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This Donation “Takes the Cake”

After receiving a generous donation of a special Dominican cake mix from a Brooklyn-based bakery, we asked why Angela’s Dominican Cake Mix decided to donate their product to guests of the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen. Here’s what Rosangela (Angela’s daughter) had to say INN her own words.

 

Finding the right non-profit organization to partner with can be tough; we wondered, will our donation get to the people who need it? Will they respect our intention and take it seriously? Will they show care for our beloved product? 

 

YES, YES and YES. We are thrilled to be able to provide support to a community of people in need by partnering with The INN. Recently, we donated enough boxes of our gourmet Dominican Cake Mix to feed more than 300 families. 

In a time of so much economic turmoil and financial uncertainty, Angela’s Dominican Cakes is hopeful that the little we can give can help those in need, and maybe can even be contagious. 

 

The INN, which operates the largest soup kitchen on Long Island, emergency shelters, a long-term housing program and a free clothing boutique & resource center, is a working model and great example for nearly forty years of how to unite the community to overcome the challenge of hunger and homelessness. The staff is so professional and caring, and we are impressed by their operation. Angela’s Dominican Cakes is grateful for what they do and will continue to work with them and like-minded organizations that fulfill our mission to give back with faith.

 

A special thank you to Christian Aguilera, Chief Facilities Officer at The INN, for your support and collaboration. 

 

-Rosangela Rosario, Angela’s Dominican Cake Mix

 

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Thankful to Help & be INNspired at The Mary Brennan Soup Kitchen

By Guest Blogger, Ellen Broder: Supporter and Friend of The INN

 

Thanksgiving is about gratitude and being thankful for all that we have. Celebrating together with family and friends, enjoying our holiday filled with love, laughter & delicious meals.

 

For many years Our Family has sponsored the day after Thanksgiving to help serve the guests at the Mary Brennan soup kitchen. We have always looked forward to INNteracting with the guests and assisting them with their meals. Since Covid, the doors have been closed to the guests to come inside the building, where now they are given food bags, toiletries and other basic necessities outside in front of the Mary Brennan soup kitchen.

 

Last week, we were granted the opportunity to INNvite family and friends to get INNvolved and help at the soup kitchen. This was a special time for us to volunteer. Everyone brought items to donate; canned goods, boxed foods or new clothing for the guests.

 

Marty, Greg, Evin and Alana Broder, Pauline Ferstenberg, Donna & Bobby Glassman, Deena Fiddle and Stewart Gordon all joined INN, to volunteer and help take care of sorting & packing.

 

We were thankful that Jean Kelly and Rob Kammerer came to guide us in our activities in sorting snack bags and filling PPE bags to give to the guests. (Personal Protection Equipment Bags). Each bag is filled with 7 pairs of new socks, 5 masks and sanitizer. Basic necessities that are so important to be able to protect against the weather and Covid.

On this day, we were the only ones at the Mary Brennan soup kitchen, working, INNcouraging each other to get these tasks done for the guests. We were INNspired. Jean & Rob recounted their stories of the guests and explained all that The INN has continued to do, since this pandemic began, making sure that the INN’s guests have what they need.

Even though the soup kitchen was quiet without the chatter of the guests, I will always remember how, before our lives changed, they would leave the soup kitchen more content than when they arrived, to be in the dining room, with Thanksgiving decorations, holiday placemats and a delicious hot meal set for each and every person who came.

Last year and this Thanksgiving, the guests went home with a turkey and holiday foods to enjoy in their own way. I am hoping in 2022, we will be able to celebrate at the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen for the holiday. Our family was Thankful for our friends to be with us, getting INNvolved.

 

Student Group Gives Shelter Children “Bubble Breaks”

“DoSomething.org,” is an organization that uses a digital platform to encourage students across the country to support their communities with cause-related campaigns.  After realizing just how many children are homeless and living in shelters with their families, Abani Ahmed, a senior at Division Avenue High School, along with the 50 other members of the organization’s Levittown chapter from Division Avenue and McArthur High School, wanted to “do something” to bring smiles to the faces of children.

 

After finding out about The INN online, the group chose to participate in the “Bubble Breaks” campaign, where members got together to create bubble blowing kits for young shelter guests at the Edna Moran INN. After fundraising to purchase materials, the group participated in an event where they assembled 146 kits with homemade bubble solution, bubble wants and a small disc to hold the liquid. The kit bags were decorated by group members. After the materials were purchased, the group was also able to make a monetary donation of $750 to The INN, from their original fundraiser. “When I was growing up, I loved playing with bubbles,” Abani said. “When I found out that blowing bubbles helps reduce stress by using breathing techniques, it was obvious to me that every kid should have a chance to play with bubbles, especially after going through these difficult times.” Although Abani and the group most likely will never be able to meet the children who receive the kits, she is thrilled they will be able to enjoy them. “When I imagine the children receiving this gift and having fun, it makes me smile. I am so proud and glad to be a part of something that brings joy to others.”   

 

INN Gratitude Podcast #4- “Nice Things” Are Happening for The INN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2016, East Meadow resident and businessman Todd Weinstein was frustrated by the daily negativity he encountered on Facebook. In local neighborhood groups, there was a lot of complaining and bashing in the comments, but very few bright spots. To counteract this, Todd founded a group he named, “Nice Things that Happen in East Meadow.” The rules are simple. Only nice things about the town can be posted. No politics, no arguing, no negativity. The group has grown to over 3,200 members and in its early days, began local philanthropic efforts. Todd started what became an annual school supply drive to benefit the guests of the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen. Friends and neighbors collected brand new school supplies at the end of the summer and dropped them on his front porch. Some left checks and monetary donations, and before he knew it, they had collected over 1,000 items to equip school-aged guests with the proper tools to start the school year off right. Todd approached the Stew Leonard’s location in his town, and they not only donated bags to transport the items, but everyone who donated got a token for a free ice cream. The group members continue to look forward to this tradition each year.

 

Todd has also organized “EM2020 Vision,” collecting over 2,020 pairs of socks before the year 2020 began, which were donated to The INN. On New Year’s Eve 2019, Todd dressed as Santa Claus and shopped at the local Walmart store with donated money to buy the socks and reach their goal, while livestreaming video to the group. During the pandemic, while raising money through a football playoff betting pool for struggling local restaurants, he made sure to set aside a small monetary donation to The INN.

 

“People in general, I think, are good-natured and want to help,” Todd said. “Sometimes they just need an extra push to get involved.” We are truly grateful to Todd for giving the wonderful people of East Meadow the push they needed to Get INNvolved.

 

INN Gratitude Podcast #3 – “On the House DJs Deliver”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A conversation with with In House Design, about their philanthropic arm “On the House” who donated 500 meals to the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen on Dec 29, 2021 as a part of their 10,000 meal distribution to organizations in NYC. The team, who all live on Long Island, discuss their experience with giving back at home during the pandemic.

 

InHouse is a production company servicing brands and agencies to deliver premium consumer experiences.Visit their website at https://www.inhouse.design/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INN Gratitude Podcast #1- 38 Years “INN”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our first installment of the “INN Gratitude” Podcast, Executive Director Jean Kelly and Board of Directors Member Rob Kammerer share their memories of the first days of The INN in 1983, including how they met by accident, and how the pandemic is another point in history where The INN has had to adjust for the guests.

 

 

Newsday 12/23/20 – Pantries Struggle To Meet Food Demands Amid Pandemic

Click here to read the article on Newsday.com 

Click here to read the article as a .pdf  (no subscription required)

 

Newsday- Pantries Struggle to Meet Food Demands Amid Pandemic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INN Gratitude Podcast #2 – “Shannon’s Fight & the Holiday Surprise”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On December 22nd, while speaking on “The Launchcast,” a podcast hosted by Farmingdale native and CEO of Launchpad 516 George Andriopolous, Dana Lopez, The INN’s Director of Marketing & Communications received a pleasant surprise and accepted a generous end of year donation of $10,000 for The INN. The gift came from “Shannon’s Fight,” an organization on Long Island whose goal is to support families in need.

 

George sits on the board of Directors for Shannon’s Fight, along with his fellow board members, Dana and James Battaglia, who were guest hosting on the show that night, and were thrilled to be able to make the official announcement that Shannon’s Fight chose The INN as one of their beneficiaries for their 2020 end of year gift.

 After the dust settled from the holidays and the conclusion of 2020, Dana was able to sit down (virtually) with George, and properly thank them for their support of The INN, and recognizing the need that has inevitably grown throughout this past year.

 

 

Click here to see the entire episode of The Launchcast Season 2 premiere 

 

About Shannon’s Fight
The goal of Shannon’s Fight is to provide individuals in medical crisis, as well as their families, with financial support.  Additionally, we may from time to time provide funding for research, or to other non-profits. Shannon’s Fight is dedicated to increasing knowledge and awareness of all diseases and illnesses that we come across in our recipients, and to provide every individual an opportunity to receive the highest quality of care, as well as to support their families through the recovery process.

Student’s “Hike for Hunger” Event a Success!

Like many other high school students, 16-year-old Syosset High School sophomore Shreya M. was appalled by the effects of the coronavirus on her fellow Long Islanders. “Amidst the pandemic, several hundreds of people lost their jobs, or suffered wage cuts adding to the amount of families that are going hungry,” she said.” I wanted to help in any way I could think of to relieve the stress that a lot of non-profits are facing. “I have always loved hiking because it provides health and mental benefits for all age groups. I wanted to use hiking to support hunger and homelessness on Long Island.”

 

With enthusiastic support from her parents, family and close friends, Shreya reached out to The INN and created the event, “Hike for Hunger,” on July 5th in Bethpage Park. A total of 35 people participated in a 4-mile hike in small groups to encourage social distancing. Thanks to Shreya’s efforts, the group raised $1,618.40 and collected essential items for INN guests including non-perishable foods, diapers and toiletries. Shreya was amazed by the response from her community. “Without them, the event wouldn’t have been successful, and I can’t thank them enough.”

 

We are so grateful to Shreya and her family for recognizing the importance of getting involved, and for rallying their community in such a wonderful way.  

Over 50 Fair Now A Virtual Benefit for The INN

For the last eight years, The INN has been the proud non-profit charitable partner and donation recipient of the Over 50 Fair, an event to celebrate life over age 50 with speakers, vendors and workshops. For the 2020 event, the fair’s organizer Barbara Kaplan has decided to change gears, making it a virtual charity event with all proceeds going to The INN.

 

This year the Over 50 Fair is a virtual conference via Zoom, with all donations going directly to benefit
The INN’s programs. It will take place for eight hours over two days on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13 from 12pm-4pm. There are opportunities to sponsor, support and attend.

“The INN has been a part of the Over 50 Fair since 2012,” Barbara said. “Because of COVID-19, this year’s event has gone virtual.  It was a “no brainer” to include The INN as the beneficiary of the event.”

The decision to make a virtual event seems to have been the most responsible one. “Because older people are more at risk of COVID-19, it would not be prudent to have a live event this year, even if it were to be allowed.  Cancelling did not feel like the right way to go, as our speakers have information that is relevant to our attendees, and it would be a shame to lose that opportunity to share it.  We will have classes that are educational, interesting, and fun.”

 

 

 

To learn more about the 11th annual Over 50 Fair, please go to www.Over50Fair.com or www.Over50Fair.com/2020-event

To donate, visit http://weblink.donorperfect.com/over50inn or call Barbara Kaplan at 516-621-1446.