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Inside Peek into Back-to-School Parties in Hunts Point

Posted on October 11, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

The Beautiful Thing About Learning:  No One Can Take It Away

From Staten Island to Sullivan County and on both sides of the Hudson River, Catholic Charities co-hosted Back-to-School events throughout the New York Archdiocese to prepare children we serve for success.  For a birds-eye view of these fun, sometimes life-transforming events, here is a first-person account by three of our staffers-turned-event hosts from our Preserving Housing program serving Hunts Point, one of the poorest congressional districts in the nation.

 

By Jasmine Sanchez, Outreach Coordinator
Amy Cabrera-Bland, Outreach Coordinator
Elba Deleon Lopez, Employment/Benefit Specialist

There’s no greater gift than giving back to the community you serve. Together we helped create a stronger, more unified community by giving school supplies to underprivileged children in need. Over 1,500 free book bags filled with supplies were distributed as well as toys, books and clothing.

Every child deserves a successful start at school and what better way than to kick it off than at our event.

The Beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.

We hosted the Back-to-School event right before the new school year started at Bill Rainey Park in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx. Along with our local Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr., the NYPD 41st Precinct, a variety of organizations and parents and children from the community we came together as one.

The children had an amazing time enjoying the many activities we made available. We had two ice cream trucks that gave out free ice cream, an interactive game theater, a DJ, drummer, FDNY truck, Zumba instructor, and face painters.

The highlight of our event was when our Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr. gave out book bags to the children. The smiles on their faces were priceless.

At Catholic Charities we are very grateful to have received many donations from Stop and Shop Supermarket who gave out healthy snacks throughout the event and also donated gift cards we raffled to families. Coca-Cola also donated Mets tickets and Women’s Liberty Basketball tickets which were also raffled.

In addition, we had many organizations that attended and provided free resources such as YMCA, Girls Scouts, Workforce 1, Hunger free America, The HRA Department, The New york Public Library and more.  Also, a representative from Mayor Bill De Blasio’s office came to our event to show support to our community and organization.

Unity is strength… When there is teamwork and collaboration, many great things can be achieved.

No event is every successful without the support of the staff. We have an amazing team and we want to thank everyone for their tremendous effort in making our Back-to-School event always a success.

To those who wonder what next year’s event will hold, we say imagination has no limits. Expect the unexpected as we will always rock!

All children deserve the opportunity to develop social skills, gain confidence and develop lasting values that will serve them as adults. Catholic Charities' network of services aims to address the physical, emotional and psychological needs of children and their families.

Find out more about Catholic Charities services for children and families.