Micah Raskin is a professional poker player listed as one of the top players in the country. In 2013 according to the GPI Poker Index he was ranked 9th in the world. Micah has amassed over 2 million in earnings to date. In his spare time, he likes to volunteer with local communities to empower and spread community, such as partnering with a local soup kitchen to prepare and serve hot meals to those in need in his neighborhood.
Each year, millions of Americans face hunger and poverty on the streets of major cities like New York. Nonprofit volunteers like Micah Raskin get involved to help combat the crisis in places like food pantries, and Soup kitchens where they can cook and handout food and resources to the homeless or needy.
“It’s shocking to see how many people come into soup kitchens looking for a meal every day,” says Micah Raskin. “It breaks your heart to see so many people starving, but we can make a real difference in the lives of the needy right in our own cities by getting involved with the local food pantries, soup kitchens and other nonprofits.”
At a local soup kitchen in Nassau County NY, Micah Raskin helps prepare and dish out more than 400 meals each day to homeless or low-income individuals. It’s a battle he’s realized that can’t be won on his own, but which requires the help of dozens of people in his neighborhood.
“It’s not like a restaurant that runs on a monetary system that allows managers to hire on new people and improve their menu offerings,” says Micah Raskin. “Here, the food is either donated or purchased by Donors and volunteers who also keep up the kitchens and prepare meals in large quantities each and every day.”
Soup kitchens are able to provide nutrition to those in need at no cost, and they also serve as an entry point to a better life to struggling individuals. In these centers, those in need encounter not only kitchen volunteers, but also professionals who are able to point them in the right direction to a brighter future. Many soup kitchens are also built near community resource centers that can help those struggling get back on their feet.
In his experience, Raskin has noticed a steep increase in volunteers around the holidays. Facilities like the one he partners with offer warmth and shelter against winter weather in addition to hot food, showers, and clothing. He says the holidays often remind us of our blessings and those who are in need. However, he encourages volunteers to keep participating long after the holidays are over, as they are needed each day, year-round.
“If you have free time in your schedule, it’s a good idea to check in with organizations like local soup kitchens to see where you can help as they’re always in need of new volunteers,” says Micah Raskin. “It’s rewarding on so many levels and can actually have a tremendously positive effect on your own life in addition to the lives of the needy.”