SURFOR’s CPOs Feed the Homeless in San Diego
BY: MC2(SW/AW) Elena Velazquez
SAN DIEGO – Naval Surface Forces Chief Petty Officers Association spent time in their community volunteering at San Diego’s St. Vincent De Paul Village Oct. 21.
Eight SURFOR chiefs, with the help and guidance of the shelter’s staff, spent more than two hours serving lunch to more than 1,000 people in need of a warm meal. The chiefs served a Mexican type lunch with beef tacos, rice, beans, and a salad.
“This is a good way to give back to our community and we get a good sense of pride for helping those out that are less fortunate than us,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Yeoman(SW/AW) Eric Jones, CPOA member. “Participating in events like this one really brings the chief’s mess together and shows our command that we can come together and help out our community.”
Staff members from the Village come everyday to the shelter, preparing meals for the one thousand plus people who come for lunch. They always appreciate and welcome organizations, such as SURFOR’s chief mess, who take time and offer a helping hand to help serve meals to homeless individuals and the working poor of San Diego.
“I like it when the volunteers come, especially this group,” says Maria Graves, an employee at the Village. “They are so helpful and come in ready to work with a smile on their face every time. You can tell these chiefs really enjoy helping their community”
During the meal, the CPOs worked steadily during the service of the meals. A few chiefs were in the front of the cafeteria serving juice and water to each person. Other chiefs were in the serving line, dishing each plate for every person that came through the line.
“We usually do this once a month, so when we get here we jump right in and begin plating the food as fast as we can so that everyone has a chance to get a meal,” said Chief Petty Officer Master-at-Arms(SW) James May, coordinator of the volunteer event at the Village.
St. Vincent De Paul Village is a facility with the aim of providing those in need with services such as a career and education center, food services, health services, mental health services, and even short/long term housing. This charity organization assists more that 2,200 people a day and houses nearly 180 children.