Building the Albertus Community One Step at a Time

On Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2013, more than 20 members of the Albertus community braved a hot, humid, rainy day to participate in the 36th Annual Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race, which benefitted a number of charitable organizations.  The race offered 5K and 20K courses, and the Albertus runners ranged in ability from experienced marathoners to first-time 5K participants.  Proudly, everyone finished.

Why did we run?

“Doing” reflects the Albertus tradition of community – supporting our internal community, our New Haven community and our non-profit community.

The camaraderie that develops while training for a race and encouraging each other to persevere is the same spirit you find in our classrooms.   It feels good to share that spirit with each other as we live up to the ideals of a sound mind and sound body.   It made sense to take part in the city’s largest athletic event, which, reflective of our Dominican ideals, welcomed everyone.  Like a family, members of the Albertus community enjoy each other’s company; events like the Road Race help us develop as a team and strengthen our relationships with each other.

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Finally, it’s fun!

This event was so much fun, that we invite you to join the Albertus community on Sunday, October 20, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. for the Cook and Care Walk-a-Thon hosted by Albertus.  The Walk-a-Thon benefits four local food pantries and begins on campus at the Celentano Athletic Field.  Register today at http://cookandcarewalkathon.org/

Not familiar with the Cook and Care Walk-a-Thon?  Learn more here http://blog.albertus.edu/2013/07/23/cook-and-care-walk-a-thon/

We would love to hear from you.  If your work place uses athletics or charitable events to build community among your work teams let us know in the comments below.  Who knows?  You may be featured in one of our upcoming blogs on teamwork.

New Haven Community Soup Kitchen

This week we welcome guest blogger David O’Sullivan, Executive Director/Coordinator of Community Soup Kitchen in New Haven. You can reach David directly at Soupkitchen@christchurchnh.org.

Community Soup Kitchen began operations in 1977. A small group of Yale students and their spouses saw the need in the community and decided to create a place where those who are homeless could get a free meal. For the last thirty-six years, we have been a uniquely, stable resource for the homeless and anyone in need. From almost the very beginning, we have been located in the Parish Hall of Christ Church (an Episcopal church situated right downtown.) From our location, we have gotten the nickname of the “Broadway Soup Kitchen.”

Our operation includes providing lunch four days a week to as many as 300 of New Haven’s most needy citizens. Additionally, we provide food for other local lunch and breakfast programs, such as Saint Luke’s Lunch Program for Women and Children. We also supply many local churches with various essential food assistance including the Saint Martin DePorres Catholic Church, Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, and Saint Paul’s Union A.M.E., altogether providing 68,402 meals in 2012. Based upon our first six months, we project a 17% increase and expect to provide as many as 80,000 meals in 2013.

Along with our feeding programs, CSK hosts several services including nurses from the Hill Health Center (who provide first aid, blood pressure screenings, referral to other medical services, and vaccinations) and blood pressure screenings from “HAPPY” (Hypertension Awareness Prevention Program at Yale). We are a worksite for court ordered community service workers from the New Haven, Milford, Meriden and Derby Superior Courts, for the SAGA (State Administered General Assistance) program, and for the “Chapel Haven” residential program. We work with Liberty Community Services to provide information & referrals as well as a free, on-site HIV test and CARE (Community Alliance for Research and Engagement) to assist in SNAP outreach. Finally, we receive donated books from New Haven Reads (a local literacy organization.)

Along with being part of Cook and Care, Community Soup Kitchen is a member of the Connecticut Food Bank, the Connecticut Anti-Hunger Coalition, End Hunger Connecticut!, the Greater New Haven Emergency Food Council, and an associate member of the Interfaith Cooperative Ministry.

We here at CSK pride ourselves having a long history of providing for the homeless and those in need. Our goal is to go out of business for lack of need; however, until that happens we will continue to feed everyone who comes through our door in a compassionate, dignified, and efficient manner. We serve as a way to both maintain essential services for the thousands below the poverty line here in the city while also effectively reaching out to all those in Greater New Haven area who want to help us alleviate hunger in our community.

Although Community Soup Kitchen has grown from the first few years, we continue to a local effort with volunteers, help, and support coming from the entire greater New Haven area.

David O’Sullivan
Executive Director/Coordinator
Community Soup Kitchen
Soupkitchen@christchurchnh.org
www.csknewhaven.org

COOK and CARE Walk-A-Thon

This week we welcome back guest blogger Kate Walton, MA, Executive Director of the Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers of Greater New Haven, who is this year’s chair for the Cook and Care Walk-a-Thon.  Albertus Magnus College is proud to host this year’s walk-a-thon on October 20, 2013.  You can learn more or register for the walkathon at Cook and Care Walk-A-Thon.  You can reach Kate directly at kwalton@carenewhaven.org

In 1995 two charitable “boots on the ground” service providers in New Haven discovered that they were both planning to do a walk-a-thon event to raise money and awareness around the same time.

Since 1988 Community Soup Kitchen (CSK) had been New Haven’s primary day time food relief organization by serving lunch daily at Christ Church at 84 Broadway in the Yale bookstore area.  CSK was concerned about the growing number of poor seeking a meal.  Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers of Greater New Haven (IVCG), operating since 1984, was experiencing increasing requests for assistance from frail elderly and needed to explore new ways to recruit and deploy volunteers.

Not wanting to compete with each other for donors and walkers, leadership of the two agencies got together and brought in an ally – Interfaith Cooperative Ministries (ICM) – who agreed to serve as the fiduciary for a collaborative walk-a-thon.

Two related organizations were then outreached – FISH of Greater New Haven, which is the only food pantry in the area that delivers free groceries and Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK), New Haven’s major evening meal provider and emergency food pantry – and they were invited to join in.

The power of the four organizations with their passionate and dedicated boards, volunteers and small but energetic and visionary staffs chose Edgerton Park for the Walk-A-Thon start and end venue as a beautiful spot to enjoy autumn colors and the vaunted East Rock neighborhood.  They named the event Cook and Care Walk-A-Thon and over the past 17 years it has become a cherished tradition each fall for many area faith organizations, families and individuals to support and enjoy.

Many competing “Walks” have become popular these days and the Cook and Care Walk-A-Thon Planning Committee wanted to find a new way to interest our supporters and the greater public in the event.  The four agencies greatly depend on the money that is raised and divided equally.  Poverty, hunger and a growing elder demographic will continue for the foreseeable future as things stand.

We wondered if there was a larger institution that would be harmonious with the Cook and Care purpose and be able to lend a shoulder to the wheel.  Standing at the stone wall gates of Edgerton Park the obvious question arose – how about Albertus Magnus College?  Just a few blocks away with its large and accessible Albertus Magnus Celentano Athletic Field, it seemed like a place that could be fun for families and add a new twist to the walk.   We also hoped that it would fit with Albertus Magnus College’s community involvement goals and maybe even be fun for students, faculty and alumni that might not have been aware of it before.

Fortuitously, the date October 20, 2013 happens to fall one day after the Albertus Magnus College Fall Festival and leadership at the College when approached with the idea of allowing the Cook and Care Walk-A-Thon to use the venue was receptive.  We are thrilled to have the Cook and Care Walk-A-Thon 2013 hosted at Albertus Magnus College and very thankful that the College has so kindly agreed to make their facilities available.

The three mile walk will begin at the Athletic Field on Prospect Street and proceed through Edgerton Park in keeping with the 17 year tradition of Cook and Care – and wind up back at Albertus Magnus.  News 8 WTNH TV host Keith Kounz is honorary chair of the event and will kick of the walk, entertainment will be provided by the lauded St. Luke’s Steel Drum Band, and music by acclaimed D.J. Chris Pino.   Lots of good food and fun for the whole family – so save the date!!