National Sandwich Day Drive
In November of 2017, One Heart traveled to New York City to join One Sandwich at a Time to make 5,000 sandwiches for the homeless and needy community for National Sandwich Day. It was a rewarding effort that helped us see a strong nonprofit in action, and we were able to bring back what we learned to apply it here in Orlando.
More info about this awesome charity:
Erin Dinan, a photographer and humanitarian, wanted to make a change but wasn’t sure what she, one person, could do. She had traveled across the globe, meeting and photographing some of the most in-need areas of the world, and was distressed to see similar levels of poverty on the streets around her home in New York – one of the wealthiest cities in one of the world’s wealthiest countries.
As she walked to work, she noticed people sleeping, dressing or washing themselves on the street – activities we enjoy in private, but which these individuals were forced to undertake in public due to their circumstances. They looked exhausted, hopeless and hungry. Erin wanted to raise awareness for these individuals and began a blog of the stories that she heard. Her vision was to erase the stereotypes that are attached to homelessness.
One day while rushing to make a train at Grand Central Station, she quickly stopped to buy a sandwich because she had not eaten since breakfast. As she headed to the platform, a homeless man approached her asking for money to buy food. Without thinking, she handed him half of her meal. Shocked and grateful, he accepted it. Later, as she sat next to her fellow commuters, she could not get the interaction off her mind. If she had been so hungry after only a few hours that she would risk missing her train to get a sandwich – how hungry must he have been? When would his next meal be? She realized that, maybe, it’s as simple as that – helping someone get to their next meal. That was something that she, with just her two hands, could do.
Inspired by this epiphany, she began making sandwiches and handing them to those in need that she met along her way. After a discussion with her friend and co-founder George Kontogiannis, One Sandwich at a Time was born.
Since then, they have organized this simple idea into a successful, grassroots non-profit that has fed over 100,000 hungry New Yorkers. Together with volunteers and their board, One Sandwich at a Time constructs peanut butter & jelly and ham & cheese sandwiches, bagging them up and delivering them to the areas in which they are most needed – including food pantries, homeless shelters and food distribution centers serving victims of natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy. Their efforts, and those of the hundreds of volunteers who give of their time, has provided One Sandwich at a Time with recognition from the United Nations, and cash awards from Godiva among others.