Help Us Feed Homeless New Yorkers!

$10,769 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 154 people in 2 months
Created December 6, 2017

Hi! Thank you for reading our page, we really appreciate it!

My name is Mary Houlihan. I’m a rising starlet in the NYC comedy scene, and I love making dumb videos and posting silly jokes on the Internet.

Father Mike Lopez is the pastor at All Saints Church in Ridgewood, Queens. When Father MIke told me he needed help figuring out crowdfunding, I was so excited that my social media and dumb video editing skills could actually serve a greater purpose!!!

All Saints is an amazing place. They’re a diverse socially progressive church devoted to social justice and serving the poor. In 2017 to expand their community outreach, they were gifted an old ambulance which they renovated to bring hot food to street homeless, homeless families, the elderly, and those with limited mobility. They named this new mobile food service Hungry Monk Rescue Truck.

The Hungry Monk Rescue Truck not only delivers hot homemade meals to those in need, but the truck is also used to rescue donated food from our suppliers. For instance, this past Thanksgiving we were lucky enough to receive 60 free turkeys from Trader Joe’s, which we then distributed to people in our community.

The truck’s already had a lot of expenses and repairs, which All Saints parishioners and pastors have paid for. But there’s a lot more to go!

We’re asking for $7,000 for a decal wrap for the truck, so we can make our name and logo real big! We believe this will improve our outreach in two main ways:

-On a practical level, make ourselves more visible to street homeless.
-Increase our visibility to potential donors, collaborators, and food suppliers by having a solid brand and name recognition.

If we exceed our initial goal, we plan to use the extra funds for the next improvements on our list:

-New oil panel (we’re leaking oil like it’s going out of style!!)
-New set of tires (especially for winter)
-New floor in the back of the truck
-Install Cambro containers in the back of the truck to easily transport hot food, and keep it hot!
-A NEW truck! In order to expand our services to even more NYC communities.

Now more than ever, it’s so important to reach out to those in need in our communities. The number of homeless New Yorkers has skyrocketed 75% from only ten years ago, and the number 1 cause of homelessness among families is lack of affordable housing.

This Thanksgiving when we were giving out food, we were shocked by the increase of “regular families” who came out -- people who in prior years could afford dinner without assistance.

Please consider donating -- even if it's $1! Maybe even consider a donation in a loved one’s name for a Christmas or Hanukkah present :)

Thank you again so much for checking out our page. Please donate if you can and please spread the word on social media! If you can’t donate money, some warm thoughts are also greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Hungry Monk Rescue Truck
Mary Houlihan & Father Mike Lopez
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Beep beep!! We're back! Check out our new vid!

A lot has happened since starting the gofundme a little over a month ago.

We are beyond thrilled to have surpassed our fundraising goal, and excited to see how many different kinds of people believed in the cause and donated their resources -- parishioners, family, friends, acquaintances, comedians, coworkers, even strangers.

Yesterday after mass, I was telling Mike over macaroni salad about how much I love and look up to Mister Rogers, and we talked about a quote of his we both love:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Everyone who donated to the truck, shared the link, and sent us encouraging messages is a helper.

So!! What's new with the Hungry Monk?! Well for one, we were sold a van at a very generous discount, and now have two vehicles!

We went to NY City Wraps here in Ridgewood, and they helped make a new design for the outreach vehicles. They gave the "Mini-Monk" a makeover, and it's now much more visible to the people we serve. It's a nice bright red with big yellow text, and tricked out lights and sound effects too!

The original truck is undergoing some repairs (diesel vehicles don't like the cold -- who knew??), and when those are finished NY City Wraps will make that one look fresh too.

We still have money left from the fundraiser, and will keep the page up indefinitely. Our next immediate expenses are the repairs on the truck and the monthly insurance payments for the two vehicles. Anything extra will be saved in case of emergencies.

The Hungry Monk is more than just food. As we grow, we envision a full-service community and homeless outreach resource -- a mobile social services center. We anticipate partnering with other agencies, and bringing their services directly to the people who need them.

And mark our words: in the near future, we WILL open up a private nonprofit homeless shelter!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK *YOU*! Stay tuned!
January update! Including a NEW van!
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Thank you sooooo SO so much for donating! Thank you also for sharing the link with your friends and writing such nice comments on the gofundme page, we really appreciate it. We are so thankful and touched by the outpouring of support people gave in such a short amount of time. We hit our goal of $7,000 in less than a week, and at the time of this update are now at $9,750! Father Mike is meeting this week with our friends at NY City Wraps ( http://ez2wrap.com/), who will design the new logo and make the truck look super hot & professional!!! We'll update with pics and vids after the makeover :) . ***TO THOSE WHO ASKED HOW TO VOLUNTEER: There is a volunteer opportunity this coming Saturday, 12/23 at All Saints Church in Ridgewood. We'll be serving a community meal for the homeless and the elderly, and volunteers are needed for a 9-11am cooking shift and a 11-1pm serving shift. If you can make it, email hungrymonkrescuetruck@aol.com. ***Also if you're alone in the city on Christmas Eve, you are very warmly invited to a potluck/party at All Saints on 12/24, following a 7:30pm mass. All our welcome -- feel free to bring friends of any denomination for a fun time and good food and YES, wine! Again, thank you, thank you thank you, THANK YOU so very much! We love you, happy holidays, and we hope we see you soon! Love, Mary Houlihan & Mike Lopez
Thanks from Father Mike & Bishop Ken!
Thank you!!!!
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$10,769 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 154 people in 2 months
Created December 6, 2017
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