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Day 7: Dawn of the Final Day

Nidhi and Alan here!

We went to TCC in the morning as usual, though it was bittersweet knowing that it was going to be our last day, and that we would have to say our farewells to the residents there. That being said, the day proceeded as previous ones had, and we spent the morning and afternoon playing cards, dominoes, and pool, in our respective groups. Some of us went to Shabbat service with Mr. Rosenberg, sang some songs, and learned about Hebrew culture.

We had Nick's pizza for lunch! We grabbed a slice of that drippy 'za, if you know what we're saying here now. We were all presented with tokens of appreciation, the TCC gift bag deluxe containing a certificate, a water bottle, some hand sanitizer, and some sweet shades. We had some gifts of our own in kind, and we hope that the Testudo we presented to Tom will hang on the walls of TCC for years to come, symbolizing our ongoing partnership. We also wrote cards for Tom, as well as Father Derby, who was so kind as to let…
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Day 6: Birthdays and Alumni!

Hey peeps! 
Its Nikita and Rania saying hello! Today was a pretty eventful day, but we’ll get into that a bit later.  Per the usual, we all arose at 8:30 am to Tiff jamming to Bohemian Rhapsody (but we weren’t as enthusiastic to the song like we normally are). Then, we all got ready and feasted on Lucky Charms, coffee, apples, peanut butter, and granola bars. We always try to get out by 10 am, but we’re such a big group that its always impossible (we run on college student time!). A few of us got caught playing with Charlie, our resident AB pupper who is the cutest floof of fluff ever! 
Next stop: TCC! Today, we had a fun birthday party scheduled in the afternoon, but the morning was up to us. Most of us headed to the 7th floor, where we played dominoes, Spades, and other card games. To be honest, most of us have become dominoes and Spades champs at this point! We saw of a familiar faces and reunited with people we hadn’t seen since the beginning of the week! 
Then, it was time for l…

Day 5: Crafts and Laughs

Welcome to Blog Day 5! 

After spending five days together on this trip, our group has become closer and more comfortable with each other through vulnerability, community service-learning, and the fostering of new friendships.  We started the day with more extremely nutritious legitimate Lucky Charms, as well as some Multigrain Cheerios, and Raisin Bran. 
When we arrived at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Center, instead of going directly to meet the residents, Tom, the director of Volunteer Services,  explained more about the direction in which the hospital is going in the future as well as certain challenges that the hospital is facing. We learned about how New York City has a surplus of beds in nursing homes and how the competition is negatively impacting economic stability of each nursing home. The lack of funding makes the quality of care go down in each nursing home and there are fewer robust programs that can afford to invest a lot in their residents. 
Afterwards, Tom lead us on a tour o…

Day 4: Winners and Bubbles

Today was our second day volunteering at TCC, and we all had a fantastic day!  We started our morning with a bright and early Taylor Swift wake up from Tiffany.  After eating some more Marshmallow Treasures, we got ready, wearing our matching AB shirts, and headed to TCC.  After arriving, we had a short meeting with Tom where we continued to learn more about the TCC and the residents.  We discussed a number of the complications that some of the HIV/AIDS patients face, including dementia, and how we, as volunteers can best work with residents facing these complications.

For our first activity, we headed to a pool room to play pool and cards with a number of the residents.  Some of us had fun facing a few of the residents in a few rounds of pool while the "Winners" and the "Bubbles" faced off in a heated game of Spades.  We each continued to make stronger connections with clients we had met the previous day and met some of the other clients of TCC as well.  

After …

Day 3: TCC and Me

Today was our first day volunteering at TCC and it was an incredible experience. But of course, We're getting ahead of ourselves.
We woke up bright and early at the crack of dawn (9:00am).  After a healthy breakfast of Wegman's Marshmallow Treasures, we made our way over to the Terence Cardinal Cooke Clinic.  We were greeted by Tom, the Recreation Director, with a bubbly attitude and a brief orientation of the center and the services it provides.

To start, we played various games, of the board and card variety, with the residents.  Each of us had to learn at least one new game today, specifically those playing Pitty Patty.  We made meaningful connections with the residents through these games, as well as the conversations.

We were treated to a wonderful lunch of various sandwiches accompanied by soda and fruit.

After lunch, we returned to the annex to play an intense game of bingo.  At the TCC Center, the residents play for quarters so the stakes were high!  It warmed our …

Day 2: The Big Bagel

Had an amazing day today sightseeing in New York City! We were able to pay tribute at the NYC AIDS memorial as well as the 9/11 memorial! We shopped around the various trinkets of Chelsea Market and had no shortage of delicious bites (from bagels to delicately overflowing cream puffs). We were also able to stand tall and proud at the newly established Fearless Girl statue, managing to cram the entire group into a beautiful photo (beauty of course, is measured by the time we waited for the picture itself). Most importantly, we spent the day getting to know each other through funny jokes and 10 second  naps on our fellow AB comrades' shoulders. To add to the festivities, some of us saw Taylor Swift's house. If you were wondering, she was not there. 
Dinner today was a home style grilled cheese and gently spiced Tomato Soup prepared by Nidhi and Alan, with help from Ben. We ended dinner in a delightful dessert of dark chocolate cream puff cream as well as cookie dough. 
Finally we …

Day 1: We Made it to NYC!

We braved the wintry mix and rain at NYC, lugging all our luggage and sleeping gear to our humble abode for the week at the Church of St. Edward the Martyr. We had a mighty sleepy bus ride up to NYC, with our gleeful participants exhausted just thinking of the week about to come.

We were graciously welcomed by Father Derby at St. Edward's Church, the oldest church on the block in this Harlem community. Established in 1883, the church partners with the next-door New York Common Pantry, which distributes 3 million meals per year, from sandwiches to hot meals for the families in this neighborhood. Conveniently, St. Edward's is located just 3 blocks from our community partner at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center! We are thankful for Father William and the Church's generosity in providing lodging for us over this week. Group photo credits go to Father Derby, who was slightly overwhelmed by the high-tech phone camera options: "Oh my goodness I was trying to press…