On Saturday, March 9th, the walking club and other members of the B-SWEL (Brooklyn- Stay Well, Enjoy Life) program journeyed to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to attend the American Diabetes Association Expo. The trip was enlightening and informative.
We broke into groups and experienced the expo at our own pace. We collected literature, sampled healthy recipes at the cooking demos and talked to the experts. We had our blood glucose, blood pressure, BMI, and cholesterol checked. We visited many exhibits.
We came away from the Diabetes Expo armed with a fighting spirit. We are now better prepared to set or renew goals for ourselves based on what we learned. We will fight diabetes and win. It was a good day.
-Priscilla Kerr, B-SWEL client
Yesterday was the anniversary of the landmark decision in Gideon vs. Wainwright, the Supreme Court case which guaranteed a right to counsel for people accused of a crime. Of note, the author discusses how often people in this country need lawyers in civil proceedings, such as housing cases, and don’t have access to them. Often, people may lose their homes, their children, their income without having any representation or even a consultation with a lawyer. The decision in Gideon addresses criminal proceedings, not civil matters.
When having a lawyer in civil proceedings is a privilege and not a right, there can be dangerous consequences. At The Family Center, many of our clients have struggled with representing themselves in court for weeks, months and years without assistance. Daily, they face the loss of their children or grandchildren in custody actions; loss of subsistence income such as food stamps or shelter grants; loss of their home in easily preventable eviction proceedings. They may not be facing prison sentences, but rather the paralyzing forfeiture of a vital piece of their lives. For 80% of the poor in this country, those losses come without any access to legal representation.
I knew that my personal passion for service and spreading positivity and kindness needed to be a part of the DMF business model. It is important to me that DMF be more than just an awesome workout experience, but also a company that promotes positive and happy change in the community. This is why I started Dance For a Cause, a special DMF class in which 100% of proceeds goes to a non-profit organization close to my heart. My very first Dance for a Cause will be benefiting The Family Center’s Buddy Program.
Though I have volunteered my whole life in various capacities, I have always wanted to volunteer in a way that allowed me to create a “forever” bond with a child in need. I went on the hunt for great mentoring programs and found The Family Center’s Buddy Program.
Last fall, I became a mentor to an amazing young girl named Jennifer. From the moment we met, we clicked. Jennifer and I both knew we had found something special. Jennifer LOVES to dance and you will often find us “dance-walking” down the street to the latest tunes. Though we have only been together a few months, we have shared many amazing experiences and I can see such a positive change in her. She is a bright light in my life and I look forward to her big smiles and warm hugs.
Leaving the world more awesome than I found it has always been a passion of mine. I have always believed that one person can make a difference, especially if that one person inspires others to do the same. Soon, the small change becomes big.
Please join me on Sunday, March 24th at 3 PM for Dance for a Cause, a super sweaty and fun dance-party workout benefiting the Family Center’s Buddy Program. The registration fee is $25 and all funds will be going directly to The Family Center, so feel free to give more if you are inclined! All donations are tax deductible and space is limited so sign up now! Click here to register for the class.
Want to donate, but can’t take class? You can do that too by clicking here!
Thank you for your support and I can’t wait to bust a move with you at Dance for a Cause! at DANY Studios-305 West 38th Street on March 24th, 2013 at 3 PM
Lindi Duesenberg, Buddy
Leaders are called to serve. But I should add what I know from experience: the call to serve is not always loud enough to hear -at least, at first. I’m hoping my story will turn up the volume for you.
I began volunteering with The Family Center by helping vulnerable NYC children decorate cookies and make crafts once a year at the agency’s Annual Holiday Party. After volunteering at this event for a few years, Family Center staff approached me about serving on the Leadership Council.
Only a short time after joining this group of local professionals dedicated to vulnerable NYC families, I was approached again -this time, to serve as Secretary of the Leadership Council. I was not sure if I had time, if it was the ‘right fit,’ etc. Yet The Family Center kept calling. After serving as Secretary , I became Leadership Council Co-Chair.
My amazing colleagues at Credit Suisse have been gracious enough to answer my call to serve. A current Co-Chair of Leadership Council, Alexandra Lloyd, as well as the group’s Secretary, Jamie O’Sullivan, came to The Family Center at my urging. The Family Center Santa, Anthony O’Callaghan, also works with me at Credit Suisse (when the North Pole is in its off-season). You see, the call to serve radiates out. Once you have the great experience of volunteering at The Family Center, you will call on others too.
I am lucky to work at a company so incredibly supportive of volunteerism. My generous colleagues magnify this giving and its impact. Together, we work with The Family Center to keep vulnerable NYC families stronger, longer.
My question for you, future leader, is this: When will you answer The Family Center’s call to serve?
Vice Chair of The Family Center Board of Directors
P.S. Answer The Family Center’s call to serve by joining us for the Leadership Council social on February 20th at 7pm. Click here for more information.