Tag Archives: charities

Give back this holiday season


| Brandpoint@queenscourier.com

QC12122013

The holidays are known for eliciting cheer, thanks and a sense of community as families come together to share some of their most treasured traditions, whether that’s gathering for a special meal, organizing an activity or finding a way to give back to those less fortunate. Last year, Americans gave $316 billion to charity according to Giving USA, but it’s not just financial donations needed. Many organizations depend on donations of time and kindness to get by.

No matter what you choose to donate, giving back feels good. Consider all the different ways you can expand your charitable giving this holiday season:

Make a financial donation as a gift

Consider making a donation to a charity of choice in the name of the person who has everything. Many organizations will provide you with a thank-you card recognizing the donation, which you can then put under the tree for the holiday celebration.

Choose gifts that give back

The holidays are a time when many companies make donations to charities. One such company is Hickory Farms, which will donate $5 to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign for every Party Planner Gift Box sold this holiday season, up to $500,000. This delicious gift box includes Summer Sausage, smooth and creamy cheeses, fresh nuts and crunchy snack mix.

“We are honored to be supported by Hickory Farms again this season. These kinds of partnerships enable us to scale and sustain our efforts to feed more children,” says Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength. “Just $5 can help a child in need receive up to 50 meals. Every donation makes a huge difference.”

Organize a drive

Food banks and clothing charities often struggle with providing enough sustainable food and warm clothing for those in need during the winter months. Have your family and friends ask coworkers and neighbors about donating to your local food bank or clothing charity. Send an announcement via email or post signs on doors a week in advance of your drive. This gives people a chance to collect additional items to be donated.

The holiday season is a time with endless opportunities to give back, whether it’s to an organization you’ve long been affiliated with or to a new cause that you’re just learning about. Giving back to others will help enhance all the emotions and warm feelings the holiday season is meant to bring.

Courtesy BPT

 

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St. John’s students makeover Astoria senior center


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens.

Students from St. John’s University did much more than revitalize the recreational space at Catholic Charities Peter J. Dellamonica Senior Center – they rejuvenated the spirits of the facility’s visitors.

Ten undergraduates visited the senior center, located at 23-56 Broadway in Astoria, on September 24 as part of St. John’s University’s 10th Annual University Service Day. In addition to cleaning and performing general tasks, the students added vibrancy to the facility by painting the computer lab and its adjacent hallway red and white.

“I’m happy with the paint job, because in this economic crisis, this is something that I wouldn’t have been able to afford,” said Ayana Rush, project director of older adult services for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens. “It proved to be a successful project. We livened up the place by adding some color, and the room now has a contemporary, SoHo feel. As a project director, I got to see a space actually mirror the warmth and caring of the programs we provide.”

Along with invigorating the center, the students also interacted with the seniors, creating a unique dynamic between youthful exuberance and seasoned wisdom.

“This is an intergenerational opportunity for seniors to be around young people, and for young people to learn about older adults,” Rush said. “It is a learning opportunity for both generations, and it is nice that they got to come together. The energy the students brought was refreshing, and they definitely energized the seniors.”

St. John’s students also visited eight other Catholic Charities sites across Brooklyn and Queens on September 24, including the Pete McGuiness Senior Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

“It is important for us as a university to recognize those most in need,” said Angela Seegel, the service site coordinator for St. John’s University Service Day. “Our students recognize that those most in need are part of our community. It is our responsibility to serve them. The great thing about this day is that it happens at the beginning of our school year, so it becomes a spring board for the whole year. It tells the students that service to those most in need is a necessary and essential component of their education. Service day creates an environment that it is not us or them, it is we.”

The senior centers act as piazzas for older adults, and provide them with locations to participate in numerous multicultural activities, such as tai chi, yoga, salsa dancing and art classes.

Rush says that the collegians have already contacted her about volunteering additional time at the center, and she believes the experience proved mutually beneficial for the students and seniors.

“For my seniors, they got to see that older adults are not forgotten about, that people are concerned about them and more importantly, they got a makeover that’s well deserved,” she said. “Seniors also felt that the students were invested in their center, and that they cared about them enough to volunteer their time. The students reported feeling happy to provide the service, and they were happy to engage in conversations with the seniors. Overall it was a social investment for both my older adults and the students.”