Yesterday’s article, Making Other People Will Make You Happy, discussed how you can find your own happiness by making others happy.
You can call this being in service to others. When you are in service to others and genuinely care about helping others, especially those in need, you feel a deep sense of love and happiness – all because of your selfless act.
Today I want to tell you about one such man, who truly is an inspiration to us all. His name is Jorge Munoz and he lives in Queens, NY.
Jorge is a 46 year old school bus driver who makes $700 a week in salary, and spends half that amount every week cooking, packing and giving free, hot meals to hungry people every day under a subway stop. Having done it for a few years now, he estimates that he has given away some 70,000 meals in total.
Munoz says he found his passion and path in service after choosing to stop turning his cheek to a growing problem – hunger and homelessness – so prevalent in his neighborhood, and so many other communities across America.
Munoz says the idea came to him one day, when waiting to pick up his students at a routine school bus stop. “I saw people throwing away food at a food factory,” he says adamantly, “I thought, why are they throwing that away? I can give those to the hungry people I see on the street everyday.”
He asked if he could pick up the perfectly fresh food and take it to the hungry strangers he’s seen everyday. Strangers whose faces became so familiar.
Munoz says, the inspiration came from, “God and my Mom. Since I was little, my mom teach me to share, and that’s what we’re doing here.” Although Munoz isn’t getting paid for this second job (remember, he actually has to use own money to do this), he is happy to be in service.
Just by the tone in his voice, you can feel his passion for compassion. His eagerness to serve brings him joy. He says he’s happy to have a paying job, so he can continue doing this. “You have to see their smiles, on their faces. When they smile, I always say that’s how I get paid.”
Every night for the past four years, Munoz comes home from work, takes a quick coffee break, then heads out to diligently collect food donations from the community and then shop for more groceries. He heads home to meet a team, consisting of his mother, sister, 5-year-old nephew and a friend.
Together, they multiply whatever they’re having for dinner into 120 to 140 home cooked meals, carefully packed with love and care in his tiny kitchen, in his shoe-box size flat. His living room looks more like a pantry, filled with fresh food, parceled out, and ready to be cooked. There are even bags of clothes and blankets, cleaned and ready to be given out.
His stove isn’t fully operating anymore because it’s been overused to cook food in bulk. Because the stove is broken, he carries huge restaurant sized vats of food up to his sister’s apartment to cook– just so he can make his daily deadline. “They depend on me,” says Munoz. Even with an injured back, he never once complains about the love and labor he puts into his daily routine of service.
When Munoz first doing this 4 years ago, he says there were only 8 people. Then there were 24, and today, the crowd has grown to nearly 150 people because of the down economy.
When Munoz’s truck pulls up, the melancholy, stoic, troubled looks on the faces brighten and then break out into smiles.
“The smiles on their faces, when see they got something to eat….aaaaah, We’re feeding more than a hundred people,” Munoz says passionately. “If you change the life of one guy, that’s enough.”
If you watch the above video, you’ll learn more about Jorge Munoz, the man who is one of the happiest people in New York City. You can also learn more about his work by going to www.AnAngelinQueens.org
So if you want to find true happiness, consider this: what am I doing to help others be happy, and what am I doing to be in service to others?
One last note: I first read about Jorge Munoz in an article by Toan Lam, who has a website called www.goinspirego.com, which is dedicated to helping to inspire people to help others.