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Today we embark on our last day volunteering at GMHC! Throughout our time this week we have met some amazing people from Kelsey Louie the CEO, to the incomparable Cecilia.
One of the highlights this week was serving lunch to the clients. It gave us a chance to interact and connect with them. At certain times we were able to sit down and have lunch with the clients and in those moments we had the chance to hear about the clients lives if they were willing to share or just to talk about the weather. Throughout the lunch service everyone was so joyful and it really opened our eyes to see that just because they are affected with either HIV or AIDS that their personality was so gracious and upbeat that it put in perspective of the little things that we may complain about that may not be a big deal in the big picture. One of the greatest moments of volunteering at GMHC was watching the documentary of Larry Kramer. It was the first time many of us had heard of him and the work he did to progress the Medication for HIV/AIDS was amazing. The passion and dedication he had is something we can all learn from.
As mentioned in one of the first blogs we all put together care packages guided toward women. Today we had the honor of donating the 28 care packages to GMHC! It warmed our hearts to know that the care packages will be given to those who really need it.
During our two hours at GMHC today we met with Susan Rowley the director of the hotline and buddy program, we got the chance to learn first hand about what goes in to working the hotline and what skills are needed to best serve the clients that call the hotline. Next, we had a debriefing session just to talk about the whole week and what we will take away from volunteering at GMHC.
Our time a GMHC was amazing. All the welcoming faces in the morning made everything 10x better!
After we left GMHC we then went back to Time Square to have lunch at an incredible Italian place called Carmine’s! Their portions are family size and everything was really good! After lunch we went to Rockefeller Center and the NBC store. It was really cool to see where the today show is taped and to watch people ice skate.
For dessert we went to Cafe Lalo, a famous cafe. Their desserts are amazing! ( I would recommend the cheesecake!)
After we got done eating our group decided to split up, some went to the broadway show Kinky Boots, while the other group decided to come back for a early night!
I think as a group we have come to know each other and appreciate each other a lot. We have definitely become a little family and our time in New York has been filled with adventure and excitement! Although we came to volunteer I feel that we all walked away changed for the better.