Spotlight on YFCA
Serving Oyster Bay Area Families
St. John’s Outreach has been partnering with Youth and Family Counseling Agency for a number of years. YFCA offers essential support to the communities of Oyster Bay and East Norwich. Whether it is family counseling, mental health resources (including counselors), children’s educational resources, food or clothing, they are there with open arms.
When we visited last fall, Executive Director Barbara Rakusin shared that they now also have a store in Oyster Bay with home supplies and clothing that is open to anyone in the community. Shoppers pay whatever they can afford but there is never a request for money. The next time you are cleaning out your closets consider donating to YFCA's Community Closet!
St. John’s continues to support YFCA’s Parent-Child Home Program with an annual $3,000 financial grant. It is a terrific program that helps low-income parents learn important ways to offer pre-school enrichment to their children.
We have also had the pleasure of partnering with YFCA over the past several Christmases in their annual Adopt-A-Family program. This year YFCA adopted 32 families (approximately 130 adults, children and seniors), who were provided with gifts for the holiday. St. John’s adopted five of those families and once again showed their generosity of spirit not just with their purchases but by helping with wrapping and separating the gifts. Close to 50 parishioners provided more than 75 gifts for 15 family members. Picking bulbs from a Christmas tree was a festive new way for parishioners to participate. Donations came in quickly and parishioner elves jumped in to sort them by family and fill the Townsends’ car for delivery the next day. What an amazing team effort!
Outreach continues to support our local communities, and this is just another example of how it is being done successfully through strong partnerships. Nancy Engelhardt, Ellen Hatch and Lindsay Kamdar have all been involved with this program, but if it wasn’t for the generosity and enthusiasm of the St. John’s community, we could not make this happen. What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas and our community and a great example of Outreach hard at work.
— Mary Gay Townsend