A Year of Thanks!
- Anne Degruttola
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A Year of Thanks!
Happy New Year! Bethany House enters 2023, feeling quite fulfilled and incredibly fortunate. Our holidays were busy, fun-filled, and quite joyous.
December was an extremely busy month for us. We started the month with a visit from Chaplain Wife Amanda Beaudet, and several members of the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. They dropped off many needed items that they collected for our guests, and then they spent some quality time engaging with our guests.
On December 11th, Gabrielle and Marissa, of Yoga +Brunch Club LI Team hosted a pop-up holiday event at BrewSA in Freeport, New York. The event featured a yoga class, brunch, raffles, and a vendor market. A portion of the event ticket sales and the proceeds of the raffles were donated to Bethany House. It was a great time, and after the event, the owners of BrewSA made a generous food donation of canned and boxed goods to our homes.
The following week, we celebrated the holidays in grand fashion with a holiday party sponsored by Project DM. Leena and her family went above and beyond to show our guests a great time. At an outside venue in Baldwin, New York, our guests enjoyed delicious food, fun, crafts, music, and dancing. Santa made a surprise visit, and every child received gifts from Santa and had the opportunity to take pictures with him.
We celebrated Hanukkah with Vivian Floch, who engaged with our guests and shared information about the significance of the holiday. Vivian taught about the miracle of the oil, that lasted for eight days, and the importance of lighting the menorah. Vivian brought with her a beautiful menorah that had been in her family for decades, and traditional menorah candles. While the candles burned, we enjoyed delicious jelly donuts from Wall’s Bake Shop, a family-owned, kosher bakery in Hewlett.
The holiday celebrations continued with Elder Dawn West and her team from Calvary Tabernacle, visiting each of our houses to sing carols and bring stockings filled with gifts to our guests. The Tabernacle is located in Hempstead, New York.
Just a few days before Christmas, a lovely group of young ladies — Rachel November, a Hofstra University law student, together with her long-time friends from high school, Bianca, Maribel, Rachel, and Gina — dropped off an abundance of household items, food, and books that they collected from their donation drive for Bethany House. After dropping off their items, they toured one of our homes and had the opportunity to meet and engage with some of our guests.
Every year, we hold an Adopt-A-Family program in which our supporters “adopt” a woman, or a woman and her children, and purchase gifts from their Christmas wish list for them to open Christmas morning. This year, over 25 supporters “adopted” our guests and brought much-needed joy to their holidays. We cannot thank our Adopt-A-Family supporters enough. Your kindness and generosity are what the world needs more of!
And of course, we must also give thanks to Pat Palapoli's family, who has been providing holiday pajamas to all our women and children for many years. Continuing her late daughter Kristin's love of holiday pajamas, Pat, along with family and friends, made sure all of our guests had holiday attire for Christmas morning!
Bethany House was once again the recipient of the Bombas Giving Partners’ generosity and received over 500 women’s tee shirts and underwear for our guests. We shared their generosity and our overflow with other organization in our area, like The Inn in Hempstead, Martin Luther King Center in Rockville Centre, North Shore Soup Kitchen and Micnight Run. Thank you, Bombas! Learn more about the good they are doing at their website!
Bethany House is so fortunate, all throughout the year, and the holidays tend to bring us even more wonderful individual and corporate donors. During the holiday season, our guests enjoyed many delicious meals and treats, and received much needed household and personal items.
Bethany House continues to be immensely grateful for our supportive community, and their commitment to our mission and our guests. As we move forward into 2023, Bethany House looks forward to continuing our relationship with our supporters, building connections and fostering stronger partnerships with other organizations in Nassau County that are also doing great work to address the needs of the unhoused in our community.
We wish you and yours a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2023!