newborn baby things for aiding homeless mothers at YM&YWHA

The Y Organizes Drive to Aid Homeless Mothers

The Y invited the community to help fellow New Yorkers by contributing to a collection benefitting Siena House. The week-long drive culminated at the Y’s Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 24 and today we delivered the boxes to the Bronx shelter.

“In order to fulfill one of the good deeds associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim, each year we choose a social justice project that will resonate with our community,” said Martin Englisher, Chief Executive Officer at the Y. “Last year we ran a very successful drive to gather and send items to the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. This year, to tie into our Wizard of Oz-inspired carnival theme, we worked to help those without a permanent home.”

The No Place Like Home theme borrows Dorothy’s famous words and is the reason the Y’s social justice project focused on homelessness. “Having a safe and supportive home is a desire we can all relate to, however many New Yorkers aren’t fortunate to have materialized,” said Victoria Neznansky, the Y’s Chief Development and Social Services Officer. “Like Dorothy, the mothers at Siena House dream of finding home. Our collection for the shelter will support them as they transition from being homeless to living independently in permanent housing.”

In the week leading up to the Purim Carnival and on the day itself, the Y collected items that are needed to support the 27 mothers and their young children who are residing at Siena House. At a time when these new mothers are particularly vulnerable, the shelter provides housing placement assistance, social services, and parenting and career workshops within a safe environment. Toiletries, diapers, baby bottles, onesies, and crib sheets are among the items that are needed at Siena House and that the Y collected.

“While there was an electric, festive energy at our carnival, it wasn’t just a day of fun and games,” said Marketing Director Kita Lantman. “We were sincerely moved by our community’s commitment to help those in need. Carnival guests didn’t just come in fabulous costumes, they came with donations in tow.” Thanks to their generosity, the Y sent a dozen (large!) boxes to Siena House on Monday, April 1.

About the Y
Established in 1917, the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood (the Y) is Northern Manhattan’s premier Jewish community center — serving an ethnically and socio-economically diverse constituency — improving the quality of life for people of all ages through critical social services and innovative programs in health, wellness, education, and social justice, while promoting diversity and inclusion, and caring for those in need.

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