On June 18, a scrappy group of Lawliners volunteered for the annual Breaking Ground BBQ at the Lee building on the Lower East Side, demonstrating our core values of CARE, ACT, and especially PLAY!
Breaking Ground (formerly Common Ground) is a non-profit in NYC that offers supportive housing for people who are formerly homeless, as well as to low-income working professionals. They run over a dozen buildings in NYC, including the Lee building on Pitt Street, which is where we had the opportunity to pitch in!
One of the ways Breaking Ground offers community support is by hosting building-wide events in common areas for all the tenants to hang out and enjoy food, company, and raffles. We arrived at 4 p.m. and got the scoop on what we would be doing. Michelle welcomed us warmly, and she and Melissa, one of the supervisors at the Lee, talked about the mission of Breaking Ground, the different buildings and projects, and answered our questions about important issues like “can the tenants have pets?” (Answer: Kind of!)
At this point, caterers were arriving, drinks were being mixed, and it was time to get to work! Shaun and Ann registered tenants at the table and made sure everyone got their raffle tickets, Meredith and Micah served delicious strawberry lemonade, iced tea, and fruit punch, and myself, Sigalle, and James jumped into the kitchen to help the awesome folks from the catering company, led by the indomitable Bennie from Rowson Sideline Catering.
The music was pumping and we were in the groove serving BBQ food (so much I can’t list it all here, but the mac and cheese deserves a special shout out). Once the first wave of tenants had gotten food, we mingled a little bit, and then it was time for dessert: watermelon, cookies, and the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had.
After cleaning up a bit we chatted some more with Michelle and Melissa, and got a special breakdance performance from one of the tenants. All in all, we walked out of there more energized than when we walked in – and looking forward to volunteering next year!