On Monday mornings, starting around 8:30am, seniors, families and other local residents of the Bayview/Hunter’s Point community line up at the corner of Jerrold and Third. Rain or shine, they are waiting for the Bayview Mission to open its doors at 10:30am.
Reverend Nina Pickerrell of Grace Cathedral started the mission about six years ago, out of her family home on Jerrold Avenue. Lisa and I came to observe and help the volunteers on this particular Monday morning. Almost 30 volunteers were on hand to distribute food, clothing and hygiene products to the people waiting patiently on the sidewalk. Special goodie bags filled with crayons, snacks and small toys are standing by to give to the children who wait with their parents. The volunteers want the children to feel like they have something special, something just for themselves.
This week, Reverend Nina is very happy as they have eggs to give to the families. Fresh eggs have been the most requested food items and a volunteer is cutting the cardboard egg cartons into thirds with a small knife. They can’t afford to give a dozen eggs to each family, but even four eggs will be greatly appreciated. Cardboard bins of fresh oranges, yams and carrots as well as canned fruits and packaged fresh tomato sauce are available this week.
As the gates and doors opened to the Mission, it started to rain. Babies in strollers draped with blankets and covered with plastic or umbrellas waited in the chill air, but there was no crying. Some babies slept, one little boy blew us kisses. People smiled when we asked if we could take pictures of their babies to share with you.
Reverend Nina’s daughter Christine handed out the well-stocked Huggies gift baskets to the mothers, and thankfully there were enough to go around for everyone, with a few baskets to spare for next week.