It is the simple things that count at Thanksgiving time, like enjoying a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and a family to share it with. But for many, it takes volunteers, and a food pantry to make these moments special.
Thanks to Guyanese-American, Tony Singh, founder of Calvary’s Mission Food Pantry, at 102-26 89th Ave, Richmond Hill, Saturday, Nov. 23, was a wonderful occasion for the needy.
For the past 20 years, Singh has brought joy to the homes of families by handing out thousands of pounds of nutritious food, with the help of volunteers including Consul General of Guyana to NY, Barbara Atherly, who joined the humanitarian at “A Day of Giving” organized by the Queens College Alumni Association, NY, (QCAANY), for the third year.
St. Roses, Bishop’s, North Ruimveldt alums, and scores of other volunteers also, joined the annual Thanksgiving event.
Starting at 5:30 am, volunteers organized tons of vegetables, turkeys, chickens, bread, stuffing, fruits, macaroni and cheese, juices, and other treats, distributed to more than 400 residents, who waited in line for hours.
Singh, who started, the now, largest organized food pantry in Queens, 20 years ago because of a need in the community, thanked CG Atherly, volunteers and Guyanese nationals for their continued support.
Volunteering at the pantry for the third time this year, CC Atherly reminded those present that it was better to give than to receive, and said it was gratifying to see smiles on the faces of people when they received whatever little offered to them, and their response, of Happy Thanksgiving, in more than one language.
“I would like to say thanks to the QC Alumni Association for inviting me to take part in the ‘Day of Giving’,” said CG Atherly, who lauded Tony Singh and his team for the once weekly outreach, and Thanksgiving Day of Giving, for a worthy cause.
“Every opportunity we get to give assistance to the community, we should be willing do so.”
“Happy Thanksgiving,” expressed the diplomat.
John Campbell, president of QCAANY, thanked members for their volunteerism, whether in New York or at home, and reflected on the recent successful week of activities in Guyana to commemorate the 175th Anniversary of his alma mater.
“It was a wonderful celebration. We had a range of participants from ages 20 to 75, who came together to celebrate the same common school spirit, singing school songs and partaking in events,” shared Campbell, who acknowledged Caribbean Life, for always highlighting the non-profit’s work in the community.
The brisk weather, did not deter many including first timers to the pantry, Terrence Campbell, who arrived from Guyana just in time to volunteer, and broadcaster, Hugh Hamilton who described the experience as fulfilling, while commending the team spirit showed by fellow alums.
“It is a privilege to be a member of the alumni, and a wonderful honor to be of service in the spirit of thanksgiving,” said Hamilton.
Vice President of QCAANY, Luke Heywood said it was a great time to give back and collaborate with peers, other associations, members of the community and volunteers.
Calvary’s Mission Food Pantry is dedicated to delivering food, medicine, clothing, and other necessities to people, children and families who lack basic living essentials due to poverty.
To volunteer or donate, go to calva