Keyton Sheely (second from left) is a Heart & Sole Campaign Associate at Project Bread. At the end of February, she had the opportunity to attend one of our volunteer days, helping serve dinner at the New England Center and Home for Veterans in Boston. Below, she explains the impactful experience she had volunteering at NECHV.
On Tuesday, February 28, I helped serve dinner at the New England Center and Home for Veterans (NECHV). It was an experience I’ll never forget.
The center is currently undergoing a huge renovation, but that hasn’t stopped NECHV from serving between 380-400 meals to Veterans each day!
As a fairly new member of the Project Bread team, it was a truly invaluable experience to not only see firsthand one of the more than 300 organizations supported through the Walk for Hunger, but also to be on the front lines serving food, joking with the remarkable staff members, and chatting with guests.
When we arrived, we were greeted warmly by the staff at NECHV, who took their time explaining how dinner service worked and what exactly we’d be doing. We made our way downstairs to the serving area, and I was immediately hit with the rich smell of chicken and vegetable stew. The menu for the night included stew, wild rice, mixed vegetables, and bread and butter.
Throughout the evening, I had the pleasure of meeting so many kind, genuine, and appreciative guests. There wasn’t a lot of time to have full conversations with those we were serving, but they definitely made time to crack jokes with us volunteers. Even the staff members joined in and joked around, as if everyone was old friends. The room was filled with an overwhelming sense of compassion, generosity, and community.
I can’t express how wonderful of an experience it was to volunteer my time. It showed me just how crucial these organizations are to the people they serve, and just how vital the NECHV is to veterans who are struggling and who deserve a healthy meal served with respect and dignity. Unfortunately, a large number of veterans are out of work or homeless, unsure when their next meal is coming. At Project Bread, we believe strongly in breaking the cycle of hunger. That’s why we fund anti-hunger programs like NECHV’s meal service that work tirelessly to continue serving healthy food to those in need all across the Commonwealth.