Making New Friends While Volunteering by Guest Blogger Alana Tendler

When I walked into Met Council’s Senior Lunch Program and saw a fellow volunteer who looked about my age I was very excited! Although NYC is filled with so many people, it is not easy to find friends with similar interests. Once Emily and I started sharing our backgrounds, we realized we had way more in common than either of us ever expected. Both of us are Jewish girls from New Jersey who have twin siblings. As if that wasn’t enough, we both graduated from Syracuse University in 2009! Being active in our sororities and Hillel was something we were both committed to. Considering how many interests and shared experiences there are between Emily and I, it was so surprising that we had never met before! 

These commonalities were interesting but not as exciting as the other aspects of life that Emily and I share. In New York City we both volunteer through Met Council and are members of the same women’s group run by Gabrielle Bernstein. Emily works for Jewish Education Project – I observe a The Jewish People-hood Task Force at UJA. It still seems crazy that we had never met before participating in the Met Council Senior Lunch Program! One reason I love being part of different volunteer programs and nonprofit organizations is because I have the opportunity to meet people who I feel a connection with.

Since the Sunday morning introduction at Met Council’s Senior Lunch Program, Emily and I have become great friends. She was a huge help collecting donations for an Items Drive I organized and executed for Met Council’s Crisis Interventionand Family Violence program. Taking on the responsibility of being co-Volunteer Leaders at the Senior Lunch Program is something we are both passionate about. Engaging in conversation with the seniors is really fun and definitely more effective when we work together. Above all, I am thrilled to have a new friend in this hectic city! Our friendship has grown from volunteering together to a broad spectrum of shared experiences. We have brought our different groups of friends together and enjoy exploring Manhattan as an extended group of like-minded women. Thank you, Met Council, for bringing us together!


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