“I’ve done every job. My favorite job used to be a runner. I like to be in the middle of things.” – Joe

Soup Kitchen Stories: 2018

Voice of a Volunteer: Joe

Joe remembers driving by Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen with his wife many years ago. A parish administrator at a church that has a small weekend emergency food service program, she knew about Holy Apostles and raved about the soup kitchen. He remembers saying, “Hmm, maybe I’ll volunteer there when I retire.”

Fast-forward to 2018 and Joe is indeed retired, and also in his ninth year volunteering at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.  “I’ve done every job,” he says. “My favorite job used to be a runner. I like to be in the middle of things.”

Joe spent most of his career managing affiliate relations for major TV networks, but after downsizing left him searching for new work, he tried food service management for a friend who owned a restaurant. “I was there to fill in for someone, but I ended up staying, helping out with management and the books before I got offered a job at CBS.”

With his twice weekly volunteer service on the extra-bread line, it’s clear how much dedication Joe gives to every pursuit. The team of regular volunteers, he says, “is a well-oiled machine,” and he has a good time with others who share his commitment, and who he has developed friendships with.

When he doesn’t see a regular guest for a while, Joe says he gets concerned about their safety and well-being. But, he’s hopeful their absence means they no longer need emergency food. “There was one guest, he called himself ‘Scorpio,’” he recalls. “He told me he was getting housing, and then I didn’t see him again.”

If you see Joe, you can ask him about his matchbook collection and the whole world around this hobby that he’s also been dedicated to for years. “I’m a phillumenist,” he says, explaining that that’s what matchbook collectors call themselves. “It translates to ‘lover of light.’”

We’re thankful for the light Joe continues to shine on our Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen community!