A race to deliver nutritious meals
New York, 26 February 2016
As a client of God's Love We Deliver, Dahlia and her family rely on the regular nutritious meals that the charity and its volunteers deliver direct to her door.
In 2011 Dahlia was diagnosed with lupus and no longer able to work, provide for her family or look after her home. She struggled to dress herself and could no longer shop or cook.
"I was such an independent person taking care of everything and everyone, and then all of a sudden everything changed," says Dahlia. "I told God’s Love about my condition and what I was going through and they said I could get meals delivered to my door. It changed my life."
In 1985 God’s Love was established to provide services to people living with HIV/AIDS. It has now grown to provide 1.5 million individually-tailored meals to 6,200 New Yorkers annually, each living with one of 200 diseases or conditions, such as cancer or diabetes.
“Our clients are New Yorkers who have fallen through the cracks because they are not eligible for other food provision services, or the services they are eligible for don’t cater to their specific disease and dietary requirements,” says Scott Bruckner, chairman of God’s Love and a Macquarie staff member based in New York.
“We provide our clients with vital meals and we acknowledge and care for them. We also visit with a friendly smile and sometimes that’s the only human contact they will have all day.”
Bruckner recalls the first time he delivered a meal as one of the 10,000 God’s Love volunteers: “I knocked on the door and a little girl answered. I asked if her mother was home and she told me that her mother couldn’t get out of bed that day. It was heartbreaking but I was happy that God’s Love was able to help.”
As a board director of seven years and chairman for the past four years, Bruckner has a deep passion and commitment to the organisation.
“It all began with the simple principle that no one should ever have to face illness and hunger. We brought meals to home-bound people living with HIV/AIDS but now we have expanded to reach so many more isolated and vulnerable people.”
As part of its fundraising efforts, God’s Love organises four major fundraising events each year, including ‘Race to Deliver’ - a four mile run or walk by 6,000 participants in New York’s Central Park.
“Normally as the chairman I would be at the end of the race presenting certificates and shaking participants’ hands but this time I thought ‘I’m going to do it’. I was up for a challenge and wanted to get my colleagues at Macquarie involved,” says Bruckner.
More than 50 Macquarie staff participated in the race, raising more than $US145,000 for God’s Love, including Macquarie Group Foundation matching.
“Throughout my career I have never worked with such philanthropically aware colleagues who are so engaged with their community. It’s been a highlight and a great boost for God’s Love. In total, another 40,000 meals will be able to be prepared and delivered as a result of Race to Deliver,” says Bruckner.
Image caption: God’s Love We Deliver client, Dahlia, relies on the regular nutritious meals the charity delivers to her door. Photo credit: Christian Grattan Photography.