Posts Tagged ‘Westchester’

Disabled Teens Take Their Turn Changing Lives

Friday, March 14th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

In a classroom decorated with primary-colored posters detailing how to tell time, multiply and “Follow Your Conscience,” teens with various disabilities from St. Dominic’s School packed boxes with donated food to support Catholic Charities “Feeding Our Neighbors” campaign.

“A lot of these children feel disconnected,” said St. Dominic’s Principal Paul Siragusa. “Helping feed the hungry makes them feel they have an impact on society that they never before could have dreamed of.”

And the 80 students, ages 5- 21, had a major impact. Together they took on the entire food drive, from making posters to studying foods’ nutritional values to soliciting donations to preparing food for distribution. All told, the students collected 500 pounds of food, enough to provide the hungry with 625 meals.

Some of the financially less fortunate children contributed as well, which, Mr. Siragusa said, “was worth more than an adults bringing in an entire bag.”

Located in Rockland County’s rolling hills, St. Dominic’s School provides targeted learning for children with special needs. Its intimate size, including two instructors for every eight students, is balanced by its large reputation. St. Dominic’s draws children from New York City, Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties whose needs are too great to be met by their local schools.

The school is part of Saint Dominic’s Home. This nonprofit Catholic social welfare agency affiliated with Catholic Charities is dedicated to meeting the educational, physical, social, emotional, medical, vocational and spiritual needs of 2,300 individuals who are developmentally disabled, socially disadvantaged and/or vocationally challenged.

Founded in 1878, Saint Dominic’s Home began as a safe haven for immigrant children who had been abandoned on the streets of New York City. Today, St. Dominc’s Home provides person-centered care for individuals with developmental disabilities in the Bronx, Orange and Rockland counties so they can live their lives with hope and dignity in a family-like setting. It prepares and supports foster parents so they can give children, who often have been neglected, abused, or abandoned, a brighter future and a loving home and family. It delivers a continuum of care to adults with mental illness and provides them the greatest level of independence. It grows the minds of disadvantaged preschoolers so they are motivated to excel. It gives children and youth with developmental disabilities and serious emotional disturbance living at home the opportunity to live in a more stable family environment.

And, through St. Dominic’s School, it enables children facing emotional and educational challenges to reach their potential.

The food drive, Mr. Siragusa said, has served as a springboard for a variety of activities. Students now participate in “Letters to the Heroes” where they write letters to soldiers thanking them for their service. They also take part in “Operation Goody Bag,” sending candy and homemade Valentine’s Day cards to first responders.

Despite their personal challenges, the students have learned, Mr. Siragusa said, that “there is always something they can do to help someone else.”

Learn more about St. Dominic’s School and Home.

Martin Luther King: “Life’s Most Persistent and Urgent Question”

Monday, January 20th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said  that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘what are you doing for others?’”

Today, as they celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Interfaith Day of Service, 80 Catholic and Jewish teens from Westchester are giving an answer.

Forty youth from St. Peter’s Parish in Yonkers and Holy Rosary in Port Chester will join 40 youth from UJA-Federation to provide a meal and activities for 300 persons in need at the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester.

The day starts early for these 80 teens as they set up, prepare and serve midday meals.  They will also offer art and crafts activities for children attending the event.

The day then ends as youth lead an ecumenical period of reflection; an opportunity to build community while raising hunger awareness.

The event is part of Feeding Our Neighbors, an interfaith campaign to replenish food pantries and soup kitchens that serve those in need.

“What are you doing for others?” Rev. King asked.

Join us in answering this urgent question.

 

Read more in the Daily Voice.

Seven for Sandy; Compassion Is Not Just a Word

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan receives hurricane-recovery donation from Sr. Margaret Anderson, O.P.

By Alice Kenny

Educators are inspiring students, children are inspiring parents and together through the “Seven for Sandy” hurricane recovery campaign begun at Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School they are working to help those hardest hit by the super storm.

“The mission of our school is compassion,” said Sr. Margaret Anderson, OP, Executive Board President of Newburgh Ministry, an affiliate of Catholic Charities, and Director of Guidance at the high school in White Plains. “This is not just a word for our students. We provide ways for them to live it, to reach out to people and have it become a way of life.”

Sr. Margaret gave Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan a $500 check at the Cardinal’s Christmas Luncheon held last week at the Waldorf=Astoria, a third installment of funds collected by the students.

The Catholic high school draws 387 students from Westchester, the Bronx and Putnam counties. A large percentage of them lived without heat, electricity and water for days or weeks after the hurricane whipped through New York on October 29. Yet none of them lost their homes.

They play sports, however, with many who did. The girls varsity soccer and volleyball teams had been scheduled for playoffs with Notre Dame Academy and St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School in Staten Island the week the storm touched down.

Their Seven-for Sandy campaign asks each student to contribute at least $7 to help Staten Island students in need. At the rescheduled playoff games, students gave the Staten Island high schools their first two installments of nearly $500 each plus donations of much needed toiletries and cleaning supplies. Good Counsel students also raised Staten Island students’ spirits – not intentionally, Sr. Margaret said – by losing both games.

Inspired by the students, the school’s parent association developed a Sandy recovery fundraiser as well.

“You think $7 isn’t going to do anything but if everyone puts $7 together it can do something,” said Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School Principal Sr. Laura Donovan, RDC. “We want to be part of the action and inspire others to help.”

Would you like to help others recover?

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

What You Need to Know about Coping with Natural Disasters: Learning from Irene

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Catholic Charities and fellow members of the Westchester County Long-Term Recovery Coalition (WCLRC) hosted the public forum, “Learning From Irene: Coping in the Face of a Natural Disaster,” at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Mamaroneck on August 25.

The forum built on experience gained from the Hurricane Irene disaster that struck one year ago to offer information about disaster preparedness, coping skills and how to handle financial challenges caused by disasters.

Learn more about the event.

Read more about how Catholic Charities is providing disaster relief in 34 counties in New York State.

 

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

 

Catholic Guild for the Blind Celebrates Christmas, and Success

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

By Marianna Reilly

December 22, 2011 — The Catholic Guild for the Blind, a program of Catholic Charities Community Services, held its Christmas party today in our offices at the New York Catholic Center, filled with music from program participants.

The Guild for the Blind has a lot to celebrate. In 2011, the program began providing services in Dutchess County, in addition to their Manhattan and Yonkers locations. Services in Dutchess County, which are based in Poughkeepsie, emphasize orientation and mobility and are being funded by a three-year grant from Lavelle Fund for the Blind.

This growth will allow the Guild for the Blind to provide even more services for those who are blind or visually impaired, multiply disabled, employed individuals requiring “on-the-job” training or workplace management, and for veterans.

The full range of rehabilitation training services provided by Guild for the Blind include communications skills, household skills, personal management, orientation and mobility, vocational training, job development, pre-vocational skills for young adults, social services, and academic services.

Contact the Catholic Guild for the Blind:
Manhattan Office: 646-794-2016 or email
Yonkers Office: 914-476-2700 or email
Poughkeepsie Office: 845-452-1400 or email

How to Volunteer in New York this Christmas Season

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

A volunteer and her daughter at last year’s St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day in Manhattan.

By Marianna Reilly

December 7, 2011 — Looking to give back as Christmas draws near? Catholic Charities invites you learn more about our many New York volunteer opportunities. Check out how our dedicated volunteers are giving back this year, and connecting with our neighbors in need.

  • Did you miss St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day in Westchester? On Tuesday December 6, the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, volunteers helped shop for families in need at our St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day in Westchester, New York. The event, named SNOW (St. Nicholas of Westchester), was held at the White Plains Kmart, and was a great success. Gloves, coats, boots and blankets were among the items piled into shopping carts to help give 60 local families a warm and happy Christmas. Spearheaded by Catholic Charities Board member Susan Salice, SNOW was attended by Westchester County executive Rob Astorino and Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities New York.

Missed it? Want to volunteer at our next Shopping Day?

  • Volunteer at St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day in Manhattan on December 10: Sign up to volunteer at Catholic Charities biggest volunteer event of the year! Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan will be among those who will shop for winter necessities for families in need at the Astor Place Kmart in Greenwich Village on Saturday, December 10. All volunteers will shop for free with funds provided by our generous donors. The St. Nicholas Project, which provides crucial social services to families throughout the year, is largely supported by the fundraising events and activities of the Catholic Charities Junior Board.
  • Did you miss volunteering at our Manhattan Christmas Party? On December 6, volunteers assisted at a Christmas party for mentally challenged individuals at Beacon of Hope House, helping set up the event, serve food, distribute raffles, wrap and give out gifts and gift cards. Beacon of Hope House, an agency run by Catholic Charities Community Services, operates residences for approximately 200 individuals and a day program for the mentally challenged in Staten Island and the Bronx.

Missed it? Want to volunteer at our next Christmas Party?

  • Volunteer at our Westchester Christmas Party on January 7: Assist with a Charity Christmas Party in Yonkers for day laborers and their families who are part of Obreros Unidos, a supportive program operated by Catholic Charities New York. Party volunteers will set up prior to event, serve food, distribute raffles, wrap and give out gifts. A brief orientation and training will take place at the site. Volunteers can choose to participate during one or both shifts on January 7th, 2012: from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., or from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. All that’s needed is an outgoing personality and great interpersonal skills. We especially welcome bilingual volunteers.

Want to discover even more New York volunteer opportunities? Check out our full list of opportunities here, in locations throughout the Archdiocese of New York.