News From Around The Web

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Many Thanks To You!

All Strycker’s Bay Staff
Board Members
Community Partners

From: Kelley Williams, Executive Director

As I have been working on our website (, blogs, and other promotional materials, I have had the opportunity to view the thousands…YES THOUSANDS… of photographs we have taken of program activities and organizational events since 2001. Each snapshot helps tell Strycker’s Bay’s story of organizational commitment and program impact. We have accomplished a great deal over the last four to five years and have touch hundreds of families and thousands of individuals. I feel it is important to communicate this to you, staff, board, volunteers, donors and partners as a reminder of the important work you are a part of and the significant difference you are helping Strycker’s Bay make in the everyday lives of tenants, families, children, residents of the Upper West Side and now Harlem.

If you look at the slide shows on our website, the pictures illustrate the true connections we have with the people we work with everyday. These connections are what make Strycker’s Bay Neighborhood Council unique among the many community-based organizations providing similar programs.

Two of the most striking images were the pictures I came across of Janice and Ramon cleaning and painting an elderly woman’s apartment so she could bring in a roommate that could help her pay her monthly rent. Her rent had increased beyond what she could afford on her monthly social security check.

Also, snapshots of a Space presentation Jenny had worked on with the 25 children that were then part of a smaller LACASA. Parents, board members, and even Council Member Gale Brewer attended the presentation to show support for the program and the children.

Those pictures reminded me of how much we all invest personally in the organization and the people we work with; and regardless of our program’s size, whether big or small -- we take great pride in what we do and tend to every detail to make sure the job gets done.

I felt it necessary to share this with you because we can sometimes lose sight of how important our contributions are to the community and the people we serve. That book read to a group of after school children, the home visit made to a senior citizen that needed help completing housing forms, the dozens of meetings with parents, with tenants and high school students are very meaningful and have real impact and outcomes. Because of what you are involved in at Strycker’s Bay, children take and interest in reading, a senior citizen’s rent has been reduced, a parent’s concern about the middle school or high school application process has been changed into understanding how to get the best education for their child, tenants now have heat and hot water and high school students have secured summer employment and are beginning the college application process. For a small, grassroots organization whose annual budget is under $350,000, I would say the people and partners associated with Strycker’s Bay are Miracle Workers!

All of you are making a difference every single day. From newest staff members, Lori, who counsels tenants, Jonathan M. and Jonathan B. of LACASA, and high school interns Tiffiny and Quinten. To our after school volunteers, Zoe, Merideth, Matt, Joleen, Jaziel, Jency and Jordana and veteran staffers Ramon, Janice, Jenny, Been and Jason. From, Jackie and Naomi, who tend to the very important matters of finance and administration, and ALL of our board members who have provided guidance, lend organizational credibility, raised funds and made financial contributions of their own. And finally our community and funding partners, The Robert Bowne Foundation, The Heckscher Foundation for Children, PS 84 Staff and Parents, The After School Corporation (TASC), City Council Member Gale Brewer, State Senator Bill Perkins, and State Senator Tom Duane, your partnership, support and participation in this organization is vital. You involvement and support is making a significant difference in the everyday lives of hundreds of children and families.

I thought it was very important that I share this with you as the year ends, and we bring in a new year -- which will undoubtedly bring with it a host of new challenges. Here at Strycker’s, we have become experts in overcoming challenges and I have confidence we will be able to manage the challenges that await us in 2008 – what ever they may be, but until then please congratulate yourselves and each other for the great work you are doing.

Thank you all for the fantastic work you do and your commitment to Strycker’s Bay.

Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!

With much thanks and appreciation,


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