WeLoveU volunteers treat Bergen County homeless shelter guests to a special meal
On Wednesday July 23, 2014, 20 volunteers of the International WeLoveU Foundation gathered to take action for the homeless at the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center.
Following the example of Chairwoman Zhang Gil-Jah, volunteers wanted to share “a mother’s love” with the guests by preparing a warm, hand-made and delicious meal that had never been seen before at the Center.
Volunteers wanted to create an atmosphere just like home, a place where Mother prepares everything for her children with love and consideration. This is a mother’s touch – she goes above and beyond expectations to deliver gifts and foods to cherish, leaving us with a special sense of satisfaction and undeniable comfort. This is the same feeling that WeLoveU volunteers wanted to share with every guest at the Bergen Center.
With that mindset, they put their hands to work. The day before, volunteers purchased fresh ingredients themselves and brought them to the kitchen of a member’s local restaurant where the meal would be prepared. Starting from midnight the day of, volunteers began to season and cut fresh poultry for two special chicken dishes. Sides included pasta with bacon and basil, peas and fresh garlic, as well as salad with cilantro lime dressing. Dessert, french vanilla ice cream with peaches and raspberry glaze.
Three WeLoveU musicians – one a Juilliard-trained pianist, one a professional trumpet player, and one a Broadway singer – performed an expressive musical ensemble to entertain the guests. The tunes created a lounge atmosphere that evoked joyful feelings and helped guests relieve angst about their current condition.
Shortly after the program began, Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse, Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino, and Councilman David Sims joined the volunteers to show their support for the cause and encourage the movement of sharing love with the homeless. Considering the critical state of homelessness in the Hackensack area, the Mayor was appreciative of WeLoveU volunteer efforts to inspire hope among residents and deliver an extra push to stand up and overcome.
As the hour to leave came near, guests shed tears of thanksgiving and hugged volunteers for their efforts.