AUGUST 2015 NEWSLETTER
Ø CHARITY RAFFLE - STATEN ISLAND INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF PRAISE, newly-established and founded by Rev. S. Thomas and Helen Cletus will be awarded $500.00 worth of food (Margaret and Michele Yacovello did the shopping to get more bang for our bucks – they got $800 worth of food). This raffle was won my Mary Alfano and this new food pantry was Mary’s choice to giving. Please note, we are re-instituting a two-draw charity raffle pull if we collect $400 in the pot starting in October.
Ø GIFT BASKET DONATED BY Cha Sanders and Lisa Cruz, was won by Lillian Escobar and the $200.00 which was raised was donated to our Adopt-a-Pantry initiative and will be added to another $300 to give our $500 bundle donation to Assumption-St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church.
Ø ANNUAL ICE CREAM SOCIAL , August 15, at the Carousel, was an overwhelming success. The Staten Island Advance article with photos was passed around the meeting room; everyone was very pleased and proud. We also collected a full truckload of school supplies at the social and served 150 ice cream “customers” and carousel riders. Thank you Fidelis Care for your collaboration.
Ø SECOND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL DINNER GALA discussion, sign-ups and money collection. Get the skinny on the gala (on next page) but take note that you can pay through www.statenislandgivingcircle.com via Paypal or mail a check made payable to the Staten Island Giving Circle to Evelyn Kormanik, 240 Guyon Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10306. Tickets are now $65/person. Note your table partners with this submission.
Ø DUAL HALLOWEEN PARTIES – We need costumes and candy! Tina and her team will host a Halloween party at the Mariners Harbor Housing Program the first weekend in October and Evelyn has a team going to Project Hospitality House on Friday Evening, October 16. Please e-mail Tina at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Evelyn at: email@example.com to volunteer to help and/or donate (costumes and candy).
Ø NO SEPTEMBER MEETING; NEXT MEETING OCTOBER 21, 2015 AT THE OLD BERMUDA INN, 7 P.M.
CRUCIAL DATES – R.S.V.P.s NEEDED
Thursday, September 17, 7 p.m. is our Second Annual International Dinner Gala at Grand Plaza, 23A Nelson Avenue, Staten Island. I am attaching the attendee list as of today and the food commitments as of today (Aug. 25). We have lots of verbal commitments for attendance, but it’s getting late, so we absolutely need you to bring Evelyn/Mike your money or send in your checks to secure a seat. We need to give the Grand Plaza a final count so they can set up the tables. You cannot pay at the door. Remember this is the biggest fundraiser of the year for our beautiful group. The proceeds allow us to do so much extra ‘giving’ for children in need, seniors in need and invent and provide events for our entire community. The monies are spent for class trips, art lessons (art, music, photography, cooking). This event is the forefront of our planning currently and we are asking your cooperation in making this a success. That means R.S.V.P.ing NOW….. Also, remember, if you are unable to attend, but want to support the event, how about buying a ticket for someone else, putting in money for a raffle sheet [20 chances], or donating a ½ tray of your specialty. There are always ways to participate even if you can’t physically be there.
First Weekend of October – TINA’S GROUP’S HALLOWEEN PARTY AT MARINER’S HARBOR. Looking for gently-used costumes and candy and extra hands.
Friday, October 16, 6 p.m. – EVELYN’S GROUP’S HALLOWEEN PARTY AT PROJECT HOSPITALITY. Looking for gently-used costumes and candy and extra hands.
THIRD WEDNESDAY OF EVERY MONTH - Our monthly meetings at Old Bermuda Inn, 7 p.m. (with the exception of September due to the Dinner Gala).
DECEMBER HOLIDAY BRUNCH – OLD BERMUDA INN – Donna Fischer and Ceil Scalia will be heading plans for this year’s holiday get together. We’ll keep you posted.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT COLUMN – NEW IDEAS; POSSIBLE INITIATIVES GOING INTO 2016
Prom Dresses – for years, as many of you know, we collected gently-used prom dresses which were distributed to young ladies looking for junior and senior prom attire. How about thinking about collecting and hosting a SENIOR PROM – that is a BALL for our senior population? Wouldn’t it be nice to let the senior centers have a special occasion like this? Hey, they could start at 6 p.m., taking into account their sleep needs!
Heritage Book – when going through our member list and realizing how many of us are immigrants and first generation immigrant children, it occurred to us that we should compile these stories and accompanying recipes to offer as a fundraising tool. Our International Dinner is rich with foods of all nations and beautiful immigrant stories – some countries represented will be Sri Lanka, Haiti, Slovakia, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Korea, China, Germany, Romania, to name a few. We could interview, construct and self publish a heritage book. What do you think of this idea? If you want to participate, let us know.
Literacy for Adults - Mentoring for children and students is an on-going interest and idea but let’s add putting together a team to teach literacy to adults. This is a population that needs attention and patient understanding. We have many retired teachers, educators, and readers so I think we could get a nice crew together to offer this service. What do you think?
SIGC Version of S.C.O.R.E. With a similar objective, I’d like to assemble a group of our membership to mentor college-bound seniors to give these students an idea of what exactly an architect, writer, secretary, engineer, teacher, entrepreneur, nurse…..is and what the could expect in the way of reaching those goals. Many times, kids have no idea of “what they want to be” and have little knowledge of what lies ahead. We could take the mystery out of career goals a little. These round tables would give lots of information that maybe the Guidance Counselors don’t have time for and we could provide real stories, pitfalls, encouragement, suggestions, etc.
School Supply Closets - As we have done for years, we just completed our back pack collections for kids headed back to school in a couple of weeks. But we think we have an even better idea for supplying school supplies through the entire year. We are going to initiate a project where we collect (all year long) money and/or supplies to give the TEACHERS in the struggling schools. We will stock supply closets that the teachers have control over. Teachers these days spend a great deal of money “out of pocket” to keep their students supplied. There are kids who come to school with no pen, pencils, paper or Kleenex (ewww). We feel this approach provides more control (not every kid needs to whole back pack thing, but suddenly needs a notebook or colored pencils. One of our very newest members, Maria Romano has agreed to spearhead a money collection from her friends to get the project off the ground. Maria is a retired teacher and knows the difficulties experienced in so many schools. So bring on the supplies and/or a check for us to shop.
Corporate Matching Funds - Most of you know that we were just awarded our 501(c)(3) tax status and are now able to accept corporate donations and/or matching funds. If each of you could please suggest one company/corporation for us to approach, we could start making ourselves known and eligible for funding. We need you all to chime in on this….this has to be group brainstorming. Please try to assist with this endeavor.
Back Packs for Homeless - As winter approaches, we’ll hear over and over about the homeless men and women living on the streets and looking for shelter at night. Several of the churches provide shelter and we think it would be good to give these houses of shelter filled backpacks to distribute to those who need hygiene products, toiletries, new/dry socks and underwear, hoodies, gloves, hats, etc. If you love this idea, please let us know that you will take ownership of trying to scare up donors for this. We’ll need you to assemble the bags and drop them to the appropriate houses of shelter.
Storage Area – As you can see, we have so many ideas for collecting “stuff” needed. We really could use a storage area – a vacant garage, room, niche in a house or building. Renting a storage bin is not cost effective for us, but if you know of a space which could be donated to us for this use, please let us know.
New Children’s Group – In addition to our years’ long hosting of bi-monthly birthday parties at Project Hospitality’s children’s shelter, we are adding another large group of children in need. We are collaborating with Ms. Kiki Charles who is the Ambassador of all things good in the Mariner Harbor housing complexes to provide educational and recreational activities for these kids. Here is a great place to thank Lina Fang who contributes regularly to our Project Hospitality children’s events. Which reminds me…..
Dual Halloween Parties - This was pretty well explained on Page 1, but please circle back and comment and pile on to volunteer and donate to the two places mentioned just above.
2015 AVON BREAST WALK – The Giving Circle has for years provided strong support to this event, especially since several of our members work all year on it. Mary Traina, Michele Baialardo, Kristen Tarsillo and the teens of these families work tirelessly to raise funds and they also walk the walk (37 miles….OMG). They have a fundraiser September 25th at the Looney Bin Comedy Club ($20/person). Please direct inquiries to Michele Baialardo at 718-619-9725. As with all our “asks,” the kindest, more helpful thing you can do is RESPOND!!!
The gift basket for the October meeting will be provided by: Mary Traina and Michele Baialardo. The proceeds will go to their Avon Breast endeavor.
Thank you to Carole Speth for all her baking; Carole provides the whole dessert table for our monthly meetings which is time consuming and she bears the total expense.
I’m looking for a used iPad to be given to my little Liberian friend (an amputee) who needs it for school.
I’m sending in a submission to ford.com/goodworks to try to win our group $25,000!
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” John W. Gardner, American government official
(I’m not sure about this quote; I believe in second starts, so go ahead and cross out and begin again)
A Poem Dedicated to the Staten Island Giving Circle By Dwight Owens
Giving doesn’t always require money cause time and effort are free.
Giving doesn’t require a resume; it doesn’t require a college degree.
Giving means sacrifice; it’s unselfish and it’s kind.
Giving can mean being a mentor; It’s not meant for those that whine.
Giving shows compassion; It can mean to serve or to volunteer.
But it has to be from the heart; it has to be sincere.
I give because God gave me a 2nd chance at life; It’s my destination.
I owe it all to him as part of my salvation.
I give to help save lives and to give others hope.
I don’t ever want people to be depressed or to sit around and mope.
I give because I literally get chills when I see others smile.
No matter what I’m going through, their joy makes everything worthwhile.
You should give because it could help someone else heal.
That could mean just listening to someone or providing a meal.
You should give because you didn’t get where you are by yourself.
No matter how successful you are, at some point you received someone else’s help.
You should give because it’s simply the right thing to do.
No matter what or how you give, I show my appreciation to you.
If you haven’t been a giver, then start doing it today.
Accidents happen; you may need the same help one day.
No matter how bad your situation may be, there is always someone worse.
It would be wise not to always do it for payback or to be reimbursed.
I’m impressed with the Giving Circle; I’m sure I’m not alone!
Thank you for making a difference; I encourage you to give on.