Posts Tagged ‘Staten Island’

Catholic Charities on the Move

Monday, June 17th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Several key departments are moving this summer out of the Catholic Center at 1011 First Avenue and into local neighborhoods.

The changes are part of Catholic Charities’ focus to provide localized, streamlined support for persons in need.

Eviction Prevention and Emergency Food Services, for example, moved to the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Center at 34 W. 134 St. in Harlem.

This move adds to specialized services Catholic Charities already offers in local neighborhoods stretching from Staten Island to the Catskill Mountains and throughout the Archdiocese of New York.

Stay tuned for information and updates.

Looking for help?

Catholic Charities provides a wide range of specialized assistance.

  • Call Catholic Charities Help Line — 888-744-7900 — to find services and support at a location near you.
  • Click here for an A-Z Agency Directory
  • E-mail us through our contact form

Building Bridges by Feeding Our Neighbors

Monday, March 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Feeding Our Neighbors, an Archdiocesan effort throughout 10 counties to fight hunger, celebrated the tremendous participation of Catholic schools among others during its second annual campaign with an Art Exhibition and Awards Presentation at the New York Catholic Center on East 55th Street in Manhattan on March 13.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan joined with Dr. Timothy McNiff, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York, and Dan Ahouse, Cablevision Area Director of Government Affairs, to welcome participants and announce awards.

“As we celebrate this wonderful transition and election of Pope Francis, we remember that one of his titles is called Pontifex, a word that simply means the builder of bridges,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan at the event.

“The pope builds bridges,” Msgr. Sullivan continued. “The Catholic Church builds bridges. And Feeding Our Neighbors has built bridges because of the participation of so many.”

Students at local Catholic schools competed in the Feeding Our Neighbor Art Contest. Awardees included Syleste Alexander, a student at St. Teresa School in Staten Island, Omar Reyes, a student at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx and Anna Nicotra, a student at St. Augustine School in Ossining.

High School students also competed in the Cablevision Power to Learn Competition that raised food and funds for hungry New Yorkers. Students representing Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx won the competition. They donated their $6,000 award to their favorite charities; $5,000 to their high school and $1,000 to Catholic Charities.

The Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign is a response to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s call that we all do our part to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens that growing numbers of families and children in our communities rely on to survive. Sponsored by Catholic organizations throughout the Archdiocese of New York and managed by Catholic Charities, contributions to the campaign support local food pantries that serve New Yorkers non-Catholic and Catholic alike. Now in its second year, Feeding Our Neighbors joined forces this season with UJA Federation of New York to fight hunger and need.

  • In New York City, approximately 400,000 children rely on soup kitchens and food pantries for food.
  • In New York State, more than 3 million people rely on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or Food Stamps) to meet their basic food needs.

Join us in Feeding Our Neighbors.

Click here to do your part to make sure no hungry neighbor is turned away.

  • $11.16 helps feed a child for one day.
  • $45 helps feed a family of four.

People Say Hurricane Sandy Is Over. It’s Nowhere Near Over.

Monday, March 11th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Thirty-foot-high waves crashed through Evelyn’s street “so high, so fast that if we’d stayed another minute we would have been trapped inside,” she said, still breathing fast four months later as she related the event.

Never had Evelyn imagined seeing the ocean out the windows of her Seavers Avenue home, she said.  After all, the two-story semi attached brick and shingled house she  shared with her sons, Christopher, 14, and Nicholas, 18, was surrounded by fellow semi-attached homes that stretched more than a mile to the nearest beach.

But on the evening of October 29, Hurricane Sandy whipped the mighty Atlantic as it commandeered Staten Island roads, washed away homes, trucks and businesses and destroyed nearly everything Evelyn and her family owned.

“People think it’s over,” she said, recalling that night and all the tough days that have come since then.  “It’s nowhere near over.”

She, her sons, and their two dogs, Pluto and Poppy, fought their way through the waves.  They dove into their 2000 Ford Explorer.  And they escaped, literally, with nothing more than the clothes on their back.  Salt water, dead fish and debris filled the basement and first floor of their former home.

If it were not for help from volunteers who drove nearly 1,000 miles from Tennessee to lend a hand coupled with donations from St. Margaret Mary Church and Catholic Charities, she could never have rebuilt her home, she said.

Fortunately, St. Margaret Mary Church in Staten Island gave her sheet rock, insulation, doors, compound, nails, and tape.  They also gave her a $500 gift card to Home Depot from Catholic Charities.

“I now had everything needed to set me up,” she said.

But it was only a start.

This single mom had no money to pay for the rehab.  When she returned to work a week after the storm, her employer, an insurance billing company, told her not to come back, she said.  She could not qualify for unemployment benefits, she added, because the company denied firing her, telling the New York State Unemployment Office that they instead told her to “take all the time she needs to recover.”  Meanwhile, her flood and homeowners insurance still have not processed her claims.

So, while she and her sons squeezed into a one-bedroom apartment paid for, temporarily, by FEMA, she went online seeking help.  On a Facebook site set up for Sandy Survivors she came across five men from Tennessee.  They were looking, they wrote, for a dry place to stay in Staten Island so they could volunteer their rehab skills.   Although the basement and first floor of her Seavers Avenue home had been destroyed, the second floor was dry, she wrote back, and they were welcome to it.

When the Tennessee volunteers arrived – “three guys in their 40s and two guys old enough to be my father” – they discovered that she was one of the only neighbors to have the rehab materials they needed to get to work.  So they chose her home.

For more than a week they worked 12-hour days, tearing out sodden insulation and sheet rock and mucking out flooring.  Then they rebuilt the walls and floors using the brand new building supplies that St. Margaret Mary Church and Catholic Charities had given her.

Her story, however, is far from finished.

“People are scavenging for building materials, people who have it much worse than me,” she said.  “It’s a community; it’s not just me.”

Would you like to help?

Text SANDY to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation.

Calling all CYO basketball players, cheerleaders, runners — and families and friends to cheer them on.

Friday, March 8th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Check out these upcoming events:

Saturday 3/9 and Sunday 3/10 - First Round of Archdiocesan CYO Basketball Playoffs

Ulster County:  John A. Coleman Catholic High School.  Games begin at 10:00 am on 3/9/13.

Staten Island:  CYO-MIV Center.  Games start at 9:00 am on Saturday, 3/9/13 and 1:00 pm on Sunday, 3/10/13.

Bronx:  Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. 3/10/13. Game times TBA.

Orange County: 3/9/13. Game times TBA.

Saturday 3/1657th Archdiocesan CYO Cheerleading Competition at Fordham University 

The competition begins at 10:00 am

Saturday 3/16 - CYO Developmental Track Clinic and Relays at Fordham Preparatory School *

Clinic will be held with four-time Olympic Athlete (and CYO Board Member) Aliann Pompey.  Registration begins at 8:45 am


Saturday 3/16 and Sunday 3/17Second Round of Archdiocesan CYO Basketball Playoffs

Rockland County:   Pearl River High School and Dominican College.  3/16/13. Game times TBA.

Staten Island: CYO-MIV Center. Games start at 9:00 am on Saturday and 1:00 pm on Sunday


Saturday 3/23 - Archdiocesan CYO Basketball Championships

Held at the CYO-MIV Center and St. Joseph by the Sea High School in Staten Island.

Games at the CYO-MIV Center start at 9:00 am.

Games at St. Joseph by the Sea High School start at 11:00 am

Events are held for existing players on existing teams EXCEPT for the Track Meet/Clinic on 3/16.

*The track meet/clinic welcome athletes of all experience levels, with the focus strongly placed on education and participation.  The event is open to all CYO Teams throughout the Archdiocese of New York, and individuals may register and represent their parish.  All age levels and abilities are encouraged to attend.

Need more information? Call Sarah Masterson at 646-794-2062

Would you like to volunteer?  Click here.

Boos for Hurricane Sandy; Cheers for Its Victims

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Synchronizing flying Dutchmen’s with back flips and shouts, cheerleaders raised spirits and funds for a good cause at the 2013 Cheerleading Competition held on Saturday, March 2, at the largest youth sporting event staged every year on Staten Island.

This year marked the 57th annual Cheerleading Competition held by Catholic Charities Catholic Youth Organization, CYO, in Staten Island.  But in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that destroyed the homes and businesses of families and friends throughout much of this borough, the cheerleaders decided to do something different.  Instead of competing, high school cheerleaders performed in a Cheer for Sandy exhibition that donated proceeds to benefit victims of the storm.

Nearly one thousand parents, grandparents and friends filled the stands at the College of Staten Island’s Sports and Recreation Center in Willowbrook.

“This is like the Super Bowl, the World Series for Staten Island,” said Kristine Romano, cheerleading coach with our Lady of Queen Peace.

Elementary-aged cheerleaders held their regular annual competition earlier in the day.  Winning teams – including Our Lady Star of the Sea that placed first for both the Elementary Varsity and Deb Regular competitions – then performed their routines with high school cheerleaders during the afternoon Cheer for Sandy performance.

“We try to teach our kids that there is a connection; that it’s not just sports,” said Joe Panepinto, executive director of Staten Island Catholic Charities.  “And they’ve been wonderful.”

Click here if you missed the competition but still want to help

Watch the video on NY1.

Read more in the Staten Island Advance.

“We got nothing,” He said. “We’ll take anything you can give us.”

Friday, January 4th, 2013

By Jeanne McGettigan, Catholic Charities Director of Emergency Food Services

On New Year’s Eve, Catholic Charities Emergency Food Services Department enlisted our Mobile Food Pantry staff and volunteers to distribute 6,000 meals in Midland Beach, a Staten Island neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Three staff and four volunteers rose early in the morning to pack bags at our delivery location in the Bronx, while another staff member waited for 26 cases of frozen chickens to be unloaded at the distribution site in Midland Beach, St. Margaret Mary Church.  In addition, one staff member stopped by our Staten Island office at Anderson Avenue to pick up 100 children’s books to distribute to children who stopped by. By 11am, the Mobile was parked in the lot of the parish, at 560 Lincoln Avenue.

A steady stream of residents arrived. Some had heard from their pastor, others from fliers given out at the nearby Restoration Center.  One woman said that she had just gotten a small electric oven, and she would cook her first meal in it with some of the items.  Residents who were still not able to cook were glad for ready-to-eat items such as apple cider, tuna, cream cheese, bread, romaine lettuce, and oranges.

Jim Reagan, head of the parish St. Vincent de Paul Society, offered to drive staff around to some of the still-devastated areas to check in and offer help.  It was sad to go block after block and find so many houses empty, their former residents staying elsewhere.  However, when we did find occupants at home, they were very grateful for assistance.

One man invited us into his humble bungalow, stripped down to the studs.

“We’ve got nothing” he said.  “We’ll take anything you can give us.”

Another family of six sent their two teenagers out to carry in armfuls of food.

One resident said, “I’m ok.  Give it to someone who needs it.”  A few minutes later, he was back. “I have a friend I can bring this to.  I’ll take a bag.”

By mid afternoon, over half of the bags had been distributed and the numbers of recipients had slowed.

Staff then contacted Tony Hall, of STAR (Small Town America Recovers) with a restoration hub set up at Midland and Kiswick.  Tony has been running a grass roots effort since the earliest days after the hurricane.  He agreed to take the remaining food and distribute it from his tent.

By the time we arrived to do the drop-off, a line had already gathered.  There was a family there: mother, father and child who had lost everything and were so grateful for the food that they received. They let me know that they had to abandon their home for the time and were living with their father in-law. A home of one suddenly became a house of four and food and money were scarce so they were happy to take some of the ‘burden’ from their father, if only for a few meals. When we checked in with Tony a few days later, he confirmed that all of the remaining food had been distributed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to residents of Midland Beach.

Providing Help and Creating Hope One House at a Time

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Damaged homes by Hurricane Sandy on Patterson Avenue Staten Island NYBy Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities volunteers Jim and Deborah Deats know firsthand of the destruction Sandy caused throughout New York.

While Deborah’s house is on a hill in Concord and escaped undamaged, when she witnessed the devastation across the island, she knew she had to do something. Immediately after the storm, she traveled by car to friends and families to offer help.

Deborah said she drove around “giving hugs, smiles, anything we could, just to tell these people that we’re here for them—that there is hope, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

Deborah’s father, Jim Deats, was in Florida at the time of the hurricane, but he drove up as soon as he could to offer help to the community on his native Staten Island. Teaming up with his daughter, he started volunteering with Catholic Charities to clean up houses on the island that had nearly been destroyed in the storm.

Working with Catholic Charities’ Staci Bruce and Damian Buzzerio, along with over 100 generous and devoted volunteers, Jim and Deborah have now cleaned up nine houses. After assessing what work needs to be done, Jim provides instructions for the volunteers, making sure everyone has a specific job. In addition to mucking out the houses, Deborah also visits with the residents and offers emotional support.

“One house at a time, one family at a time, we’ll get through it together,”Deborah said.

To hear more on how Catholic Charities volunteers give hope and strength to people who are rebuilding after Sandy, listen to Deborah and Jim Deats’ conversation with Monsignor Kevin Sullivan on JustLove.

CYO Tips Off Another Win

Friday, December 14th, 2012

CYO Tips Off Another Win

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities CYO basketball is tipping off another win. Enrollment is up for the 2012-2013 girls and boys basketball season, says CYO Director Edwin Broderick.

The teams provide exercise, a healthy recreational outlet, guidance and a sense of community for children and teenagers throughout the more than 4,000-square mile Archdiocese of New York.

Here are some numbers to cheer:

  •  1600 teams throughout the
    Archdiocese of New York
  • 637 teams in Westchester County
  •  403 teams in Staten Island
  •  251 teams in Rockland County
  •   82 teams in Orange County
  •   49 teams in Ulster County
  •   37 teams in Dutchess County

“Our success  and growth would not be possible without the dedication and  support of our 4,000 volunteers, the hard work of our county  directors and the leadership and support of Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Sullivan and Catholic Charities Community Services Executive Director  Beatriz  Diaz  Taveras,” Mr. Broderick said.

Would you like to become a coach or sign up your child for a team?  Contact your local parish or call Catholic Charities CYO at 646-794-3619.

 

MBX Systems Sponsors Donation Drive for Hurricane Sandy Survivors

Monday, December 10th, 2012

By Chelsee Pengal

Parishes and communities within the Archdiocese of New York and beyond continue to show generosity toward their neighbors who are still rebuilding after Sandy. Donations from far and wide have helped with Catholic Charities’ disaster relief efforts, from funding emergency food and water for families and individuals on Staten Island and in Lower Manhattan to providing volunteers with supplies to clean out houses on Staten Island.

MBX Systems, a Libertyville, Illinois-based technology manufacturer, has set up a donation drive to benefit both Catholic Charities Community Services, Staten Island and Gerristen Beach Cares, Brooklyn.

They will be collecting items survivors need the most:

  • Muck-out and safety supplies, including industrial-contractor grade refuse bags, N95 face masks, fire extinguishers and smoke/CO2 detectors with batteries
  • Cleaning supplies like shovels, rakes, brooms, work gloves and disposable gloves
  • Toiletries and pharmaceuticals, including Tylenol and Advil
  • Baby supplies such as diapers, wipes and baby food and formula
  • Clothing, including hats, gloves and socks
  • Miscellaneous items, including can openers, batteries and disposable cameras with flash

In the Libertyville area, donations are being accepted at MBX headquarters Monday to Friday through December 12th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A truck full of the supplies will then deliver the goods to Staten Island and Brooklyn on December 13th.

Whether you are in the New York area or across the country, you can contribute to the Sandy Relief Fund online or text SANDY to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation. For those in the local area, you can also donate your time by volunteering to clean up houses or help with sheet rock and debris removal on Staten Island.


Empire City Casino at Yonkers Contributes $500,000 Toward Catholic Charities Sandy Response

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Over the past five weeks since Hurricane Sandy arrived, Catholic Charities has been leading parishes and communities in their ongoing recovery efforts.

In addition to delivering food and crucial supplies to survivors on Staten Island and in Lower Manhattan, Catholic Charities has also arranged temporary housing for over 100 individuals and families on Staten Island and in Washington Heights. Among other recovery efforts, Catholic Charities worked with FEMA and the New York City government to set up and run disaster relief centers on Staten Island, coordinate hundreds of volunteers and provide multiple services including counseling and housing assistance.

To help with these and other Catholic Charities relief initiatives, Empire City Casino has contributed $500,000 toward the Catholic Charities Hurricane Sandy Relief and Recovery Fund.

“We are grateful for Empire City Casino’s generosity,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities New York. “This donation has enabled Catholic Charities to respond early, but will also help our commitment to assist in meeting long-term needs.”

With the generous donation, Catholic Charities can continue to provide ongoing services to Sandy survivors, rebuilding lives and touching almost every human need promptly, locally, day in and day out, always with compassion and dignity.

“There are no greater deeds than charity and service,” said Timothy J. Rooney, President and CEO of Empire City Casino. “The devastation New Yorkers suffered from this storm is unspeakable and they need our help. Whether you donate $2 or $2,000, it will make a difference. No act of kindness or generosity is ever too small.”

To donate to the Sandy Relief Fund or contribute your time:

 

Or, text SANDY to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation.