Tag Archives: In My Father’s Kitchen

If I Had A Million Dollars…

cropped-100_1604.jpg#GivingTuesday. I have seen some really worthy organizations tagged on my Facebook feed today and it got me thinking, who would I support and donate to if I won the lottery? As anyone who knows me would guess, I already have a plan. Hey, you never know! In no particular order, here are some of the groups I would support. No doubt you have seen or heard me talk about them. In lieu of actually winning the lottery, I do support these organizations now I whatever way I can. If enough drops of water come together, they can form a really big wave!

BUILDING MEN PROGRAM “Be A man, not THE man”

We grew up on the Near West Side of Syracuse and my brother Joe spent his teenage years playing basketball across the street from our house, in Skiddy Park. He grew up to be a PE teacher. As an educator, he struggled for ways to help his city school students rise above circumstances and be successful. He got his inspiration from Joe Ehrmann’s book, Season of Life. Joe started an intramural basketball program with an educational component in the middle school he was teaching in, and it has now become a multidimensional program in several schools in the city school district. The guys participate in a variety of community service projects and have had some great guest speakers during their weekly chalk talks. There’s also a summer program with great academic successes. You can find them on Facebook:

Here is a link to his website: http://www.buildingmenprogram.org/

IN MY FATHER’S KITCHEN

I mentioned IMFK a couple of blogs ago. John and his wife Leigh Ann started this ministry helping the homeless in Syracuse. They bring hot food, basic necessities, and fellowship to their friends on the streets. If you are looking for a creative holiday gift for someone, consider a pasta basket featuring their homemade Taste and See Pasta Sauce (available at most Wegmans stores), or a breakfast basket with their coffee and maple syrup.  These are all available at their storefront at 501 Hawley Avenue (check their link below for hours.) Or if you have clothing (especially for children and teens) or household items to help start a new home, they always take donations. You can find them on Facebook:

Here is their website: http://inmyfatherskitchen.org/

A TINY HOME FOR GOOD

Several homeless people now have comfortable homes thanks to the organization Andrew Lunetta started a couple of years ago. He befriended some of these guys through the Brady Faith Center and the cycling program he started there, Pedal To Possibilities. He was discouraged that they didn’t have safe, affordable housing and he wanted to do something about it. Now there are five homes on the south side, near where I spent my elementary school years down the street from his mom Cathy. Our families have been linked for about 50 years now and I am so happy to be able to shout about his good heart and the drive to make his world a little better. I was at the ribbon cutting for the latest three homes earlier this month and hope to get a chance to help as six more are started on the west side of town. There are many wonderful people and organizations who have donated time, materials, and skills to make these homes. You can find A Tiny Home For Good on Facebook:

Here’s their website: http://www.atinyhomeforgood.org/

FRIENDS OF DOROTHY

MIchael DeSalvo and Nick Orth have been supporting and ministering to people with AIDS for almost 25 years, in the tradition of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement. They open their home and their hearts to those who are ill and sometimes dying and almost always don’t have any other options for safe, loving care. Their house guests don’t pay anything to stay there, and their lives are richer because of the time with Michael and Nick.  There are several fundraising opportunities throughout the year, but they could always use more help. They have a delicious homemade dinner to help raise money on the last Wednesday of every month and it is a gathering of some of the most amazing and loving people you can imagine, and the food is as wonderful as you could imagine it to be. Here is a link to their Facebook page:

 

The list doesn’t end for me there. I would love to start scholarships for the Syracuse city school students to go to college. I would donate money to 100 Black Men of Syracuse, and to the Huntington Family Center, and to St. Lucy’s and all their ministires I would send money to #standingrock and to refugee settlement programs and to Planned Parenthood. I would love to start a foundation that would be able to support all sorts of causes I believe in. But for now, I will support those causes close to my heart and encourage my friends to do the same. Happy giving.

Disclaimer: My lack of tech savvy may be in evidence here with the Facebook links. Thank you for your patience as I continue to learn my craft.

We Will Rise

 

The sun rose Wednesday morning. I woke up, picked up my coffee, and went to work. It seemed like any other morning. Except it wasn’t. Wednesday morning when I awoke Donald Trump was the president-elect. My stomach was in knots and my brain was in a bit of a fog. But the sun did rise and the world is still here and now WE all must rise to make sure that we have a tolerant and accepting world for everyone. Those of us who are devastated with the events of the week need to do whatever we can to make sure all people are treated with respect and dignity and acceptance. We need to make sure our voices are heard for those who have been or are in danger of being silenced. Here are 5 women who are most definitely committed to doing just that, my mom and my sisters, and of course myself.

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For people who do not enjoy white privilege, it has been a long and painful road for basic human rights that the rest of us enjoy simply because of the color of our skin. If political rhetoric from our president-elect is to be believed, then there is a danger for so many in our country. We cannot allow strides that have been made over the last 50 or so years to be erased. How can we keep moving forward?

Black lives matter and all people deserve love and workers deserve a living wage. There should be no reason for women to feel vulnerable and scared that they could be sexually harassed or abused. Children should feel safe and have full bellies and access to education. Those who are suffering from illness, both physically and mentally, should have access to health care that won’t send them into bankruptcy.

So, for those who don’t have faith in the person who is at the helm, what can we do? We need to band together and rise up and raise our voices to make sure that everyone has what they need to be successful and happy. Find what you are passionate about and join that group to help make sure people are safe and healthy and happy. It is up to us.

There is so much good going on in the world and in our country and even in our city (Syracuse, NY). I know two guys who have taken the struggles of the homeless in our city on and have taken action.

Andrew Lunetta, started A Tiny Home For Good, an organization that builds tiny homes for the homeless. They are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for 3 more homes this afternoon.  Check out this website for more information about them:

http://www.atinyhomeforgood.org/

Chef John Tumino and his wife Leigh Ann also took a very personal interest in the homeless population in our city with their ministry, In My Father’s Kitchen. Like Andrew, they just don’t give money or goods, they give of their time and their hearts, making personal connections with the homeless people that they meet, and providing them with food and clothing and prayers and dignity. Here is a link to their homepage (I had trouble with the link, just click on the word home):

Home

So take a few days to feel sad and grieve. Eat your ice cream or drink your whiskey or binge on some mindless TV show. Bury yourself in your work or a good book or snuggle with your kids and pets. Then come back to the world and be a fully committed citizen who works toward the world you want. I will be fighting by your side. Peace.