Posts Tagged ‘Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center’

Marathon Rapathon Against Gun Violence

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Rappers, fans of rap and all who oppose gun violence packed the Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Center for a 12-hour nonstop Rapathon on April 6.

“Put your guns down: go to peace side up,” marchers chanted as they joined the End Gun Violence Rapathon.

The Rapathon was open to anyone with a love for Hip Hop, a determination to end gun violence and – the tricky part – the ability to rhyme for 90 seconds straight without cursing.

The community event showcased talented Emcees focused on helping change the current culture of gun violence.  Sponsored by the Hip Hop Culture Center in Harlem, it supported Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E., an organization of mothers and fathers who lost children to gun violence.

“We can’t bring our kids back but we can certainly try to help another mother and another mother’s child by doing prevention and education,” says organization cofounder Jackie Rowe Adams.

Rapper Homeboy Sandman offered a sample. “Five weeks you were alive,” he rapped.  “Had full curly hair; big beautiful eyes.”

Ms. Adams, unfortunately, knows firsthand what this type of loss feels like.

“I’ve lost two kids to gun violence,” she said.  “The pain never goes away.”

For more information:

  • Contact Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center at 212-862-6401.
  • Check out Harlem Mothers Save.

Cardinal Dolan Leads Catholic Charities Annual Distribution of Thanksgiving Meals

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

In the midst of Catholic Charities’ efforts to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy and left without adequate food or shelter, Catholic Charities continues to meet the basic human needs of thousands of New Yorkers. On November 20, 2012, Timothy Cardinal Dolan led the annual Catholic Charities distribution of Thanksgiving meals to more than 400 needy New Yorkers at the Kennedy Center in Harlem.

“We don’t ask people what their creed is,” Cardinal Dolan said. “We don’t ask people where they come from. We love everyone and we open our doors to them–there’s always another chair at the table.”

Calling attention to the plight of the hungry throughout the year, Cardinal Dolan also announced the 2013 Feeding Our Neighbors campaign to replenish New York’s stretched food pantries and soup kitchens.

This year, UJA-Federation of New York will join with Catholic Charities to make Feeding Our Neighbors 2013 an interfaith campaign on behalf of New York’s hungry.  John S. Ruskay, Executive Vice President and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, joined Cardinal Dolan and Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, for this announcement.

During the Thanksgiving season and beyond, we remember New Yorkers who must turn to food pantries, soup kitchens and senior center meal programs in order to sustain themselves. To contribute to this year’s Feeding Our Neighbors campaign:

  • Donate to the campaign online by specifying “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field
  • Contribute food
  • Volunteer at a food pantry
  • Text CCHOPE to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation to the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign

Deloitte Volunteers Make a Big IMPACT at Catholic Charities

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Deloitte IMPACT Day 2012 volunteers with artwork created for Beacon of Hope House.

On Friday June 8, Deloitte employees volunteered for a variety of Catholic Charities programs and agencies as part of Deloitte 2012 IMPACT Day — an annual organization-wide event where Deloitte employees celebrate the beginning of their new fiscal year by giving back to the community and the nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to service all year long.

At the Catholic Charities Washington Heights Ecumenical Food Pantry, volunteers distributed fresh produce along with new vegetable steamers to individuals from the Washington Heights/Inwood communities. The focus of this project was not only to feed the hungry, but also to provide the necessary tools for food pantry clients to prepare healthy meals for their families.

During a morning address to volunteers, Jeanne McGettigan, Catholic Charities Community Services Director of Emergency Food Services, explained the importance of healthy eating for families living in a neighborhood with a proliferation of  cheap, deep-fried food and a scarcity of fresh produce markets.

“While we work in providing food to the community, we consider ourselves public health workers,” McGettigan said.

McGettigan discussed how statistics consistently reveal that harmful health issues stemming from deficient nutrition plague low-income areas, making this project particularly important to the community.

Deloitte volunteers spent the morning preparing vegetables and learning how  many New Yorkers have come to depend on the pantry in these difficult economic times. As volunteers quickly washed and chopped broccoli, carrots, red peppers and fresh greens, a line of clients formed outside the pantry.

By lunch time, the room was transformed into a health-themed showroom. On one side of the room, bilingual volunteers individually showed clients how to use their new steamers. On the other side, a row of freshly steamed vegetables awaited clients as volunteers served them plates with various homemade dipping sauces to sample.

“The idea of giving back is always good, but our work is especially meaningful today, since we are helping people prepare healthy food and contributing to good nutrition,” said Deloitte volunteer Yohan Bobcombe.

In addition to volunteering at the Washington Heights Ecumenical Food Pantry, Deloitte volunteers also gave back at the following locations:

At Grace Institute, a Catholic Charities affiliated agency that provides tuition-free, practical job training for underserved New York area women, Deloitte IMPACT Day volunteers helped students prepare for upcoming job interviews by giving mock job interviews and assisting students with interviewing skills. View pictures of Deloitte IMPACT Day volunteers working with Grace Institute students.

At the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center, Catholic Charities’ thriving community center located in the heart of Harlem, volunteers helped the center prepare for an upcoming open house by refreshing the building and helping it look clean and new.  The IMPACT Day team painted hallways and the exterior of the building, and also painted the outside of the “white building”, which used to serve as a coventry for women religious. View pictures of Deloitte IMPACT Day and see how volunteers dramatically refreshed the appearance of our Kennedy Center.

Another Deloitte IMPACT Day team created beautiful artwork to help improve the emotional well being and quality of life for clients of Beacon of Hope House, which operates residences and a day program for the mentally challenged in Staten Island and the Bronx. Volunteers helped paint multiple canvas paintings to be displayed in four Beacon of Hope House locations. View pictures of Deloitte IMPACT Day volunteers and the art they created for Beacon of Hope House.

Viacom Corporate Volunteers Refresh a Harlem Community Center

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is more than just a buzzword. As more and more for-profit companies become directly involved in community stewardship, charitable organizations can benefit from meaningful support that goes beyond philanthropic dollars to include cause-based awareness building and group volunteering.

Check out a photo album on Facebook featuring our Viacom volunteers:

On April 20, Catholic Charities welcomed volunteers from Viacom’s annual ViaCommunity Day, in which Viacom employees join forces to support community projects in cities around the world. Thanks to the energetic team, a long-awaited and much-needed painting project was completed at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center in Harlem.

The Kennedy Center’s fourth floor Alumni Conference Room, a multipurpose room used for activities ranging from Bible study classes to choir rehearsals, offers great acoustics for music rehearsals – but the mustard-yellow walls have been in need of a refreshing paint job. Luckily for the Kennedy Center, roughly 25 volunteers from Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures and media networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET, dedicated their day to painting the room a crisp, bright white.

Lead by Staci Bruce, Catholic Charities Director of Volunteer Services and former Viacom employee herself when she worked for Showtime, and Tara Clark, the project’s team leader, the painting project was able to get completed by lunch time.

“I always look forward to [ViaCommunity Day]. This is a great way to build camaraderie and also help the community,” said Tara, who works for Nickelodeon.

And help the community they did. A painting project of this magnitude could be very costly and take three times longer if contracted with a private company. During times when nonprofits must contend with reduced budgets and limited funding, volunteer projects like this are often the only way these community-based charities can keep serving their clients. This is especially so for the Kennedy Center, which serves more than 6,000 people every month, operating services ranging from college preparation workshops to a food pantry for the elderly.

Stacy Katz and Kelly Sherman of Comedy Central discussed why ViaCommunity Day is of particular importance to them:

“I like to give back but I don’t always have the time to do something like this. Viacom takes charge in setting this up each year and actually encourages people to show up and help.”

The Kennedy Center wasn’t the only site that benefited from today’s event. While most Viacom volunteers painted the room, a dozen split off to work on painting a mural that will be presented to the Beacon of Hope House, a Catholic Charities Community Services program that serves physically and emotionally challenged individuals.

Viacom was named the overall leader in CSR practices by PR News in 2011.