I am Eduardo Patino.
I first discovered RMM in the May of 2016. As a 35 year resident of Hells Kitchen, it was a tremendous and timely find. I had been searching for an opportunity to volunteer in a way that could fit my working life as a professional photographer who travels a great deal. RMM has turned out to be a blessing for me.
There are many ways to volunteer at RMM. I found a home up on the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project, or HKFP. A place where several regular volunteers lead either individual people who walk up or groups that schedule appointments to volunteer. We are organically growing healthy, fresh food to contribute to RMMs weekly food pantry, where, amongst many volunteers, I’m proud to say my daughter works on Saturday mornings.
This has all been rewarding in unexpected ways. I'm now a member of the advisory board at the HKFP. Although I’m still learning, I think they keep me around for my power tools/carpentry skills, which I have enjoyed getting back into. Along with some volunteer groups, I have updated the wood structures and built several extras. But the real magic is I've learned about growing big, beautiful lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, etc… Real, as in hundreds of pounds of food, in a 3 phase growing season.
The very best of it all? The people. Starting with the leaders and the staff of RMM.
Their support of the volunteers, ranging from school kids to the corporate world adults and the International folks who find us online, is truly ever present.
The volunteers!! It’s great to watch the faces of the school children and adults alike, who are at first reluctant to get into it and then find the absolute joy in connecting with actual dirt. I tell them it’s the cleanest dirty they'll experience. Also wonderful is to witness them tasting a vine ripened cherry tomato, etc., for the very first time.
RMM is a warm and welcoming place that brings tremendous care and support to the Hell’s Kitchen community. I’m incredibly happy to be included.