Fall Festivities

Happy Autumn from Bethany House! Autumn is a time for change, back to school, and planting. The start of this season was a busy time for us at Bethany House, as we helped the moms get their children ready to go back to school. Thanks to our amazing community of corporate and individual donors, volunteers, and faith-based organizations, we were able to ensure that every one of the students was well equipped and well dressed for a successful school year.

In September we welcomed four new interns: Stephanie Blackwell, Social Work intern from Molloy University; Kelly Haims, Social Work intern from Fordham University; Gabriela Hernandez, Mental Health Counseling intern from Bellevue University; and our own bi-lingual Case Manager, Jazmine Tavarez-Herrera from Adelphi University. The interns will be working in all of our homes, assisting our guests as needed. We welcome the energy and excitement they bring to our mission. We are also excited about the activities the interns have planned to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

On September 14, 2022, Calvary Tabernacle, in Hempstead, New York, hosted a Pray and Paint event in our home for all of our guests. It was a wonderful event, and we learned of the many hidden artistic talents of our guests. 

For the month of September, Horton’s Flower Farm, in Riverhead, New York, graciously donated to Bethany House a portion of the proceeds from their sales for the month. On September 24, 2022, several members of the Bethany House executive team took a trip to Horton’s, enjoyed the outdoors, and picked and arranged beautiful bouquets. Several of the beautiful bouquets were delivered to each of our homes.

In October, Stop & Shop has once again chosen Bethany House as the recipient of their environmentally-conscious Community Bag Program.  Throughout October, Bethany House will receive $1 for any $2.50 reusable bag purchased at the Merrick Mall store. 

As we move forward into the remaining months of this year, we are looking forward to many celebrations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, thanks to the many generous individuals, groups, businesses and organizations who graciously support Bethany House. We are extremely grateful for the returning supporters and for new supporters we have connected with this year, who are partnering with us to ensure that the women and children in our homes have a joyous holiday season.

‘Tis the Season of Giving!

Bethany House is overwhelmingly fortunate for the outpouring of community support all year round, especially towards the end of the year, when Thanksgiving and winter holidays come upon us.  Every day staff and those involved with Bethany House receive inquiries asking how to help.  

Donate! Monetary donations make a great impact on the work we are able to do in our programs and every bit can help.  Visit www.bhny.org/donate to donate today!

Transportation is a major challenge for many of our guests.  MetroCardsUber gift cards and Lyft gift cards are tremendously useful and always needed!

Purchase items from our Amazon Wish List HERE!  Our guests continuously provide feedback on what they need and we update their requests on the wish list, accordingly.  Non-perishable foods and paper goods are always needed!

Donate a meal.  We are so fortunate to have so many of our delicious meals provided to us from the community.  Contact our Volunteer Coordinator Jane McCabe at janemccabe@bhny.org to donate today!


Grateful for Grants

Thank You, Assembly Member Judy Griffin!

Assembly Member Judy Griffin (District 21) has been a staunch advocate of Bethany House since her first election to the New York State Assembly in 2018.  She has a long history of volunteerism and advocacy in the local community, and her Assembly committee participation reflects her priorities and those of her constituents.  Judy is the Chair of the Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes and is a member of the following committees: Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; Environmental Conservation; Government Employees; and Higher Education. She is also a member of the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Task Force on Women’s Issues (https://www.assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=021&sh=about).

Bethany House is indebted to Assembly Member Griffin for successfully sponsoring three legislative grants on behalf of Bethany House, most recently for $60,000, for a three-year total of $100,000 to date.  The first two were used to support the general operation of the programming in the houses, and the most recent grant will be earmarked for a Senior Case Manager for our Safe Ground for Families Transitional Services initiative.  This funding is essential to ensuring excellent services and optimal outcomes for the women, and women with children, residing at Bethany House.

Cooking with Class!

Danielle O’Toole, a retired personal culinary instructor, recently began offering cooking classes at one of our homes. After reviewing possible menu ideas with our guests, she comes with the chosen meal fully cooked, as well as all the ingredients to cook the meal with our guests watching her instruction.  Her class is similar to the many cooking shows offered on television. Danielle goes through all the steps needed to prepare the meal, explaining what she is doing, the techniques being used, and ways to keep within a set budget.

For September, she showed our guests economical ways to prepare fried chicken, creamed spinach (you wouldn’t believe how easy it is!) and mac n’ cheese. While preparing the meal, Danielle offers tips as well as affordable and simple ingredient ideas to jazz up a meal.  Danielle enlists her circle of friends to contribute toward the cost of the prepared and instructional meals. Bethany House is extremely grateful to Danielle for the generous donation of her time and expertise, and to her friends for the ingredients for the delicious meals. The women at Bethany House are eagerly awaiting their next lesson and meal!  

From our home to yours: August 2022

The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer at Bethany House

When Nat King Cole reflected on those lazy and hazy days of summer, he couldn’t have imagined all the amazing things happening at Bethany House. That said, Mr. Cole sure got the “crazy” part right. This summer of 2022 has been crazy for Bethany House – crazy good!

Bethany House received official word from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) that our Bethany Too program had been certified on July 22, 2022, to serve 11 single women. We then received word from OTDA on August 10, 2022, that our Bethany One and Bethany South programs had been among the first programs in Nassau County to be certified to serve 12 and 10 families, respectively. Certification by the NYS OTDA confirms that women, and women with children, who turn to Bethany House when challenged by homelessness, will receive the highest quality of service in the finest facilities. The journey to certification is arduous. Policies need to be enhanced, facilities must be upgraded and staff need to be retrained to meet the high standards required for certification. The preparation for certification involved extensive support and guidance from our colleagues at the NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance and the Nassau County Department of Social Services. As importantly, Bethany House certification was brought to reality through the vision of the Bethany House Board of Directors- past and present- with the support of board and volunteer committee members, and the hard work of a dedicated group of extremely talented Bethany House leadership staff.

The summer of 2022 has also been a time for us to formally bid farewell to the many college students who interned with Bethany House over the past year. We said farewell and offered our appreciation to the many students from Nassau Community College, Molloy University, Fordham University and the New York Theological Seminary. With the guidance of our leadership staff, these amazing students brought much needed health, counseling and empowerment services into our programs that led to physical, emotional and spiritual healing for our guests and their children. During these last, hazy days of summer, we have prepared for the upcoming year and welcomed our next group of interns from Adelphi, Fordham, Molloy and Bellevue University.

The many faith-based, business and corporate organizations that support the women and children at Bethany House took no time off this summer. The amazing members of these organizations continued to donate much needed food, clothing, household supplies, school supplies and even Chromebook computers for our guests. The members of these same organizations arranged numerous opportunities for our guests to enjoy recreational and entertainment activities with our neighbors in Nassau County.

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention that the dedicated volunteers, who support the work of Bethany House, all continued to work straight through the summer supporting our guests and planning fundraising and direct service activities for the next year. These fundraisers and activities ensure the best quality of service for the women and children who turn to Bethany house in their time of need.

Obviously, the summer of 2022 has been anything but lazy or hazy. And it certainly has been crazy good!

The Bethany House Board of Directors and leadership staff leave the summer of 2022 with grateful hearts. We look forward to the coming academic year with hope, determination and anticipation of all the crazy good things to come.

Be well and thanks for all that you do.


Doug O’Dell
Executive Director