On December 19, 2017, the Chaffin Luhana Foundation hosted a sandwich-making event for the homeless at our New York office to give back to the local community.
Why sandwiches? Because homeless shelters need them. They’re easy and convenient, and basic enough that most people enjoy them. Shelters can give them out to residents for their lunches, and in New York, our shelters are in dire need of help. According to the New York Daily News, in 2015, the city’s homeless population reached 60,000.
Homeless Population in New York is Rising
Part of the problem is the city’s housing crisis, which has sent a growing number of families to shelters. The Bowery Mission, which has served homeless and hungry New Yorkers since 1879, notes that during the course of each year, more than 116,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 42,000 children, sleep in the shelter system. That stretches these shelters to the max, and they need help.
New York’s shelter population is 10 times the size of other big cities’, and has been growing rapidly over the past several years. With rent costs skyrocketing, more and more families are unable to leave the shelters, and end up staying much longer than they used to.
In March 2016, the New York Daily News reported that the number of families with children in city shelters had been rising for months. Yet the shelter system was already strained, with some shelters so overcrowded the city had to resort to using hotels to accommodate people.
Chaffin Luhana Gets Together to Feed the Hungry
The situation makes it clear that the homeless need our help, and the Chaffin Luhana team has been pitching in where we can. Over Thanksgiving, the Chaffin Luhana Foundation gave away over 600 free turkeys with trimmings from our Pittsburgh offices to the Greater Pittsburgh area. With the Christmas season approaching, we wanted to give back to the community at our New York office too, so we chose to partner with “One Sandwich at a Time.”
This non-profit organization helps feed hungry New Yorkers every day. Founder Erin Dinan tells the story that inspired her to start this project: She was hurrying to her train one day when she stopped for a sandwich. As she headed for the platform, a homeless man asked her for money. She gave him half her sandwich instead, and she was touched by his gratitude. She realized that something so simple –a sandwich– that most of us take for granted could be something wonderful to a homeless individual.
Erin started making more sandwiches that day, and soon she and a friend created One Sandwich at a Time, which has now helped feed over 100,000 hungry New Yorkers.
Doing Good by Doing Right. Every Day. In Everything We Do.
On December 19, 2017, Chaffin Luhana team members contributed to the organization’s efforts by coming together in our NY offices to make 250 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The sandwiches were donated by One Sandwich at a Time to a New York food shelter. Like our turkey giveaway, the experience was fun and gratifying, and helped us all feel that we were giving back to the community during the holiday season.
“It felt so great to make some simple sandwiches, knowing they would be given to needy individuals and families within a few hours” said team member and Office Manager, Stephanie Murdough. “It didn’t take a lot of our time or effort, but it was rewarding realizing that these sandwiches were going to those who really needed them. I’m thrilled to be a part of a law firm that chooses to ‘do good by doing right’ by giving back to the community.”
If you’d like to host your own sandwich-making event or contribute to One Sandwich at a time, please see their website.