Updated 04/20/2009 03:04 PM
God’s Love We Deliver Kicks Off National Volunteer Week
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Hundreds of volunteers, elected officials, and celebrities gathered at God's Love We Deliver this morning to help kick off National Volunteer Week.
The SoHo-based organization provides meals to city residents living with life-altering illnesses like AIDS and cancer.
"There's always a lot of action," said Susan Oher, director of volunteer services. "The chefs and cooks get here at 4:00 or 4:30 a.m. and the volunteers get here at 6:30 a.m. and we go until 8:30 at night and it is busy. We put out lots of meals to out clients who can't cook for themselves, who can't shop for themselves."
Oher says there are 18 volunteers to every one staff member.
"We absolutely cannot do what we do without our volunteers," she said. "Volunteers have been the heart and soul of Gods Love We Deliver since we started 24 years ago."
"They are doing everything that we need to keep us going so we really can have the impact that we want to have," added Gods Love We Deliver President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Pearl.
Among those volunteers is Broadway performer John Dewar, who has been working with the organization for nearly 17 years.
"It is a combination of you knowing you're helping others and also meeting a certain group of friends every week," said Dewar.
Actor Matthew Modine was also on hand. He, too, is a longtime volunteer for God's Love We Deliver.
"It's good work," he said. "It's work that fills you with hope and happiness and optimism."
Other volunteers agree they get a great feeling out of helping out those who need it.
"You get a real boost in your week if you spend a few weeks doing something for other people," said volunteer Phyliss Kirschenbaum.
"It's great to know that the work that we are doing here is really saving lives," said Gabriel Stone, another volunteer.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said these volunteers deserve recognition.
"There literally are not the resources out there to make up how much it would cost if there weren't these volunteers and they do this every single day," said Quinn.
God's Love We Deliver will be reaching a major milestone this spring, when they serve their 10-millionth meal.
For more information on how to volunteer, go to GodsLoveWeDeliver.org.