GOSOGives Connects Volunteers and Participants Through Food and Service

One of the most powerful connectors for people is food — it’s a need that we all have in common, and it’s something that can bring us together. Sharing a meal is a great way to get to know someone, to learn about different cultures, or to just enjoy the company of others. Making a meal for someone else, is also a way to express something to them, to show them how much you care for them. For our July GOSOGives project, we did just that — we prepared a nutritious and delicious meal for those in need in our community. It’s the second time that we’ve visited our friends at the Mandala Cafe soup kitchen in Harlem — just blocks away from GOSO’s offices.

Mandala Cafe serves all vegetarian meals that are packed with healthy vegetables, protein-rich foods like beans, delicious pastas, and more! These meals are an important source of comfort and nourishment for many of our neighbors who may not have consistent access to a hot meal. GOSO participants, staff, and volunteers came together to help prepare the meal at Mandala. We washed the locally sourced ingredients, chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, folded forks into napkins for serving, and we had fun while doing it! We love being able to work together, practice our culinary skills, and most importantly give back to our community.

“I feel like volunteering is something that makes my time worthwhile. I’m doing something productive with my time because I get to help others,” said GOSO Guy, Michael C., who has been consistently volunteering through GOSOGives in the past few months.

Take a look at the highlights from our second service day at Mandala Cafe below:

The team working together to prep all the silver ware for the food service.


GOSO Participant, Michael C. (left), and GOSO Intern, Niki (center), chop zucchini and lettuce.


From left: Niki (GOSO Intern), Koron (GOSO Participant), Lauren (GOSO Senior Career Manager and Director of Educational Programming), and Kimberly (GOSO Receptionist).


Everyone feeling proud and thankful to be a part of Mandala Cafe’s weekly food service!