Katie Barbero typically visited her grandmother, Ruth Green, at United Hebrew’s nursing home twice per week. One of Ruth’s favorite activities was to take a drive with her granddaughter to a local pond to see the ducks. Another was to see her dance.
Faced with the reality of not being able to visit her grandmother during the COVID-19 pandemic, Barbero wanted to do something special to supporther and the staff who were lovingly caring for her. So, she offered a video hip hop dance class to friends and colleagues as a fundraiser for United Hebrew, resulting in an $800 donation to the nursing home.
“We are so humbled her gift, and by what so many people are doing to let us know they appreciate the work we are doing,” says Rita Mabli, president/CEO. “It’s a real boost to staff morale, and the support keeps us going strong.”
Barbero, now a 25-year old Hunter College graduate, put it this way: “I’ve been dancing since I was three years old. My grandma would always attend my recitals. We have a special dance connection. So this was the least I could do during this stressful time.”
“You are our heroes”
Generosity in the face of this pandemic has taken many forms, and gifts have arrived to our campus from our backyard and from across the nation. For example:
- Hope Community Services has been delivering about 800 pounds of groceries weekly to residents at Soundview and Meadow Lane, United Hebrew’s senior housing apartment buildings. Each delivery from the New Rochelle nonprofit includes an assortment of nutritious items, which are then delivered to individual residents’ doors by building staff. Coupled with the bi-monthly grocery delivery from Feeding Westchester, the support helps seniors avoid frequent trips to the grocery store during the health crisis.
- The S.E.L.F. Help Foundation in New Rochelle sewed over 100 reusable cotton cloth masks for our staff. They arrived with a message that read “We are so full of admiration for those caring souls who are on the front lines of this crisis.”
- Over 130 cards and letters arrived from the Paper Arts Club at the Trilogy at Vistancia, a retirement community in Peoria, Arizona, accompanied by a letter penned by club members. “These cards have been made to thank you and to acknowledge the dedication, compassion, tireless service and care you are providing to the elders in the United Hebrew community. You are our heroes.”
- The New Rochelle Fire Department and the New Rochelle Police Department showed their appreciation for our staff working on the front lines with a procession of squad cars, fire trucks, and first responders bearing treats.
United Hebrew of New Rochelle continues to receive supportive messages, donations, and gifts amid the upheaval caused by the coronavirus, “that help us carry on in our important work,” notes Mabli.
“Getting through this pandemic is surely a marathon, not a sprint. Each time we receive a card, or an in-kind donation, or financial support, it demonstrates how the community feels about the care we are providing for their loved ones. We are on the front lines and have experienced some dark moments. But the support brings light to that darkness and helps us to stay strong.”
Please consider supporting United Hebrew during these unprecedented times.