Posts Tagged ‘hudson valley’

Why I Work – and Run – For Catholic Charities

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
b harrison

Barbara Harrison receives service award from Cardinal Dolan

By Barbara Harrison

I work as a case manager for Catholic Charities and see how our St. Nicholas fund helps out so many families throughout the year and brings such joy at Christmas time.

It is one of the best parts of my job to see the joy this programs brings and in this spirit that I wanted to run the marathon to raise funds for this program.

I began running when I was about 50 years old and ran two marathons in the 1990’s.  After that my husband became ill and subsequently passed away.I found other forms of exercise.  I was still raising our four children as well and life was very busy. In my heart I always wanted to run the NYC marathon because it is ”the best.”

I was inspired to run this marathon when my coworker’s mother was diagnosed with cancer in the early spring. She is about my age which will be 69 when I run the race. I understood how frightening and challenging her road ahead would be and how fortunate I am to be in good health and able to run. I decided to enter the race for her to cheer her on in her battle.

My home is in the Hudson Valley and I work in Poughkeepsie, so I felt that it would be fun to represent this area of the Archdiocese by running the marathon.

I run in the morning at 6 a.m. on the beautiful rail trails in our area with my running partner, my daughter, Sarah.  We are currently running about 24 miles weekly and it is wonderful to be preparing for this race.

Learn more about Barbara and help support her run.

After Surviving Slaughter, A Deep Instinct to Survive

Monday, December 30th, 2013

By Hannah Murphy

The New York Times

When Epiphanie Musabiyemaria was growing up in Rwanda among two tribes, Hutu and Tutsi, teachers would ask each student “what they were.” She could not answer, she said, because her father had never told her. We are all just people, he insisted.

When she was 23, at the beginning of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the government decided for her. Her mother was tall, which was considered a Tutsi trait. The family’s friends were Tutsi. Her fiancé, the father of her unborn son, was Tutsi.

So every day, the Hutu-led government threatened to kill them.

“Three o’clock was a very special hour for our family,” she said. “That’s when they gave you the notice that you were going to be killed.” It was rumored that anti-Tutsi forces were waiting for her to give birth, to kill her infant as well.

By the end of the war, her brother, her fiancé and her youngest sister were dead.

Read her story in The New York Times.

Find out how Catholic Charities is helping her rebuild her life.

Riding Leprechaun Buses; Running for Team Catholic Charities

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

By Ed Gallagher

Many lives have been forever changed and even destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. It heightened my resolve to live life more fully and not procrastinate on my dreams and goals. These two devastating events, one natural, one man made, exemplified the dichotomy of life:  Life is truly fragile, but it is also amazingly resilient for those that survive.

I have never run a marathon, but it has always been on my “bucket list”. I figured I’d better do it sooner than later as I know it won’t get any easier as each year passes.

I grew up as a competitive swimmer, starting at age 5. I started running cross country in high school to get in shape for the winter swim season. I instantly fell in love with many aspects of running; the challenge both mental and physical, the solitude of training and camaraderie of race day. It gives me time to think about issues at work and home, put life into perspective and be a better husband, father, friend and employer.

I stopped running for many years as I got involved with family business and started a family. I am president of The Leprechaun Transportation Group, a small group of passenger transportation companies providing school bus, transit, commuter and charter motor coach service in the Hudson Valley and beyond. It is a third-generation family-owned enterprise started by my grandfather in 1934. My hope is that it becomes a fourth-generation family business.

My wife, Mary Jane, and I live with our four children; Katie, 15, Caroline 14, Eddie, 12, and Joseph, 9, in Montgomery, NY.  We are members of Most Precious Blood parish and our kids have attended this parish school.

I began running again a few years ago to be able to keep up with my kids, lose my “spare tire” and be fit mentally and physically.

Meanwhile, several years ago Sr. Joann Dress, CEO of Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County, approached me to become a board member. I agreed with little understanding of the full extent of their work.  From day one, I have been thoroughly impressed with the board’s and staff’s dedication, passion, focus and operational efficiencies of this organization. They touch so many lives in this community.  You can’t help but be drawn to help with their mission.

Running as a member of Team Catholic Charities allows me to fulfill a personal goal while also fulfilling a charitable goal.

I truly appreciate this opportunity.

Help support Ed’s ING NYC Marathon campaign. Click here to find out how: www.crowdrise.com/CatholicCharitiesNYC2013/fundraiser/edgallagher

Nearly Two Years since Hurricane Irene, Disaster Recovery Continues

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

 

Ron and Linda Potwin sit Friday in the living room. The Leader Herald

Buckets and bowls are stacked in a corner of Ron and Linda Potwin’s living room, ready to catch rainwater from a leaking roof.

Parts of the ceiling, bowed and cracked, are supported by beams and poles.

“The roof only leaks when it rains,” Ron says, showing the couple’s ability to stay lighthearted in the face of a struggle that’s been ongoing since August 2011, when Tropical Storm Irene battered the region with heavy rains, wind and flooding.

Through 51 years of marriage, the Potwins have overcome struggles through their faith, hope and strength.

They’re now on their way to having life restored to normal after connecting with a disaster case manager at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, an organization that’s associated with the Fulton Montgomery Long Term Recovery Committee.

“It’s a blessing, believe me,” Linda said. “I just thank God for it, because we never could have done it on our own.”

Catholic Charities New York, in recognition for its success helping victims within the Archdiocese of New York recover from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, now provides disaster recovery services beyond the Hudson Valley.  The Catholic Charities Disaster Case Management Program works directly with the New York State Office of Emergency Management and 24 partner agencies to provide ongoing case management for nearly 10,000 families recovering from Hurricanes Irene, Lee and Superstorm Sandy spread over 34 counties from Long Island to the Canadian border. While many short-term goals following these massive storms have been met, Catholic Charities is now focusing on helping families with long-term case management to rebuild their homes and lives.

Read the Potwin’s full story published in The Leader Herald.

Looking for help?

Celebrating Children’s Mental Health

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

The New York State National Alliance on Mental Illness honored Astor Services for Children & Families’ Early Head Start Program, an affiliate of Catholic Charities NY, on May 7 for their work successfully addressing the issues of children’s mental health.  This includes early identification, outreach, family education, providing mental health awareness in schools, and successfully intervening on behalf of afflicted children and their families. Astor Services received this award during a reception at the 2013 “What’s Great in Our State – A Celebration of Children’s Mental Health Awareness,” at the New York State Museum in Albany.

Astor’s Early Head Start Program serves over 200 infants, toddlers and their families in seven sites across Dutchess County.  Astor has operated the Head Start Program in Dutchess County since 1978 and later assumed responsibility for the Early Head Start Program. Head Start and Early Head Start are federally-funded programs for low-income families.

The children in Astor’s Head Start and Early Head Start Programs receive mental health screening through collaboration with Astor’s Hudson Valley Behavioral Health & Prevention Programs. This program provides early identification and intervention of social emotional problems in children, ages 2 to 18, through the Child and Family Clinic Plus Program (Clinic Plus). This program is a state-wide initiative by the Office of Mental Health to furnish mental health services for children and families.

“On behalf of the children, families and staff, I am delighted to receive this recognition,´ said Mary Sontheimer, Assistant Executive Director, Astor Services for Children & Families, Early Childhood Programs.  “These are the issues at the core of our Early Head Start Program: social emotional development, health relationships and positive attachments for children. All stakeholders in our program play a critical role in ensuring optimal mental health and positive self-esteem.”

Localized, Streamlined Support for Sandy Survivors

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Press conference spotlights services for Sandy survivors.

By Alice Kenny

Chinatown political representatives joined TV correspondents and reporters at a well-attended press conference held at the Greater Chinatown Community Association (GCCA) in Manhattan’s Chinatown last week to broadcast the latest information about disaster support for Sandy survivors. Watch it on SINOVISION.net.

GCCA, an affiliated agency of the Archdiocese of New York’s federation, is one of more than fifteen social service agencies extending from Long Island to the Hudson Valley providing local, on-the-ground disaster case management to individuals with homes or businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy.  The New York State Disaster Case Management Program, managed by Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York, will provide approximately 200 disaster case managers to assist individuals and families in the 13 -New York counties hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.

Designed to streamline support and avoid frustration and confusion, the Disaster Case Management program whittles down the complex system of disaster support by providing survivors with a single point of contact to access a broad range of resources. This allows people still reeling from the loss of jobs and homes to avoid the need to search out multiple organizations that might respond to their various needs.

Instead, survivors can relate their experiences and submit their documentation to a single, local disaster case manager who guides them through the recovery process.  This local model of providing disaster support proves particularly important in sites such as Chinatown where language barriers can make a confusing process almost overwhelming.

An elderly Chinese man with lung cancer whose basement apartment flooded during the storm, for example, received different answers from so many different places that, by the time he came to GCCA for help, “he was ready to give up,” said GCCA Executive Director Chih-Ping (Andy) Yu.

Disaster case managers are both advocates and expediters for those affected by Sandy. They first assess if clients have unmet needs related to the storm. If people qualify, they will be assigned a disaster case manager to serve as a single point of contact for all  assistance, including that coming from insurance companies, private organizations, and government. Then, based on interactions with the client, the service coordinators create individualized disaster recovery plans, including advocating for access to needed services, coordinating benefits, and making referrals for services outside the scope of disaster case management. Existing Sandy-related services for individuals and families range from direct federal and state grants and Small Business Administration loans to insurance advocacy and referrals to the range of not-for-profit and voluntary programs that have been established.

The program is modeled after a similar one run by Catholic Charities Community Services in 34 counties across New York State following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

Eligibility for the Sandy New York State Disaster Case Management Program is open to anyone with an unmet need that arose from or was exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy, even those who have not applied to FEMA for assistance or are undocumented.

Looking for help?

  • Call 1-855-258-0483 to find the location nearest you.
  • Are you a Sandy survivor who lives in Chinatown or speaks a Chinese dialect and is looking for help? Contact the Greater Chinatown Community Association, 105 Mosco Street, New York, NY 10013.  Phone 212-374-1311. www.gccanyc.org.
  • For a full list of disaster case management locations, visit www.catholiccharitiesny.org.

Massive Mobilization on Immigration Reform; The Time for Change Is Now

Friday, April 12th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Waving signs and chanting slogans, thousands of New Yorkers added their voices Wednesday to a massive national mobilization for immigration reform.  They included Oberos Unidos de Yonkers, day laborers assisted by Catholic Charities, who rallied in White Plains.  Residents also took part in candlelight vigils in Rockland and Putnam Counties, marched in Newburgh and joined busloads that wound their way from New York City and the Hudson Valley to Washington, D.C.  Together they united with tens of thousands of people who met on the Capital lawn to insist that the time for change is now.

“Catholic Charities is both proud and privileged to work with newcomers who contribute to the growth and well-being of this country, the one they call home,” Catholic Charities Executive Monsignor Sullivan said yesterday.  “We join immigrants and advocates who will make this case in Washington D.C. and in other parts of the country at a massive mobilization and faith community vigil for citizenship, and fair and humane legal immigration opportunities.”

Wednesday’s outdoor rallies took place as a bipartisan group of senators worked inside the Capital. Known as the “Gang of Eight,” they are negotiating a bill aimed at securing the border, tapping foreign workers for critically needed jobs and creating a path to citizenship.

Catholic Charities helps immigrants reunite legally with their families, obtain proper work authorization, learn English and civics, and prepare to pass citizenship exams. Catholic Charities also assists immigrants in avoiding exploitation by unscrupulous practitioners by providing correct information and realistic counsel about immigration status.

For example, Catholic Charities works with Obreros Unidos de Yonkers, a group of more than 300 day laborers in Yonkers.  Together, we educate workers regarding employment rights and responsibilities to prevent exploitation and workplace abuse.  We also assist in integrating workers into society and provide local resources to assist them in this process.

We do this by:

  • Hosting workshops and trainings on worker rights, safety in the workplace, basics of immigration and other topics as needed
  •   Issuing membership cards with identifying information
  •  Providing office and meeting space and administrative support for workers
  •  Assisting in the collection of unpaid wages, access to healthcare services, emergency food, English as a Second Language programs and computer classes.
  • Facilitating conversations with local business owners, police elected officials and the community.

 

Looking for more information about Obreros Unidos de Yonkers?

Call (914) 375-6729/48 for more information on or visit the office at St. Peter’s Church basement, 91 Ludlow Street, Yonkers, NY  10705.

Call the Catholic Charities Help Line  — (888) 744-7900 — for more help finding the services you need.

Hurricane Irene: Families Still Grappling with Frustration, Despair – and Gratitude

Friday, March 1st, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Nearly two years after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee swept through New York State, families still struggled with exposed walls and wires, no running water and no heat.

The Benson family from Lake George who were recently profiled on CBS 6 Albany News spoke of their  frustration, aggravation and despair – and their gratitude that relief is finally here.

Catholic Charities New York, in recognition for its success helping victims within the Archdiocese of New York recover from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, now provides disaster recovery services beyond the Hudson Valley.  The Catholic Charities Disaster Case Management Program  is working directly with the New York State Office of Emergency Management and partner agencies to provide ongoing case management for nearly 3,000 families spread over 34 counties from Long Island to the Canadian border.

While many short-term goals following these massive storms have been met, Catholic Charities is now focusing on helping families with long-term case management to rebuild their homes and lives.

“We’re just thankful that someone is worried about us,” Mr. Benson said.

Whether it is Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, Catholic Charities is here to help.

Day in and day out, Catholic Charities provides a vast range of programs and services for those struggling with long-term needs or confronting sudden disaster. Our federation of agencies offers a variety of specialized assistance designed to meet individual needs, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

Looking for help?

New York Area Cooling Centers

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Stay safe in the sweltering heat. Cooling centers are now open throughout the New York area.

New York City:
For a list of NYC cooling centers, visit gis.nyc.gov/oem/cc/index.htm

Dutchess County:

There are four cooling stations at Dutchess County Community Action Partnerships

54 Main St. in Beacon

44-45 E Market St. in Red Hook

84 Cannon St. in Poughkeepsie

3414 Route 22 in Dover Plains.

Orange County:

Cooling center updates will be made available on the Orange County Emergency Services Facebook page.

City of Middletown

The Cooling Center located at the Middletown Senior Center, 62-70 Main St., Middletown. The Center is scheduled to remain open through Friday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bottled water will be provided. For more information, contact Middletown City Hall at 346-4100.

City of Newburgh

The City of Newburgh’s Cooling Center is located at the Activity Center, 401 Washington St., Newburgh. The center will be open 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Thursday, June 21. For more information, call 565-4843.

Washingtonville

Grace Community Baptist Church located at 2839 Route 94, Washingtonville, is open as a Cooling Center through Thursday, June 21, until 6 p.m. Information is available by calling the church office at 496-4372.

At this time, all other municipalities are recommending that their residents access public buildings, including libraries, senior centers, activity centers, and town halls to seek relief from the heat. (List attached.)

Rockland County:
Central Nyack
Central Nyack Community Center
58 Waldron Avenue, Central Nyack
358-2500

Congers
Congers Community Center
6 Gilchrest Rd., Congers
268-9700

Nanuet:
Pascack Community Center
87 New Clarkstown Road, Nanuet
371-6650

New City
Street Community Center
31 Zukor Rd., New City
634-3039

Town of Haverstraw
Town Hall, Rosman Rd. Meeting Room (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tues.-Fri.)
*Limited parking due to construction*
Contact: Mike Gamboli 429-2200

Town of Orangetown
Town Hall (9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tues.-Fri.)
Contact: Annemarie in Supervisor’s Office or Police Dispatch after hours- 359-5100

Town of Ramapo
Town Hall (9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tues.-Fri.) 357-5100
St. Lawrence Center (9:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m. Tues.-Fri.)
All Ramapo Town Pools- Free

Town of Stony Point
Police Department- Route 210 Emergency response room (24 hours, 7 days a week)
Rho Building @ Patriot Hills Complex on Clubhouse Lane (6:30 a.m.- 9 p.m.)
Contact: Supervisor’s Office 786-2716, Ext. 111

Village of Suffern
Village Hall (9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tues.-Fri.)
Contact: Mayor LaCorte 357-2600
Village of Nyack
Village Hall (9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tues.-Fri.)
Contact: Mayor Kavesh 358-0229

Village of Spring Valley
Kurtz Civic Center (9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Tues.-Fri.)
Contact: Mayor Jasmin 352-1100

Village of Haverstraw
Village Community Center, 50 W. Broad St. (9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Tues.-Fri.)
Contact: Mayor Kohut 429-0300

Village of Piermont
Village Hall/ Police Station- (Village Hall 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., Police 24 hours, 7 days a week)
Contact: Sylvia Carbonell 359-1258 Ext. 301

Village of West Haverstraw
Village Hall 130 Samsondale Ave. (9 a.m.-9 p.m.)Contact: Mayor Ramundo 947-2800

Village of South Nyack
Village Hall 282 South Broadway (9 a.m.-5p.m.)Contact: Sara Seiler 358-0287

Westchester, NY:

When Westchester County Department of Health issues a Heat Advisory, many Senior Centers will serve as a Cooling Center for seniors residing in Westchester. Please call sites to confirm hours of operation

Yonkers, N.Y.:
The centers below provide meals to older adults as well as transportation. Please call the Yonkers Office for the Aging at (914) 377-6822.

St. John’s Park Care Pavilion
Old Yonkers General Hospital
2 Park Avenue
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bronx River Road Community Center/ Scotti Center
680 Bronx River Road
Monday – Friday
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Congregation Sons of Israel
155 Elliot Avenue
Monday – Friday
10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Nepperhan Community Center
342 Warburton Avenue
Tuesday and Thursday
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Newark, N.J.:
Bethany Senior Center
275 W. Market Street
Newark, New Jersey 07103
Monday  Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm
(973) 733-5739

Ironbound Senior Center
138 Clifford Street
Newark, New Jersey 07105
Monday  Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm
(973) 424-4101

Stephen Crane Elderly Complex (N)
900 Franklin Avenue
Newark, New Jersey 07107
Monday  Friday 8:00am  5:00pm
(973) 430-2662

South Ward Senior Center (M/N)
731 Clinton Avenue
Newark, New Jersey 07108
Monday  Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm
(973) 424-4102

Unified Vailsburg Services Org. (N)
462 Sanford Avenue
Newark, New Jersey 07106
Monday  Friday 9:00am to 2:00pm
(973) 351-2159

Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being
110 William Street
Room LL101
Newark, NJ 07102
Monday  Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm
(973) 733-7592