The Spirit of Service

Our GOSOGives initiative launched at the beginning of the New Year. Since then, GOSO participants and volunteers have engaged with and supported their communities through service. It’s a great way for participants and volunteers to work side-by-side, on a peer level, to foster connections. These enriching experiences have taught GOSO Guys invaluable skills, including teamwork, leadership, philanthropy and more.⁣ The most recent GOSOGives project took place at Mandala Cafe, right here in East Harlem. Over the course of a few hours, GOSO participants, volunteers, and staff pitched in and helped to prepare a nutritious meal to serve New Yorkers in need.


Mandala Cafe is a non-profit that has been operating for 18 years. Its founder, Daiken Nelson, previously served food to the community out of a truck on the street corners of East Harlem. About 3 years ago he was able to move his operation inside when a local church offered to provide him the space to prepare about 70 meals per week and serve area residents. ⁣We were grateful to contribute to Daiken’s vision, and to do our part for our community! Our thanks to Daiken and his team, as well as Repair the World NYC, for having us!⁣

What were your goals for this service project?
“I hope to serve as many people in need as I can and bring a smile to someone’s face. I hope to get a different perspective on people and hopefully be able to find more opportunities to volunteer.” – Keybo C.

“My goal is to just be positive in the work we do, so I can help others. I am also hoping that by interacting with others I can continue to grow in my communication skills. I’m excited to meet people in the community.” – Alex M.

What do you feel you accomplished at the GOSOGives service day at Mandala Cafe?
“I feel like I made someone’s day and the more I do these different projects, the more I want to volunteer in the future.” – Keybo C.

“I got to know the GOSO guys a lot better and was able to bring a couple of my colleagues with me! I really enjoyed preparing the food for the people in the community and being able to reflect on the importance of this work afterwards with all of the other volunteers.” – Katie B., volunteer

All photos from GOSOGives day of service at Mandala Cafe, East Harlem.