Saturday Distribution: Why Do People Still Hate

The highlight of last Saturday’s Distribution was without a doubt, the poetry of Esi Grant. Esi just got out of the hospital, she had not been outside in four or five days, but her joy infected everyone around her. She was kind enough to share two of her poems with us.

After this next one, she hugged us all, and left. Leaving behind her inspiration and her joy. What a great break in our distribution! She filled our hearts.

We distributed 117 chili meals and 200 waters. A HUGE thank you to our favorite teenagers, the gals from Student Advocated for Animal Rights in Edward Murrow High School for holding a vegan bake sale in their school and surprising us with a $150.00 donation! They are truly an inspiration for the future, engaged participatory comitted youth. I look forward to continuing collaboration with them in the summer, with the new club leadership next school year, and to follow the new graduates in their college careers. They are off to do greater and bigger things, but I am sure they will continue to bring light to their communities, wherever they find themselves. I could not be prouder of the Veganteers!

Surprising donation from the Student Advocates for Animal Rights
Surprising donation from the Student Advocates for Animal Rights

I want to thank the Veganteers on Saturday, Erika, Hannah, Grace, Julianna, Melissa, Tia, Christopher, Bear, Ollie, and Ivan. We couldn’t have done it without you! We brought a little relief to a Saturday afternoon!

Melissa and Tia Team ready for distribution in the vicinity of the park.
Melissa and Tia Team ready for distribution in the vicinity of the park.
Erika manages the table.
Erika manages the table.

IMG_2731

Distributing
Distributing
Distributing
Distributing
Distributing.
Distributing.

Esi’s poem might be titled, Why Do People Still Hate, but our Saturday Distributions are filled with nothing but love. Thank you for the love.

Succesful Saturday Distribution (with a lot of pictures!)

Today we had a super succesful saturday distribution. We delivered 44 vegan chili to the hungry, made possible by donations from Naiá Aiello, Nancy Sands, Mary McGillycuddy, and Kathryn Marquet. We ran out of chili and water bottles pretty fast, faster than usual. The warm weather made the parks and the streets alive with people. We will be increasing the amount of chili we make to offset the increase in need caused by the warm weather.

Ollie had a great time distributing, meeting the new people, giving out the waters (sometimes), playing with our volunteer kids, and playing basketball with some of the guys in Union Square.

Thank you to our volunteers today: Julianna, Hilda, Leia, Eric, Sammie, and the two very funny impromptu volunteers, Rodrigo and Antonio, from Italy, who couldn’t believe we give food and drink FOR FREE! And who once understood our mission, bought us a case of water bottles when we ran out and distributed our flyers.

Today was such a different experience, because the weather was finally nice and it brought out so many people! We’re very excited about making more chili and increasing the amount of people we reach!

I also feel that our kids are really learning about community, spending time and really connecting at a very real human level with all sorts of people, really learning from their environment and from us. Losing this fear of strangers that society drills in our head, and instead seeing people as they are. I have nothing but positive thoughts about each of our encounters. When you approach people with genuine love and empathy, people respond in equal measure.

Enjoy some of our pictures! See you all next Saturday!

 

 

Julianna and Michelle distributing.  Photo by Hilda Candelario
Julianna and Michelle distributing.
Photo by Hilda Candelario
The cart struggles Photo by Hilda Candelario
The cart struggles
Photo by Hilda Candelario
Ollie and Leialisten to this gentleman intently.  Photo by Hilda Candelario.
Ollie and Leialisten to this gentleman intently.
Photo by Hilda Candelario.
Ollie and Leia enjoy a hug while we distribute Photo by Hilda Candelario
Ollie and Leia enjoy a hug while we distribute
Photo by Hilda Candelario
Two guys with our chili.  Photo by Hilda Candelario
Two guys with our chili.
Photo by Hilda Candelario
A gentleman enjoys our vegan chili. Photo by Hilda Candelario
A gentleman enjoys our vegan chili.
Photo by Hilda Candelario
Ollie plays basketball with the guys. Photo by Hilda Candelario
Ollie plays basketball with the guys.
Photo by Hilda Candelario
Distributing vegan chili Photo by Hilda Candelario
Distributing vegan chili
Photo by Hilda Candelario
Julianna, Michelle, Leia, and Ollie at the table.  Photo by Hilda Candelario
Julianna, Michelle, Leia, and Ollie at the table.
Photo by Hilda Candelario
Some of our wonderful volunteers.
Some of our wonderful volunteers.
Love is fierce.
Love is fierce.

Ollie and Sammie instantly liked each other.

Ollie and Sammie instantly liked each other.

Negotiations between our volunteers: Hilda, Leia, Eric, and Sammie
Negotiations between our volunteers: Hilda, Leia, Eric, and Sammie
Rodrigo, Antonio, Julianna, Michelle Photo by Hilda Candelario
Rodrigo, Antonio, Julianna, Michelle
Photo by Hilda Candelario
On the way home, Ollie chose to pull on the cooler with wheels to help. This earned him Big Boy status.
On the way home, Ollie chose to pull on the cooler with wheels to help. This earned him Big Boy status.

 

 

 

Another successful weekly distribution

Yesterday’s distribution of 31 vegan chili bowls was made possible by donations from Bianca Kläner, Karen Hutchins, and Danny Navajo. A big thank you to our team today, Julianna, Ivan and Ollie. It was cold, it snowed a little, and the streets and the park were less crowded but people still received their warm lunches. We continue meeting new people who are super thankful for our chili, people we love to connect to with their stories or with their smiles. Thank you for receiving our chili with open arms! Til next week!

 

Today's Chili Run Team: Ivan, Julianna, and Ollie!
Today’s Chili Run Team: Ivan, Julianna, and Ollie!
Ollie warms up with a chili
Ollie warms up with a chili
Quietly sitting at our table
Quietly sitting at our table

Saturday Distribution- and starting traditions

Another Saturday, another chili distribution.

 

We love several things, here at Chilis on Wheels. Brown paper packages tied up with string….

We love chili

 animals

people

kids

justice

intersections

gratitude

traditions

To tie up two of those topics together, we are going to express gratitude in tradition. Traditions have been a corner stone to Chilis on Wheels since it’s inception. The very first time that I made a batch of chili, packed it into bowls and took it to the people was intended as the beginning of a yearly family tradition. Fast forward and a yearly tradition is now a weekly one. Well, we have decided to start a tradition of acknowledging not just the volunteers, who are the heart of our efforts, but also the donors without whom none of this would be possible. Today’s distribution of 41 bowls of vegan chili was made possible by donations provided by: Tanja Giles, Philip Kiernan and Laura Dotterer. Thank you!

A BIG thank you to our volunteers, Hilda and Leia, Johelsy, Beverly, Carmen, and Thorin who also provided delicious vegan cornbread!

As the weather gets warmer, the parks start coming alive and we start reaching a lot more people, not just those that share a meal with us, but also the ones that look out of the corner of their eyes, the ones that smile at us and nod their heads, or the ones that ourtight ask us why we are doing what we do. We reach them with the message of compassion. Hopefully when they see our kiddos handing out the chili, they will be inspired to take action and become involved in their community. Hopefully when they see the word vegan they will make the connection in struggles, or be curious and do some research. I was surprised today at the number of people that asked me what the word vegan meant. We tend to surround ourselves with people of similar background to us, with similar interests, and similar world views, to the point that we can easily fall into alienation, disconnection with the world at large. Today’s numerous questions about veganism made me realize that there’s a larger world out there that I forget still exists, and can still be reached.

We reached so many people, but we can tell we are starting to become a welcomed fixed part of the community when the guys are starting to call us, The Chili Group.

Thank you all! We will be back out there next Saturday!

Team of chili runners, Johelsy, Hilda, Leia and Ollie.
Team of chili runners, Johelsy, Hilda, Leia and Ollie.
Carmen and Ollie distribute chili and partake on some vegan cornbread.
Carmen and Ollie distribute chili and partake on some vegan cornbread.
Community Sharing Vegan Chili.
Community Sharing Vegan Chili.