Patrick Mulvey, Volunteer at New York Common Pantry

Pat has worked in various HR leadership roles for four decades working for great companies like Sheraton Hotels, Time Warner, Grey Advertising, and Scholastic. His extensive knowledge and hands-on experience in managing HR functions have contributed significantly to the success of these organizations. In the past decade, Pat has become a consultant, making valuable contributions at prestigious companies like the NBA, Amazon, The Octave Group, and Saatva, where he currently serves as the Director of Talent Acquisition. 

Pat is a proud alumnus of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, where he completed his undergraduate studies. Additionally, he holds an MS in Industrial and Labor Relations from the Cornell/Baruch MSILR program.

As a first-generation American and lifelong New Yorker, Pat possesses a deep appreciation for his immigrant roots and the multicultural fabric of NYC. Pat can be found actively participating in sports such as basketball, frisbee, and tennis. He also cherishes attending live music and performing arts events. He is an avid reader and writes and paints with mixed results.

Q: How did you first hear about New York Common Pantry?
A: My wife came upon it 17 years ago when we lived on the UES, before we moved to Harlem.  My wife wanted to volunteer during the Thanksgiving holiday.  When we reached out NYCP told us they did not need volunteers for Thanksgiving since they had plenty, but we were told to reach out after the holidays. We started volunteering the following January.  My wife started coming every Thursday and I would join her when I was consulting and had great control over my schedule. At some point I indicated that I would be fine dressing as Santa and started doing it regularly for the past few years. The Latin clients are lovely and immediately noticed that most of Santa’s belly was pillow-enhanced and christened me “Flacco Santa” (skinny Santa).

Q: What do you enjoy most/what is your favorite thing about volunteering at NYCP?
A: I love helping the clients and interacting with the other volunteers. The clients are appreciative of our work and the volunteers, well they are volunteering their time, so clearly, they are lovely, caring people. We have made many friends here and a number of them we see socially.

Q: Could you share the history with how you came to be Santa for the toy distribution? How many years have you been Santa?
A: I cannot recall exactly but it seems like it has been 9-10 years. I have a vague recollection of someone saying it would be nice to have a Santa for the toy distribution and I said I would be happy to do it. I have always been a great fan of Halloween so dressing in costumes was no biggie. When I worked in my first company I dressed as a Gorilla to meet people at the airport and Security was not pleased, I also was the Easter Bunny one Easter Sunday. It is a pleasure. Despite the clearly fake beard and pillow stomach, little kids really think I am Santa and lots of the parents want their picture with me. It is a hoot.

Q: What motivates you to give back to the community at NYCP?
A: Their mission. There are an amazing number of people that need help in NYC. I think the perception is that most of our clients are homeless but when you volunteer you quickly realize that many of the clients are working poor. Much of their income goes to putting a roof over their heads and they need NYCP to supplement their food purchases.

Q: What message would you share with someone who is considering volunteering?
A: Volunteering is great for me. After all day emailing, slacking and zooming, physical work is a delightful change, it burns calories and I find it very calming. Meeting the volunteers expands your social interaction (especially important when you work remotely) and finally, and, most importantly, helping others is incredibly rewarding.