New Brunswick, N.J. (Nov. 13) - Rutgers Athletics completed its third-annual Week of Service at Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick, N.J., last week. Over 80 volunteer time slots were covered over the course of the week by student-athletes and staff.
Current Rutgers Leadership Academy intern and senior men’s lacrosse player Jonathan Lefferts served as the primary supervisor, coordinating all sign-ups and managing on-site responsibilities.
“I can honestly say working at Elijah’s Promise was the most rewarding experience I’ve had doing community outreach in my four years here at Rutgers,” said Lefferts. “The people who are staples of the Elijah’s Promise made the experience organized and enjoyable, while tending to the needs of the people we served.”
Junior field hockey player Lisa Patrone echoed Lefferts’ remarks on her experience. “I know personally the whole experience for me really helped put things into perspective and reminded me how blessed I am for all that I have.”
Since 1989, Elijah’s Promise has used food as a tool to alleviate hunger, empower lives and invite justice for the most vulnerable members of our Central New Jersey community. Through their efforts of operating a community soup kitchen, culinary arts school, catering business, pay-as-you-can café, and connecting low-income individuals and families with social and health services, Elijah’s Promise has been able to serve more than 100,000 meals per year and train previously unskilled workers for careers in the food service industry.
Said current football player Logan Ryan after serving a few of those 100,000 meals, “I felt extremely proud and honored to volunteer. I’m doing it every year for the rest of my life.”
To cap of the final day of volunteering former Rutgers women’s basketball player, Regina Kalucki (RC ’95), drove a full-sized U-Haul from her home in Virginia to New Jersey filled with hurricane relief supplies for families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Members of the current women’s basketball team along with volleyball, men’s and women’s track & field, men’s lacrosse and rowing students-athletes greeted Regina as she pulled up on Friday afternoon to help unload all the items.
“It was a great experience,” said senior point guard Erica Wheeler. ‘It gave us a chance to give back to our surrounding community, who had unfortunately lost so much and allowed us to show our teamwork to help the community get back on its feet.”
Elijah’s Promise is located at 18 Neilson St. in New Brunswick, NJ. If you would like to volunteer please visit their volunteer hub page at http://elijahspromise.volunteerhub.com/Events/Browse.aspx