Victoria Kess, Volunteer at New York Common Pantry

“Living and giving — that’s my life. After a volunteer shift at NYCP, I know I helped people.” 

Vicky Kess is a spry 79-year-old. Growing up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in a civic-minded family, she moved to the Upper East Side after college and never left. Vicky, an MBA and CFA, spent 45 years on Wall Street in the research sector of money management. She began volunteering at the Pantry in 2008 after retiring. Her Thursday mornings are spent at the Choice Pantry in East Harlem and she leaves with a sense of satisfaction because she’s giving back. “Part of taking care of myself has given me the opportunity to help others.”

“You are thinking of others besides yourself. Living and Giving – that’s my life.” Vicky feels a sense of satisfaction when she’s done something for someone else and gives back. She says, “when I walk out of the pantry, I feel like I helped people. I may not know these people and may never know these people, but at least someone has benefited from me spending 2 – 3 hours there that day.” 

Vicky also found volunteering helps alleviate loneliness because she is doing something for someone else. She says, “you get involved and get out of yourself and you get into other people.” 

See Vicky featured in New York Common Pantry’s 2023 Annual Report