In reference to your recent article by Danielle Bitts, “Get INNvolved This Holiday Season,” I would like to add a reflection based on my experience as an INN volunteer for the past 13 years. When I hand a plate of hot, nutritious food to a hungry man, woman or child at The INN soup kitchen, I know for sure that the greatest joy in life comes from helping others.
It’s also quite clear that the mission of The INN—providing food, shelter, clothing and support services to Long Islanders in need—is a mission that continues every month, every week, every day, all year long. Hunger and homelessness never takes a vacation. It never takes time out for holidays. Every day there are children in our neighborhoods who go to bed hungry, there are seniors who subsist on one meal a day and there are homeless veterans struggling with the physical and mental wounds of war.
If each of us pitches in, there is no limit to what we can accomplish. Each of us has a sacred duty to make the world a better place than we found it by acts of kindness and compassion, knowing full well that “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Anne Frank said it better than I ever could: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” And our sages remind us, “Whoever saves a single life…is as if he or she saves an entire world.”