By Kimberly Moore, Director
On the crisp Tuesday morning of November 16, 2021, Care Café had the privilege of serving the members of the Central Harlem community. In partnership with the Williams Institutional Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Health Ministry and Board of Social Concern, a Coat Drive and Community Information Day provided opportunities for the public to be directly connected with important services and resources.
Community partners tabling at this event included the following: Hunger Free America helped people navigate the prescreening interviews for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP); Harlem United provided onsite HIV testing and PreP education and referrals; Assurance Wireless processed applications for free cell phones to eligible recipients; the Phi Delta Kappa Beta Epsilon Chapter donated adult and children’s coats, socks, artisanal scarfs and headbands as well as assisted in the actual dissemination of goods; and Wurzweiler School of Social Work’s Care Café team facilitated health surveys and intake along with providing resources for parents on college savings programs for children, mental health safety tips, and distributing PPE packets.
Reports from the Health Ministry leadership indicated that people started to line up at the doors of the venue at 7 a.m., more than four hours before it was set to begin. People waited anxiously for their turn to retrieve a coat, and not only were families able to retrieve coats together but people were even able to share coats with loved ones who were unable to attend the drive due to mobility or other concerns. During the drive, more coat donations were delivered, prompting the scheduling of another distribution date the following morning. In total, Williams Institutional CME Church and their partners were able to provide 250 coats to the community.
Community members were appreciative and expressed their gratitude. One community member indicated, “I was so worried. It started getting cold and I didn’t know what I was gonna do. I needed a coat, and today, I got one! Thank you!”
At Care Café, once again, we are moved by the power of service and collective demonstration of love for our community.
Special thanks to the YU staff who engaged their networks and donated bags of coats for this event. We thank you! Additionally, special thanks to the dedicated interns of Care Café, Olivia B. and Chanette B. Your time, dedication and willingness to share has touched someone!
Should you be interested in joining a Care Café project, please feel free to reach Kim Moore, Director of Care Café at Kimberly.email@example.com
We look forward to sharing these experiences with you!