Midnight Run

Discuss your involvement in and contributions to a community near your home, school or elsewhere. Please select an experience different from the one you discussed in the previous question, even if this experience also involved leadership. What did you accomplish? How did this experience influence your goals?

“Hello, can I have a medium long-sleeved shirt? I don’t mind the color.”

These words were the same I’d been hearing all night. I was in charge of distributing t-shirts to those that came to my side of the van, and all night I’d had trouble keeping track of who wanted what size and which color, long or short sleeved. But, despite the chaos, I recognized this lady’s unmistakable Nigerian accent. I surprised her by replying in Igbo, asking her name. Nneoma replied in Igbo, and talked to me as I found a shirt for her. I learned that Nneoma’s mother and father had died shortly after arriving in America and that, since then, she’d struggled to support herself and her three younger brothers. That night, though we were strangers standing on 53rd street inhaling the cold night air, we connected through Midnight Run.

Midnight Run is a non-profit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between the housed and the homeless of New York City. Every night, Midnight Run volunteers stock vans full of food, clothing, blankets, and toiletries to meet the homeless halfway, interacting with them on equal footing at designated stops around the city. My introduction to homelessness in New York was Grand Central Winter, a memoir by Lee Stringer. The...

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