The Soup Run
Rose & I decided to get involved with the ‘Soup Run’ having watched the television programme ‘Secret Millionaire’ with Richard Mulcahy. We were both discussing the programme in the office and decided we would look into getting involved with the project. We rang Sinead, who was the co-ordinator at the time. She agreed to meet with us during our lunch break and gave us a summary of what was involved and told us we would have training on same. So we started in October 2012 along with a volunteer who was experienced and would drive the van. We didn’t really have a clue what was involved but we learnt very quickly. Initially we collected our van and supplies in the Old Brother Russell Home before it was demolished but this was changed to McGarry House during the renovations. We set up a table and give out the dinners, sandwiches, tea, coffee and soups from a designated spot on O’Connell Street.
We meet every Monday evening at Brother Russell at 6.30pm along with our driver. We load up our van and head for the Greenhills to collect the hot dinners, and then we go to Hook & Ladder restaurant where we collect some more really nice scones and muffins. We aim to get to our distribution point at about 7.00pm where people will have started congregating. We give out dinners initially, then a sandwich and tea/coffee/soup and maybe some scones and muffins if people would like them.
I think we both agree that during the course of the two years we have been involved with Novas and the ‘Soup Run’ we have met really nice people along the way who tell us how much they appreciate what we are doing. It is easy for us, the volunteers, to give a very small bit of our time each Monday evening, we can then go back to our homes, have a nice dinner and a warm bed at the end of the night.
Some of the people we meet tell us they are living on the streets or in very cold, dreary flats. Some are just bedding down on couches with friends and others are waiting and waiting to try and get a roof over their heads. We feel it is a very good service that Novas are providing. Some of the clients we know feel embarrassed to be queuing up for food but we reassure them and we never question why they are there and that we are here if they want to have a chat or need not if they so wish.
We both enjoy doing the ‘Soup Run’ and hope to be there for the long haul! We feel the Greenhills Hotel and Hook & Ladder are to be commended for supplying really nice food to such a worthy cause. Who knows the day when any one of us could be in that position and would be in need of a hand. I am glad we are able to help in some small way and hopefully the service will continue for as long as it is needed.