Spread Joy and Help Out This Holiday Season – Organizations In PC

Written By: Yannely Sanchez, Michelle Ramos-Aragon

The winter season is often a favorite for many. The holidays are around the corner, gifts are exchanged, and snow is falling. This season gives many residents here in Port Chester much joy, but it is also important to spread joy to the less fortunate by helping out through charities and volunteering right here in PC. 

A large organization, whose mission is to help all people, especially the young and those most vulnerable, is the Don Bosco Community Center. They hope to guide people on their way to become productive, responsible, and caring citizens. The Don Bosco Community Center facilitates many events and activities to guide and help people, which you can partake in, such as: 

  1. The Dining Room / Soup Kitchen from Monday to Friday, which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m – Volunteers are tasked to prepare and serve the food to people who need it. 
  1. The Food Pantry on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Volunteers help stock the supplies and serve the people who come looking for food and other material items.
  1. The Open Closet is now Monday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Volunteers organize and give out clothing, from donations, to those who come.

Don Bosco also has specific events to help out immigrants such as The Migration Talk at 7 p.m. on December 13 (with no appointment needed) and The Migration Clinic at 9 a.m. on January 13, where people can talk with lawyers about the process with an appointment. Both events are made to help immigrants with any difficulties they may have.

Additionally, Don Bosco has programs specifically made for children, such as a Breakfast with Santa on December 17 (registration needed) and an after school program for children from 2nd grade to high school, which provides them help on their homework and offers them opportunities in different types of classes.

The Don Bosco Scholars Program provides high school scholars and their families a personal mentor to guide them through the college application process – college list, essay, SAT/ACT prep, college visits, applications, scholarship search, financial aid and more.

Another organization very active in PC is Carver Center. They wish to build better futures for the citizens of PC, especially children and families. This organization has been active since 1943, where it began as a small after school program for children whose parents worked during wartime. The founders were African American parents who were big advocates of supporting the minority community in PC. What once was a small food pantry and a child care program has expanded to offer so many more services.

This organization provides swimming lessons to children, a college scholarship program for PCHS seniors, citizenship classes for immigrants, and much more. Different ways people can participate in the organization are:

  1. Carver Market: 
    1. Open Monday / Wednesday / Friday from 12:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.. Volunteers (16 +, being bilingual is also a plus) stock shelves and assist guests with sign-in, grocery shopping and check out.
    2. Open Tuesday / Thursday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.. Volunteers stock/organize shelves, unpack deliveries, etc. 
  2. Meals on Main Street is partnered with the Carver Market. Volunteers can do a multitude of things such as help prepare meals, pick up/deliver meals to families in need, help out at a Pop-Up Pantry etc.

Another big way to help out these organizations is to donate. Donating food, clothes, or toys can all be useful to these organizations. There are many more organizations that are in PC but these are two that are very big in the community.

Please check out their websites to learn more, offer some volunteer hours, and spread joy this holiday season!

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