Open Hearts Meet the Community’s Needs at the Holidays, and Throughout the Year
Since its initial meeting five Decembers ago, the Community Coalition (C2) has been identifying and addressing the broad spectrum of area needs.
Encouraged by the Kids’ Club of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, this advocacy group of local residents, school representatives and non-profit leaders “provided the genesis for the community food pantry, which is now a 501(c)(3) organization; created a system of coordination for yearly holiday efforts; make available a forum for collaboration and awareness of what other organizations are doing,” C2 board member Theresa Kilman explained.
Tarrytown Patch reported that prior to receiving non-profit status, the food pantry operated monthly, providing a holiday meal for more than 300 people in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. The initiative now feeds about 750 to 800 people each each month and was the first pantry to receive the Food Bank for Westchester’s Michal Winter Award for Agency Excellence (The Hudson Independent, April 2014).
Additionally, “as part of our ongoing education and so that we can all better effectively meet community needs, the C2 invites guest speakers to discuss issues of interest,” Kilman said. One recent speaker was Brian Conybeare, Special Advisor to the Governor for the New NY Bridge Project. The group enjoyed its first-hand look at the project and its specifics, she said.
Additional guest speakers have included Luisa Bellolio of Family Services of Westchester discussing the agency’s no-fee, after-school program for “at-risk youth” at Washington Irvington School; Jane Aoyama-Martin and Sandy Santiago-Ramos from the Pace Women’s Justice Center (PWJC) talking about the free and reduced-fee legal services programs available to victims of domestic violence and elder abuse in the county; and Sister Kelly Carpenter, who shared about her role as an immigration lawyer at RSHM Life Center and other places.
Kilman said numerous projects are in need of donations. For details about how to assist C2 and its charitable drives, click here (page 2 of THI’s December issue).
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Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014