Chatham Cross-Country Goes the Extra Mile for Homeless

Chatham Cross Country's Boys and Girls team and Stanley youth make 300 brown bag lunches for Bridges Outreach. Credits: Lucy Malatesta
  Cross Country and Stanley youth with Pastor Jocelyn Emerson Credits: Lucy Malatesta
Pastor Jocelyn Emerson with CHS students Yuwen and Yulan Zhang, Kevin Gesell and Cheren Alvarado set up to serve soup and hot chocolate. Credits: Lucy Malatesta
Both team coaches show their support for the team outreach event by donating food and drinks. Coach Barry came to help make the lunches. Credits: Lucy Malatesta

CHATHAM, NJ - The 7th annual Chatham Cross-Country Bridges Outreach event was held Thursday and Friday.

Bridges Outreach, based in Summit, has a 25-year history of homeless outreach, serving people in New York City, Newark and Irvington.

Cross Country families collaborated with Chatham's Stanley Church to donate enough food to make 300 brown bag lunches. The bags were decorated by first and second graders from Caitlin Cuffe and Andie Elwell's classes at Washington Avenue school in Chatham.

Sign Up for E-News

Athletes from both the boys and girls teams joined by coach Patrick Barry and church members gathered at Stanley Thursday night to make the lunches at lightning speed. It took under an hour to make and pack up all three hundred lunches.

On Friday evening a smaller group: Yulan and Yuwen Zhang, Kevin Gesell, Bo Radaam, Liam Cadden, Kathleen Mahon from the team, with Pastor Jocelyn Emerson, Cheren Alvarado, Emily Bazewicz, Laura McCormick, Sharon Dougherty and Lucy Malatesta from Stanley, packed the lunches in the iconic yellow Bridges truck and headed into Manhattan.

There were two stops on the Lower West Side, near the heliport and close to the Staten Island Ferry terminal. The first stop was mostly populated by homeless men of many ethnicities, Asian, Hispanic, Eastern Eurpoean and African American. They waited patiently while volunteers handed out soup and hot chocolate, chatting up everyone on line. As the men filtered through the line, they were given the brown bag lunches and a pair of donated men's pants, hopefully in the right size.

The second stop had more women and children. The routine was the same, soup, hot chocolate and lining up for lunches and clothes, but there was a little more time for conversation. "Regulars" John and King told us stories of their lives and seem to  have a real camraderie. Volunteers Kevin and Laura used their Chatham High School Spanish to determine that one gentleman needed "zapatos" size "ocho." (size 8 shoes).

Bridges will try to get them on the truck next time. Bridges driver Keith told us that the beautiful little girls we met, Princess and Kimberly Ann are really and truly homeless and are currently living "in shelter."

Going on a Bridges run is always an eye and heart opening expereince. The teenaged volunteers did an excellent job providing sustenance, but perhaps, more importantly, offering kindness and respect to a population that is often overlooked. Chatham Cross Country ends their season with this wonderful event every year.

Visit if you want your team, school, house of worship, or business to get involved.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, February 19 – Sunday, February 25, 2018


By Galina Natenzon

Friends of the Library are continuing their book collection in preparation for Annual Book Sale.  Kids are off from school on Monday for Presidents’ Day – bring them to the library!  We have plenty for them to do.  For adults, Professor Licklider’s second lecture on North Korea will take place on Tuesday.  The ...

A Week at the Library of The Chathams - Monday, February 5 – Sunday, Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Week at the Library of The Chathams

Monday, February 5 – Sunday, Sunday, February 11, 2018


By Galina Natenzon

Friends of the Library book collection continues.  The tax season is here, and dedicated volunteers are here to help you with you tax returns!

For information about all programs or to sign up, please call the library at 973‑635‑0603 or go to ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


February 20, 2018

To the Editor,

I told my daughter I needed to write about gun violence. Know what she told me? “Mom, be sure you’re not too polarizing. People won’t listen.” She’s right. At age eleven she’s figured out that we adults need to be reminded how to speak to one another in order to fix a problem. But I have hope and belief that we can fix that discourse in our ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!


Mindfulness and Meditation Courses Beginning March 2018

February 20, 2018

Mindfulness and Meditation Courses Beginning March 2018

-Space is limited as classes will be small-

MADISON, NJ – In celebration of the new spring season, come experience and enjoy Mindfulness and Meditation with Wendi L. Dumbroff, MA, LPC. Dumbroff is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Madison, New Jersey, where she specializes in individual, family, ...