One of the nation’s most successful professional poker players, Micah Raskin falls under the top 100 highest earners in the game. While he’s developed a reputation for superior card play, he’s also known for his philanthropy and especially his cooking, which he shares with his family and community whenever he gets the chance.
Micah Raskin has a large impact on nonprofit organizations in his local community of Queens and Nassau Counties New York. He regularly volunteers with soup kitchens in the area and contributes by purchasing, preparing hot meals to families and individuals in need. He believes something as simple as a warm meal can make a real difference in the lives of neighbors, family members, and people struggling with a number of issues in communities everywhere. He’s a seasoned chef who’s spent years preparing meals for himself and his parents in addition to lending his talent to nonprofits in the area.
“I think most people don’t understand how large of a difference cooking a meal for someone else can have,” says Micah Raskin. “It eliminates the need for people to go out and purchase any cooking materials; it saves them from prepping and cooking–which likely means access to expensive kitchen appliances–and it doesn’t require anything more from them than sitting down and enjoying a warm meal. And here at the soup kitchen, those who come to eat don’t have to worry about anything other than throwing away their plates and utensils. And sometimes not even that.”
Many of the people that come to the soup kitchen for a warm meal are homeless, runaways, or struggling financially. However, Micah Raskin’s and other volunteers’ contributions, in addition to their no questions asked policy, make a real difference in the lives of those suffering in their own neighborhoods.
“As a society, we have such an abundance of food that it’s difficult for us to understand how people can go without eating, but it happens every day in communities across the country,” says Micah Raskin. “Though every town has places to get food, many don’t even have enough money to buy a single meal from a chain or grocery store.”
When he’s not cooking food for the soup kitchen, Micah Raskin prepares meals for his parents, too, sometimes cooking for them every night of the week. Micah lost his father this year so he is the sole caretaker for his 84-year-old mother. “Continuing to prepare meals for her is the least I can do.”
“Volunteer cooking is fulfilling because it satisfies a basic need for someone who may not be able to get food on their own. We gain a huge sense of fulfillment because we’ve helped others in the most basic, primal way we can,” says Micah Raskin. “You’re giving people something they need to survive. And it’s gratifying as a cook to see your food go to a family member or help someone truly in need.”