feels good to help everyone who is in need. And anything for a good cause makes you feel good at the end of the day."

2. Norma Grant

Katie Ward / A Plus
Katie Ward / A Plus

"[I've been volunteering at God's Love We Deliver] for 22, 23 years. 20-something years ago it was for people with AIDS, and it was such an important cause that I knew I had to get involved, so I started working in the kitchen then. Since then, I've done many different things. I deliver, I work on special events, I work on the children's program here. When I used to teach, I would decorate the bags for delivery for the holidays... My favorite part is seeing the faces at delivery of the people who receive the meals and the thank yous."

3. Executive chef Daniel Metzger

Katie Ward / A Plus
Katie Ward / A Plus

"I'm very passionate about what I do. I love cooking. I love everything to do with the food industry. But it's great to be able to do it for people that need it. So when you work in a restaurant, you're really working for people who can pay for it. It's nice to be able to use, and not just me, but the people of this organization in general, using your talent to benefit people who are less fortunate... Something we believe very strongly here is food is medicine, but that doesn't mean it has to taste like medicine… Food is love, and when you cook with love you can taste it."

4. Ryan Simpson

Katie Ward / A Plus
Katie Ward / A Plus

"I love working at God's Love. I get to work at with the most dedicated and amazing volunteers and staff! One of the best parts about working at God's Love is that, when I leave at the end of the day, I know that I the food I made is going to help someone. There's no better feeling than that."

5. Migguel Anggelo

Katie Ward / A Plus
Katie Ward / A Plus

"I come every Thursday from 9 to 12. I wish I could come more often but I'm very busy with my music. But every time that I come here, you know for me it's like a therapy. Because we are helping people and besides that, I met so many amazing people here, so many friends, it's like my family."

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