Showing posts with label The Bowery Mission. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Bowery Mission. Show all posts

Monday, June 28, 2021

How you can help The Bowery Mission protect New Yorkers from summer heat

Article by Mackenna Caughron
Photos by Gabe Desanti

While residents are turning on their air conditioners and sharpening their social skills this summer, the season presents challenging circumstances for a subset of our population: New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. 

In the past year, we have gained a newfound appreciation for social interaction, yearning for in-person experiences. But we may have underappreciated another basic resource — hygiene care.

For New Yorkers living on the streets, summer represents equal or greater health risks than chilling winter, a dangerous counterpart that may come as a surprise. 

In cooler months, trips outside immediately elicit thoughts of those shivering without a proper jacket. But summer is the season where the absence of a cool space, a bathroom, a shower can chip away at a person's humanity — or even lead to a health emergency.

In New York City, public bathrooms are scarce and have limited operating hours. To address this problem affecting thousands, funding requires specific authorization. The limits and scarcity of our bathrooms represent a tangled problem experienced by thousands of New Yorkers, who face an increased risk of dehydration, heatstroke, rashes, infections, blisters and respiratory stress as temperatures rise. 

Thankfully, local organizations like The Bowery Mission serve our New York neighbors most impacted by the heat and hygiene crisis. The Bowery Mission offers hand-washing stations, cold water, public restrooms, and cool indoor seating across two campuses in lower Manhattan. 

At the Mission's Bowery Campus at 227 Bowery, a full shower and clothing program is available on Tuesdays (for men and women), Wednesdays (men) and Fridays (men), with sign-up taking place at 6:45 a.m. on the day of the program. Each person receives hygiene items and a full set of clean clothing.

The Mission and its agency partners rely on community support to provide these services. Donated hygiene care items — such as body wash, razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, nail clippers and mouthwash — are needed in copious quantities and are often under-donated (see a full list of needed items here). 

The Mission also needs volunteers to help organize the clothing room (sign up here), which now requires new men's underwear and undershirts.
Action begins with awareness, even as New York City headlines center on re-openings and political races. Noticing the impact of scorching heat on our neighbors and the anonymity and dehumanization it may bring begins with empathy. If a person appears to be suffering, then the offer of a cool water bottle can go a long way. 

Mackenna Caughron works as a consultant, though her passions include writing, photography, and advocacy. You can find more of her writing on MackennaLee.com and reach her at shecapturesphotographs@gmail.com.

Previously on EV Grieve:

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Savannah Guthrie raised $217k for the Bowery Mission while guest host of 'Jeopardy!'

On Monday, we mentioned that Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor of the "Today" show on NBC, served as guest host on "Jeopardy!" 

In honor of the late Alex Trebek, the show matches contestant winnings with a donation to the charity of the guest host's choice. 

Guthrie's choice was The Bowery Mission. After her first week, she raised more than $105,000. 

And upon completion of her second week, she totaled $217,985 ...

Monday, June 21, 2021

Who is Savannah Guthrie? This Jeopardy! guest host helped raise $105K for the Bowery Mission

Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor of the "Today" show on NBC, is the current guest host on "Jeopardy!"

Honoring the late Alex Trebek, the show matches contestant winnings with a donation to the charity of the guest host's choice.

And Guthrie's pick: The Bowery Mission. One week in, she has raised more than $105,000... And she'll be back on "Jeopardy!" this week. The show airs at 7 p.m. on ABC 7. 

Thank you to EVG reader Allen Semanco for letting me know about this!

Friday, March 5, 2021

Meeting Chef Wayne from the Bowery Mission

Interview by Mackenna Caughron 

Wayne is a chef at the Bowery Mission, currently working across their Bowery and Tribeca campuses to serve New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. 

I met Wayne while he was in the throes of dinner preparation. His meals look outstanding — no surprises there, as his food fuels thousands of hungry New Yorkers and counting. It’s apparent why he’s so effective at his job — not only is he an expert in the creation of hot meals, but also his presence emits warmth. Spending an hour with Wayne (without even tasting his food, mind you), I felt lifted.

I asked Wayne several questions to learn more about his journey to the Bowery Mission and the recent impact of the pandemic.

What is your first memory of The Bowery Mission?

In 2012, I experienced temporary homelessness. I was staying at a nearby shelter, not far from the Bowery Mission’s flagship campus at 227 Bowery. At the time, I’d go to The Bowery Mission to get food, get clothing, but I didn’t know much about the organization overall. For two years, I held occasional jobs but was having a hard time finding steadier work and housing.

In 2014, I signed up for the Bowery Mission’s men’s residential program. By October of that same year, I had graduated from the program and secured a job at the organization’s Avenue D Campus.

How did you transition from program participant to staff member?

When I first got into the program, we had daily tasks. It gave us something to do, but it also taught us skills. I spent my time in the kitchen, working with the chefs and volunteers.

It wasn’t easy at first. We serve a wide variety of people dealing with extreme circumstances. To be on the front line of serving food while monitoring interactions could be tough. Some folks direct the challenges of their day toward you. Over the years, I’ve better understood where they’re coming from and why they act this way. 

In my time working at the Bowery Mission, I’ve also worked at their Mont Lawn Camp and Retreat Center in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, which was an incredible experience. It is beautiful, 200-plus acres with a retreat center, a gym, basketball court, rock climbing wall — the works. Compared to the city, there are no sirens, no city noises. Seeing the organization’s full-circle impact makes me feel more strongly about working at the Bowery Mission.

How have you grown throughout your transitions from program participant to graduate to staff member across campuses?

On a personal level, I’ve learned that serving a person a great meal does a lot. Initially, I cooked to keep busy and develop my skills. Now, I look for the relief on a client’s face. I see in their demeanor when I’ve removed the worry of having to feed themselves. 

I also learned to communicate thoughtfully. If I’m met with aggression, I temper the conversation to encourage different behavior.

All our locations operate differently, some campuses are more focused on emergency shelter, some are focused on residential programming, but my focus is always to make a good meal.

Do you notice changes in donations during recent times?

Being in the food industry myself, I’ve seen how hard it is for restaurants right now. They’re not receiving the same customer base. But it’s amazing how our donation partners have pulled together and said, “even though we’ve been affected by this negatively, that shouldn’t put a damper on what the Bowery Mission is trying to do.” 

People are still trying to gather as many resources as they can to help. We’re now getting packaged food. Companies and organizations are preparing meals and putting them in containers and bringing them to us, hundreds at a time every day.

Not only does it make our job a little bit easier, knowing that we have people supporting us, but it allows us to go full force in serving people who really need it. We are able to execute a battle plan so that we can best serve guests, who, unfortunately, can’t shelter in place like many New Yorkers can.

How do you get a feeling of appreciation in this work?

When I go home from work, I see many of the people we serve on my commute. When they see me, they give me a shout-out, “Hey Chef!” That feels good.

Also, if I do see a person asking for food, I get to tell them about the Bowery Mission. All they have to do is be on time to receive a meal.

I was very appreciative that all staff and volunteers were offered resources through the Bowery Mission to isolate and safely navigate COVID-19.

What is the lesson learned from COVID-19?
Among New Yorkers, the issue of homelessness can be divisive. Some folks want to help, while others think people should be “on their own.” The pandemic has proved anyone can fall on tough circumstances. You get behind on bills, you can lose your job, and you can lose your housing.

We all need help sometimes, and whatever events happen in this country, we can all try to be part of the solution rather than the problem.

New Yorkers can catch flak for being “rude” or “brash,” but when things go down, we know how to come together.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Bowery Mission's 141st Thanksgiving

Given the pandemic, it won't be a Thanksgiving day (their 141st!) as usual at the Bowery Mission.

While there won't be any indoor dining, the Bowery Mission will be serving nearly 450 turkeys and 2,000 pounds of potatoes to those in need.

Per the organization's website: "Special Thanksgiving to-go meals will be served outdoors during a four-hour period between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. We welcome anyone who would like to enjoy their hot meal onsite to do so as our limited outdoor seating allows. We will have partially open tents following mandated health and safety requirements, along with adequate social distancing and PPE."

In another change, there isn't any call for volunteers to serve the meals: "Due to social distancing and safety regulations in New York City in response to COVID-19, we will not open Thanksgiving Week volunteer opportunities to the public."

However, there are other times to volunteer, which you can find here.

And there is also a need for donated goods, including non-perishable food, pre-packaged snacks and water, travel-size toiletries, hats, gloves and scarves. Find out how to donate at this link. (And no drop-offs on Thanksgiving day!)

The Bowery Mission is at 227 Bowery between Stanton and Rivington.

Image via the Bowery Mission website

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving at the Bowery Mission



The Bowery Mission shared this on social media yesterday...

In just 5 ovens, our kitchen team is preparing over 700 turkeys to serve delicious, traditional Thanksgiving meals to our hungry neighbors. The team started cooking on Sunday & will continue around the clock until Thursday.

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. donated 450 turkeys — "and a mountain of potatoes." The Bowery Mission expects to serve more than 10,000 meals during Thanksgiving week.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Week at the Bowery Mission


[Image via @BoweryMission]

The Bowery Mission is celebrating its 137th Thanksgiving Week. Yesterday, James Winans, the Bowery Mission's chief development officer, shared a few details about the around-the-clock preparations ...

During its 137th annual Thanksgiving Week celebration, The Bowery Mission will serve more than 11,000 meals — 7,000 on Thanksgiving Day alone — to men, women and children in all five boroughs of New York City and in Newark, N.J.

On Thanksgiving day at the Mission’s flagship location (227 Bowery between Prince and Rivington Streets), more than 650 volunteers will prepare traditional turkey dinners and serve 1,800 guests in the Mission’s century-old chapel filled with music and festive decorations for the holiday.

Meals will be served at 227 Bowery every hour on the hour from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to a turkey dinner, each guest will receive a brand new coat and a “blessing bag” including socks, a winter hat, gloves, and hygiene items.

The food and gifts, as well as financial support, have been donated over several weeks by a diverse array of generous donors. We appreciate the support from the following partners:

• Major Partner: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc
• Partners: Bombas, Buzzfeed
• Supporters: Bloomberg, Con Edison, Deutsche Bank, Kenneth Cole Productions, Warner Bros. Entertainment

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Bowery Mission resource card


Per The Bowery Mission website:

Sometimes it's hard to know how to help. But when you hand a resource card to a homeless neighbor, you show that you care and want that person to have second chance at life.

Print out these resource cards to give away to the homeless you encounter on the streets. Invite them to come to The Bowery Mission to get help. Click here to open a pdf file with four resource cards to print.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The annual New York Cares Coat Drive is underway


The goal is to collect 100,000 winter coats for New Yorkers in need this winter. Find out what you can do here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A pop-up fashion thrift shop tonight at Rockwood Music Hall to aid the Bowery Mission



The next L.E.S. amis — described as New York's non-profit fashion thrift store — takes place tonight at the Rockwood Music Hall from 5-9.

Via the EVG inbox: "There will be vintage and new designer women's and men's clothing, and all proceeds go to The Bowery Mission."

Here's some background from the LES amis website:

LES amis was founded by fashion designer Jemima Janney. Born from a recognition of the huge amount of wastage in the fashion industry and a desire to help the many homeless of NYC.

L.E.S. amis collects NYC's best designer clothing from those willing to donate. All clothing sold at our pop up stores is high quality, designer, high fashion and affordable. (We're always up for a barter).

The thrift store coincides with NYC Communion Residency shows, a monthly, multi-genre showcase of local and national musicians. (You can gain access to the show with any purchase from the thrift shop.)

Rockwood Music Hall is at 196 Allen St. between Houston and Stanton.

You can read more about L.E.S. amis here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Bowery Mission is in urgent need of food donations



From The Bowery Mission Facebook page...

URGENT NEED — This photo was taken [yesterday]. Our pantry shelves are almost completely empty! We are in great need of canned goods, sauces, pasta, rice, beans, grains, and condiments. Please consider donating to help ensure we are able to continue to feed homeless and hungry New Yorkers. Food donations can be dropped off 24/7 at 227 Bowery (at Prince St.). Thank you for for your support!

Find more information about making donation at the Bowery Mission website

Friday, June 19, 2015

Keeping The Bowery Mission in mind this summer

An EVG reader passes along the following reminder about The Bowery Mission...

This is the time of year when the clients need t-shirts/socks/underwear to deal with the summer heat. Generally large or xl on the t-shirts and underwear.

Also, this is generally the time of year when they really need volunteers.

Everyone wants to volunteer around the holidays and they literally have volunteers standing around because there are too many of them. Hunger and homelessness is a 24/7/365 condition. It doesn't end after the holidays. This is the time of year when they can use the help.

Here's the link if you are interested in making a donation ... anything from cash, food to clothes.

The Bowery Mission, which has served homeless and hungry New Yorkers since 1879, is at 227 Bowery near Prince.

Friday, April 24, 2015

How your donations helped people in need at The Bowery Mission in 2014


[Photo via The Bowery Mission]

Throughout April, The Bowery Mission has been providing recaps to highlight how donations made a difference in the lives of the people they serve.

Whether a warm meal, a hot shower, emergency shelter, or a medical appointment, you helped meet the immediate, basic needs of each person coming to us for help — no questions asked — which many times is the spark that ignites life transformations.







In addition, 318 men and women joined the Bowery Mission's residential recovery programs last year … with 156 of them placed in jobs and 168 placed in housing.

In total:
• 30,000 donors gave more than $10 million in financial gifts and in-kind goods
• 750 volunteers each month offered nearly 45,000 volunteer hours

The Bowery Mission, which has been serving in-need New Yorkers since 1879, is located at 227 Bowery between Prince and Rivington.

Go here to learn more about donating … they are always accepting clothing (and food) at the Bowery location:

Clean, new and gently used clothing of all types is helpful. Large sizes are especially helpful. We are always in need of new underwear/undershirts and socks, new and gently used jeans and shoes, and professional clothing for those looking for work or re-entering the workforce.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The ongoing needs of The Bowery Mission this winter


[Via Facebook]

An EVG reader writes:

The Bowery Mission has close to 200 people sleeping there — every space is being used. They served 1,000 meals [on Wednesday]. If you have cans or blankets you can spare please drop them off. With more snow and subzero wind chills imminent they need help. They operate 24/7/365. They fall off the radar after the holidays but this is when they need help.

As the Bowery Mission's Facebook page notes, the "additional overnight guests mean extra expenses for food, toiletries, and utilities."

Here's the link if you are interested in making a donation ... anything from cash, food to clothes.

The Bowery Mission, which has served homeless and hungry New Yorkers since 1879, is at 227 Bowery near Prince.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Buy some art to help the Bowery Mission



Via the EVG inbox…

The Bowery Mission is pleased to announce the L.E.S. Art Drive, the first annual fundraising initiative for The Bowery Mission supported by its neighbors in the Lower East Side visual arts community.

This one-day silent auction will be hosted at the New Museum’s ground-floor space at 231 Bowery, next to The Bowery Mission, on Sunday from 1-6 pm. The event will raise funds essential to help the Mission continue their efforts to provide meals, shelter, clothing and services to New Yorkers in need. The Bowery Mission has been serving New York’s homeless and hungry for over 135 years.

Find more info at the Bowery Mission website.