I love volunteering. It not only helps others, I think it helps me even more.
Jonathan was born and has lived his 24 years in Queens, NY. He attended LaGuardia Community College studying Business Administration and happened to be on jury duty the day of the Boston Marathon bombing. That event touched Jonathan deeply, and he decided to do something about it. A community volunteer was born, and Jonathan has been working more than full time on various volunteer projects since. Jonathan's parents own an accounting firm in New York, and he does bookkeeping work for the family business. His mother, Linda, will join him on the cruise.
Jonathan's interests are as varied as his volunteer activities. Shortly after the Boston Marathon, Jonathan discovered Food Bank NYC, and he started volunteering. In his first project, he worked at Emergency Disaster Relief Mobile School Pantries in Coney Island where they collected and distributed food for lower income schools in the area. At the Food Bank he typically sorts and bags food products for clients who come to the site personally, and he helps them get what they need. When not working directly with clients, he weighs food, puts it in boxes, shelves food, and checks expiration dates.
Jonathan has also worked more than thirty marathons in and around New York City. Some days he registers the runners, on others he may staff the water stations, and on others yet he served as a route marshal. Upon occasion he works two marathons on a single day helping set up at one race and then helping break down at the other.
In addition to his work with Food Bank NYC and local marathons, Jonathan is also active with City Harvest in New York. This is a food program called Greenmarket Rescue where he helps collect leftover product from farm market vendors who have not been able to sell all their goods on any particular day. Jonathan bags and loads the food onto trucks, which then deliver the products to food pantries, churches, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters throughout the city. Says Jonathan: "After the Boston Marathon bombing, I just immersed myself in this work. I don't volunteer with just one organization because I like doing different events. But the need is vast, and it's a great joy to know that in my small way, I am helping to make a difference."