https://www.glwd.org/blog/volunteer-vinnie-arce-a-full-circle-moment/

12.21.22
/ Volunteer

Volunteer Vinnie Arce: A Full Circle Moment

“While we were trying to find our footing and figure out how to navigate these new set of challenges including where our next meal would come from, God’s Love We Deliver stepped in and made sure that would be the least of our worries. The deliveries helped keep us afloat. We owe a lot to them.”

Vinnie Arce moved with his dad and brother to NYC in 2011, to join his mother, Vicky, who had moved from the Philippines in 2007. At age 12, Vinnie was overjoyed to join his mom and have his family all together again, but the joy turned to hardship quickly. Just a month after her family moved in, Vinnie’s mother was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. One month later, she had a radical mastectomy.

Vinnie, his dad, and his brother all worked together to care for her during her healing. His mother made friends in a support group who recommended God’s Love. She started receiving meals and because God’s Love provides meals for dependents of our clients’ children, Vinnie and his brother received meals, too. Immediately, the family felt relief from worry.

But the health challenges continued in Vinnie’s household. Six months after Vicky’s diagnosis, Vinnie’s father had a triple heart bypass surgery. Vinnie remembers that time as one of tumult, fear, and challenge. He was just 12 years old, had just moved to a new country and started a new school, was starting adolescence, and both of his parents could not work.

Vinnie tells us, “While we were trying to find our footing and figure out how to navigate these new set of challenges including where our next meal would come from, God’s Love We Deliver stepped in and made sure that would be the least of our worries. The deliveries helped keep us afloat. We owe a lot to them.”

Vinnie with his family

Vicky stayed on our program for 1.5 years while she recovered from her mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy. “I remember one Christmas we received a bigger bag than usual. In it were presents for both my brother and I – it was something we’ve always remembered and looked back to with much fondness.”

Today, Vinnie chooses to volunteer at God’s Love We Deliver. He’s signed up for multiple shifts during the last few weeks of December, and tells us,

“I found that it was the generosity God’s Love puts in preparing the food to be the most touching. It showed me that it’s not just the food itself that provides nourishment, but the expression of love and care that goes into putting these meals together. Everything just feels so personal, and I am beyond happy to finally have the opportunity to give back and be more involved in their mission.”

This past September, eleven years after Vinnie’s mom received her original diagnosis, Vicky officially became cancer-free. To mark the occasion, Vinnie held a celebration and made it a fundraiser for God’s Love, even matching the donations his friends and family made. Vinnie looks forward to his volunteer shifts and his parents are “super excited” that he is involved.

We’re so honored to have Vinnie come “full circle” to God’s Love and look forward to working with him for years to come!

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12.21.22 / Volunteer

Volunteer Vinnie Arce: A Full Circle Moment

“While we were trying to find our footing and figure out how to navigate these new set of challenges including where our next meal would come from, God’s Love We Deliver stepped in and made sure that would be the least of our…