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Carlos Vargas has seen both sides to this land of opportunity. He has lovingly embraced both.
Vargas immigrated to the United States from Yauco, Purto Rico more than 20 years ago looking for a better life, according to a report from the New York Daily Post. He found work in construction and gladly works long hours day in and day out. He’s also a New York State chaplain.
But he also found countless others who–whether its because lack of a steady paycheck or other troubles–were living on the streets. He told the Daily News that the first time he saw the homeless in New York, he cried. The contrast between opportunity and desperation was just too much.
“I got impacted,” he said. “It stayed in my heart.”
Now the city’s homeless population is around 64,000–the highest since the Great Depression, according to a report from Fox News Latino.
So, Vargas decided to not sit idle. After he puts in a hard day’s work on the jobsite, each Monday he and a crew of seven volunteers load up a beat up van around 8 p.m. and drive until dawn, feeding those in need. Each Monday they feed about 150 people.
“By the glory of God we go out and we will continue to do so,” Vargas told Fox News Latino. “Nothing stops us–rain, snow. We will continue because they are waiting for us.”
The mobile food pantry was originally the idea of Vargas’ pastor, Manuel Martinez of Cristo En Las Antillas church. Vargas volunteered quickly when Martinez floated the idea and the endeavor is funded completely out of the van crew’s pockets. They gather food from various friends and other sources and they each chip in on the $60 in gas it takes to fuel the van each week.
Those who would like to aid Vargas in his mission to feed the homeless may email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.