November 2, 2018

Good morning, everyone – this past Wednesday we served 32 families in the morning, including 59 adults, 35 children and 15 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 10 families with 20 adults, 15 children and 2 seniors for a total of 42 families with 79 adults, 50 children and 17 seniors.  We served a total of 147 people that day.  In the month of October we served 164 families and 551 people.  We averaged 33 families per week and 110 people per week.

Expressive arts therapist Stephanie Buck was with us again on Wednesday and worked with several children and several adults.  The clients really enjoy meeting with Stephanie to draw and talk.  A couple of clients specifically asked for Stephanie when they first arrived.  Stephanie’s hunch was that people really have a lot on their minds, and drawing and talking about what they’ve drawn may help.  She’s right!
PhD candidate Jen Cadenhead scheduled a focus group made up of several of our clients for this morning (Friday) to discuss nutrition and healthy eating.  I talked to her briefly and she said it went well except that one woman really didn’t speak much English and didn’t grasp what was being talked about.  We may try to pull together a group of Spanish-speaking women, since  many of our clients are Spanish-speaking, with someone to translate.
The Rivertowns Rotary Club has been working with a group of students at St. Christopher’s School in Dobbs Ferry.  Several of the Rotarians escorted some of the students from house to house on October 30 to gather shelf-stable items for the pantry.  On Wednesday when the pantry was in process Greg Neff, the president of Rivertowns Rotary, and Dr. Nitin Gupta, who is an active member, delivered several huge boxes of food and other products which the children had picked up from the houses.  The Rivertowns Rotary had advertised this effort beforehand, and people either directly donated the food or left food in front of their houses on the particular streets that were visited by the group.  Once again, I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in this village and groups like the Rotary Club for carrying out this tremendous effort.  Greg and Nitin are planning to do this again next year!
This morning I heard from English teacher Diana Castellano at Dobbs Ferry High School, telling me they want to encourage a spirit of giving in the students at the high school.  She and another teacher are going to organize a food drive among the students, similar to what they’ve been doing at Springhurst.  They’ll be delivering the food to us on November 15 or 16.  I’ll be there to meet the students.  I asked them to focus on providing diapers and wipes, among other products.  No matter how many diapers we receive, they come in and go out as soon as we get them.
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