Letter from Volunteers of America-Greater New York's President and CEO, Tere Pettitt

Dear Friends,

Happy February! This time of year, many of us are trying to stick with our personal resolutions. But in human services, every month – every day, in fact – requires a commitment to work more efficiently, to see the potential in every person, and to uplift the community by supporting the well-being of all. It’s not an easy task, but the outpouring of support from our friends in and around the Greater New York area makes this resolution attainable.  

Our donors and volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization. It’s your help that turns a bare-bones shelter into a temporary “home” where children receive homework help and veterans find a safe place to finally feel at ease. Your support makes the difference between simply feeding and sheltering a person, and helping them envision and attain a better future. It enriches and enhances the quality and scope of our work and truly changes lives. In each issue of the newsletter, we’ll include several unique ways you can get involved.

This year, we are eager to share several updates about our work:

  • In response to the city’s affordable housing crisis, Volunteers of America-Greater New York is constructing Clarke Place, a 122-unit permanent, supportive housing residence in the Bronx for low-income seniors. The building’s supportive services will help address the recreational, social, and wellness needs of aging New Yorkers so that they have a safe and comfortable place to call home.
  • Volunteers of America has been committed to the well-being of our military men and women since the Civil War era. In New York City, we are providing an innovative peer support program called Battle Buddy Bridge® (B3) that trains veterans to be peer specialists. Most importantly, B3 recreates the support systems that veterans had – and often cherished – in the military, out in the civilian world.
  • As of today more than 23,000 children live with a family member in a homeless or domestic violence shelter. As a direct response to this sad fact, Volunteers of America-Greater New York continues its Operation Backpack® campaign, now in its 16th year, with the support of incredible sponsors and partners throughout the country. Last year, we provided 20,000 children living in the city’s shelters with new backpacks full of grade-specific school supplies before the first day of school. This year, with your help, we hope to meet the need once again.

If you are new to the Volunteers of America family – welcome! We can’t wait to show you the impact of our work. And to those friends and advocates who have stood with us over the years, we are so grateful for your loyalty and unwavering support. Wishing happiness and good health throughout 2019!

Tere Pettitt
President and CEO, Volunteers of America-Greater New York