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Bronxville Resident Despina Kartson Publishes Memoir about Feeding the Homeless PDF Print Email

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By Despina C. Kartson


Apr. 11, 2018:  For a decade, hundreds of volunteers in New York have set up an outdoor dining room next to Madison Square Garden to feed the homeless one night a month. Last Night's Soup Run is the story of this effort by a group of citizens to help the walking wounded on our streets.

Bound together by their faith and their determination not to look the other way, these women and men from Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle have fed more than 10,000 people, handed out thousands of clothing items, including hundreds of hand-knitted scarves and hats, and in the process, learned the uncomfortable truth that the homeless are more like the rest of us than we care to admit. "We show respect and compassion to our guests on the street and offer them a bit of sustenance for their bodies and non-judgmental conversations to nourish their hearts," said author Despina Kartson.

Last Night's Soup Run is told through a series of emails and diary entries from the volunteers. Together they capture a powerful story of lives led on the street and the stories of the homeless and hungry in a way that engages the reader to recognize the humanity of the often-overlooked homeless.

The book tells the story of a homeless Culinary Institute-trained former sous-chef who does magic tricks in New York's Central Park to barely get by. It tells the story of an Iraqi war veteran, traumatized by the tragic death of his wife and children in a house fire, and his struggles to maintain his sanity--on the streets. It shows how a victim of abuse and domestic violence loses her home and whose only option is to live in a shelter.

"The homeless have taught me that they are no different than you or me and that they deserve to be treated with compassion and respect. It is my wish that all who read Last Night's Soup Run will find it in their hearts to serve the hungry in whatever way they are most comfortable," Kartson said.

All profits are donated to Philoxenia, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to provide funding and support for organizations that feed the hungry and care for the homeless. 

Editor's note:  Despina Kartson has been a Bronxville resident for over twenty years. She is the co-leader of the monthly soup run at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle and is the global director of business development and communications for Jones Day.

Pictured here: Book cover for Last Night's Soup Run.

Photo courtesy the author

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases, statements, and articles from local institutions, officeholders, candidates, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 

Current Exhibition at OSilas Gallery Showcases Collaborative Work of Concordia and Local High School Students

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By Elizabeth Vranka, Executive Director, OSilas Gallery at Concordia College Dec. 5, 2018:  The sixth annual pARTners Exhibition, an art installation created by local high school students in collaboration with Concordia...

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Books & the Arts Directory

Art Restoration and Framing

Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville

The Fine Arts Gallery is a beautiful gallery in the heart of our village. It sells original art and specializes in local artists from Bronxville past and present. It provides high end custom framing, art consulting, restoration and appraisals. Appointments are available upon request. It also sells the Historical Conservancy Journals which include a history of the village as well as the artists who have lived here and are presenting living here ($20/copy).

The gallery is open Monday - Saturday 8:30 am - 5pm (Closed Sunday)

99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-779-5053


Objects & Images Fine Arts

44 Pondfield Road, Suite 12
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-779-7979
info@objects-images.com
http://www.objects-images.com/home.php


The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College

171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, NY 10708
https://osilasgallery.org/

Books & Culture

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
914-337-7680
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)
http://bronxvillelibrary.org/


Womrath Bookshop

Womrath Bookshop is a located in the heart of Bronxville village. In addition to selling books, the store also sell children's toys and holds readings both at the store and elsewhere in the community, such as at the Library.

76 Pondfield Road, Bronxville

(914) 337-0199

http://womrath.com/

Music & Performing Arts Schools

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Ballet Arts-The Performing Arts Center of Southern Westchester

Established in 1977, Ballet Arts-The Performing Arts Center of Southern Westchester offers a complete program of Performing Arts education for all ages. 28 teachers conduct over 60 classes per week including Ballet with piano accompaniment, Jazz, Ballroom, Tap, Irish Step, Lyrical Dance and Hip-Hop. New this spring is Creative Movement and Story Time Dance for 2 and 3 year old boys and girls. Fitness classes include Zumba, Pilates & personal training. Classes are available for students ages 2 to Adult in every skill level. Private Dance, Voice & Instrument Lessons at our studio or in your home are available by appointment. Seasonal and Summer Performing Arts Camps.

Themed Birthday Parties-Children and parents enjoy play dance and music with our staff-you have fun and we'll clean up.

Centre Stage is our on site Dance, Gymnastics, Ice Skating and Fitness Apparel and Accessories Boutique. Specialty Dance footwear, Unique Costumes, Gifts and Collectables.
Sheran Daniele, Founder & Artistic Director.
504 Fifth Avenue, Pelham
914 738 8300
www.ballet-arts.net
info@ballet-arts.net


Concordia Conservatory

Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.

Executive Director: Kathleen Suss

Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

Concordia College-New York

Phone: 914-395-4507

Kathleen.Suss@concordia-ny.edu

www.concordiaconservatory.org


Crestwood Music Education Center

Crestwood Music Education Center, founded in 1987, has established itself as one of the most reputable and premier music schools in Westchester County with well over 800 students studying piano, guitar voice, Suzuki and much more. Their philosophy is to create a very positive, stimulating environment that gives each student the chance for creative self-expression. They believe in the importance of having a world-class faculty with extensive education as well as the teaching and performing experience that can only found in America's finest music schools.

453 White Plains Road
Eastchester, New York 10709
914-961-3497
info@ginescanomusic.com
www.ginescanomusic.com

 

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