We could not have asked for a better ending to 2013 than the ability to assist so many New York area people in need, with the help of our loyal supporters. Just to give you an idea: in 2013 we distributed over 70,000 Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches paid for and made (with love) by our Corporate Volunteers.
We hit the ground running in December with two of our annual fundraising events taking place within the same week! Our "Spin for Hunger" and "Texas Hold'Em Tournament and Casino Night," each in their third annual year, proved that giving back can be equal parts exciting and fulfilling. Our celebrity supporters were also eager to help out and joined in on the action at the events. We welcomed Ines Rosales of Good Day NY, Fox 5 as Guest Spinner and Honorary Co-Chair for Spin for Hunger 2013. At the Texas Hold'Em Casino event, NBA Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier was our Guest of Honor and John Starks was our Special Guest.
During this same week Colgate-Palmolive and NYC Service, The Mayor's Office teamed up to package personal care kits that would be distributed to needy families in our network. Over 100 volunteers and 8 hours later, the result of this "Colgate Day of Service" was a truly magnificent display of teamwork and philanthropy.
In a city as vibrant as New York, we all know that location is everything. Not only is our St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters headquarters located directly across the street from Macy's, we are fortunate enough to call them one of our biggest Corporate Sponsors. The annual "Macy's Holiday Give Back Party" was a cheerful afternoon in December where 200 elementary school children were invited to partake in a holiday celebration - outside of school!
As the year wound down and temperatures dropped, our clients' needs became even more urgent. Thankfully, many "Winter Corporate-Sponsored Drives" took place that allowed us to supply these requests. Essentials such as coats, clothing, canned food, (plus toys for the holidays), and more were in high demand. With the combined efforts of Mary Anne Fusco of Towne Realty (who hosted her 13th Annual Coat Drive) and over one dozen Corporate Sponsors pitching in, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters received over 5,000 coats - among other donations.
Our Annual Children's Holiday Parties are among our favorite events, and just a wonderful way to conclude the year. On the Saturday before Christmas, two luncheon parties took place in Manhattan and in the Bronx with hundreds of children and parents in attendance. Volunteers from Macy's and Time Warner pitched in to help serve food, play with guests, pick out the 'best' toys and ensure that the day was magical.
With this New Year comes a renewed sense of vigor to give, help and change the lives of all those who we can. We are reminded of how important the work that we do is, and are eager to see what we will accomplish together in 2014!