Thankful Giving Partner

Bethany House was once again the recipient of the Bomba’s Giving Partners’ Generosity and received over 500 woman’s tee shirts and underwear for our guests. We shared their generosity and our overflow with other organizations in the area such as the Martin Luther King Center in Rockville Centre, North Shore Soup Kitchen and Midnight Run. Thank you, Bombas! Learn more about the good they are doing at their website!

A Year of Thanks!

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!

Bethany House featured in Newsday: “Meet 5 pros who recruit volunteers for LI’s nonprofits”

“From a conversation, you are never sure what’s going to happen,” said Jane McCabe, volunteer coordinator for Bethany House of Nassau County, which runs three emergency shelters and two transitional homes for single women and women with children.

McCabe, 66, of Rockville Centre, who is married and has two grown children, began volunteering at Bethany House in 2011, two years after leaving a 30-year career at a trade journal. Volunteering to bake cakes, set the dinner table and help babysit children one night a week offered McCabe an opportunity to listen to personal stories, helping her “understand the women and children better and see what they needed.”

After in-shelter volunteering was suspended as a pandemic precaution in 2020, McCabe still wanted to contribute. “I posted about volunteer opportunities often on the local RVC Moms Facebook page, and as a result people often contacted me and asked how they can help,” she said. Aware of McCabe’s social networking savvy, Bethany House hired her as a part-time volunteer coordinator in 2020.

As COVID-19 cases waned in the summer of 2021, volunteers returned and now number about 55 regular volunteers, she said. Nowadays she’s fielding inquiries from about 50 prospective volunteers each month. McCabe said she will “size up what they like to do, what they can do and what we need them to do.”

Among her fans is Ryan King, 16, a member of South Side High School’s Bethany Buddies, a student club. Ryan said he felt “terrified” on the first day he volunteered until McCabe “made me feel welcome.”

“She walked me in, and basically she showed me around the house and introduced me to everyone, which made me feel more at home,” Ryan said.

Volunteers also include Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, college students, and about 100 individuals and organizations, McCabe said. For her efforts at Bethany House, McCabe was recognized as a 2019 Woman of Distinction at a New York State Capitol ceremony.

“Bethany House has been around since 1978 and is very well known in the surrounding neighborhoods,” said McCabe. That, along with McCabe’s people skills, has yielded unusual donations: fresh-baked cupcakes, free hairstyle makeovers for the women, and a 55-inch smart TV.

“The residents are loving it,” McCabe said of the TV. “And it all came from a phone call.”

https://www.newsday.com/beta/long-island/li-life/volunteer-nonprofit-work-professional-bnchzfdb

“Combating homelessness with the Branford Marsalis Quartet”

Over 80 patrons of Molloy University’s theater program gathered last week to raise money for Bethany House, which helps woman and children experiencing homelessness.

Bethany House, which has facilities in Baldwin, Bellmore Roosevelt and has sheltered the homeless for more than 40 years, partnered with Molloy, a longtime supporter, to host a fundraiser at Molloy’s Madison Theatre last Friday. It featured Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet. 

The event began with hors d’oeuvres and beverages at a pre-concert reception in the Larini Room, on the second floor of the theater.

Lisa King, a board member of Bethany House and a co-chairwoman of its development and communications committee, explained that the concert was a collaborative effort between the organization and Molloy, which have partnered in the past to raise money for the shelters. At the annual Boxtown event, Molloy students camp out in boxes in the campus square to simulate a night of homelessness, and raise money for woman and children experiencing the real thing. 

King said that Ellen Foley, a Bethany House volunteer, came up with the idea for a fundraising performance at the theater after visiting with her family last year. Foley said that her husband, Jack, suggested that she and her colleagues at Bethany House partner to create a combined event. 

Zimmerman said she discussed the idea with other members of the Bethany House board, and the organization and the university joined forces. 

Angela Zimmerman, the director of alumni relations at Molloy and a fellow Bethany House board member, said that Molloy is a natural partner for Bethany House, because their missions complement each other. Bethany House, like Molloy, Zimmerman said shares values much like Molloy’s four pillars — study, service, spirituality and community. 

“Through our office of development,” Zimmerman explained, “Molloy University students have done everything from social work to mental health counseling to speech pathology at Bethany House.” 

At the same time, she added, by supporting homeless women and their children, Bethany House effectively roots out homelessness two generations at a time.

Edward Thompson, Molloy’s vice president for advancement, said that Nassau County residents have an obligation to help others who are down on their luck, as Bethany House does. He is motivated not so much by charity, Thompson said, as by an obligation to Molloy’s mission to serve the community and help the downtrodden.

Doug O’Dell, executive director of Bethany House, said that it differentiates itself from other shelters because it is a community organization as well. Some people come to Bethany House, he said, because they are struggling with financial issues, domestic abuse or substance abuse, and there they can feel safe, recover from their trauma and prepare to take on the world again. 

“You walk into one of our Bethany homes and you smell the food cooking, and see a decoration that says, ‘You’re welcome here,’” O’Dell said. “They then know that they’re home.”

Molloy President Jim Lentini said he was impressed by the work Bethany House does for woman in Nassau County, and was committed to maintaining the longstanding relationship between the organization and the university.

Lentini was impressed by Marsalis’s performance as well. “Branford Marsalis and his quartet displayed a rare form of jazz artistry in what was a spectacular concert,” Lentini said. “Their set of original compositions was performed with a kind of nuance and sophistication that only master players can execute. And they did so, beautifully. The full house in Madison loved every minute of the performance, which drew enthusiastic applause after each solo and throughout the evening.  It was a great night on the Madison stage.”

Silva, Andre, “Combating homelessness with Branford Marsalis”, https://www.liherald.com/baldwin/stories/combating-homelessness-with-the-branford-marsalis-quartet,160465 January  26, 2023

From our home to yours: December 2022

Here at Bethany House, we often say, “The average person spends 365 hours a month at home. Imagine… what it’s like not to have one.” During the holiday season, many people gather with family and friends in their homes and, for a moment, everything feels right in the world. Imagine having no home to go to, or no home to call your own. It is always a trying situation being homeless, but during the holiday season, it is especially difficult. At Bethany House, we are determined to make this a season of love, joy and hope for women, and women with children, who are struggling through the challenges of homelessness.

Over the past several weeks, the people of Nassau County have turned out in force to assure the women, and women with children, at Bethany House that they are loved.  Our Bethany House extended family of faith-based organizations, community groups and warm-hearted families and individuals have given their time, talents and treasure to assure our Bethany House guests that there is hope for their future.

If you have already donated in response to our annual appeal to support the individuals and families we serve, we thank you for your compassion and generosity.  If you have not yet been able to do so, we ask for you to consider donating in support of the work we are doing together to move individuals and families experiencing homelessness through transition to stability. You can donate here, and know that your monetary gift is providing hope for a promising future to our guests and their children.

Thank you for all that you do for our guests struggling through the many challenges associated with homelessness.

We wish you, your families and friends a holiday season filled with joy.