Benevolence and Outreach

The BCC Benevolence Committee administers a range of charitable funds of the Church, including “General Benevolence” of 10% of pledge income, the Byer’s Fund from a generous bequest of the Byers family, the Alice Melady Special Opportunities Fund which makes education grants to help advance the training and talents of persons affiliated with BCC, and the Welfare to Work Fund, which assists programs like Career Closet that help people move into independent employment.

That grant-making is important and deliberate, as we review the work and financials of each grantee to make certain the church’s money is well-spent and has impact. But Benevolence also is responsible for encouraging and coordinating outreach to the community.  Accordingly, we seek to engage community organizations, to understand their needs and where possible find beneficial ways to use BCC skills and resources beyond basic grants.

The following videos, made for the Stewardship campaign, will help the congregation better understand these outreach efforts made on their behalf, while also gaining a deeper sense of the importance of these organizations to our community and how each of us can in our own way support them and their efforts:

Click on Images to Play Videos

Intro and Neighbor’s Link:
Benevolence Chair Anna Papayanis and Recording Secretary Ted Buerger briefly discuss how Covid compelled Benevolence to re-focus on several critical local organizations. Then Anna interviews BCC member Jelane Caspar, who is also a board member of Neighbors Link, one of those critical organizations serving a community harshly struck by Covid
Food and Hunger:

Anna speaks with BCC member Martha Yeargeau about food insecurity the work of the Ossining Food  Pantry (where Martha serves as Treasurer) and with Matt Gullotta founder of the Ossining-based Gullotta House, which now serves meals across Westchester.

IFCA Housing Network:

Jackie Shaw, Executive Director of IFCA, describes to Anna the challenges faced by her clients in affordable housing and how BCC has worked with her and IFCA to help address those challenges.

Ossining Micro Fund:

Mary Seacor, Executive Director of this Ossining-based emergency lending organization, highlights to Anna how need exploded with Covid and how she and we have partnered to develop creative ways to support OMF, their clients, and local businesses.

Lin-Dare Auto:

Linden Rodney, co-founder of Lin-Dare Auto, is a key part of one of our programs with Ossining Micro Fund – and runs a local auto repair shop of excellent reputation right in downtown Ossining. Check it out!

IFCA Thrift Shop and Wrap: Amy Alpert shows off the IFCA Thrift Shop (which BCC members are invited to support through purchases) and discusses another creative program BCC developed with Cravin’ Jamaican to promote IFCA Thrift Shops reopening, provide a free meal to IFCA residents and expand visibility of Cravin’ Jamaican’s great jerk chicken (right here in Ossining).

> Anna and Ted then share some concluding thoughts on BCC’s broad outreach and impact on the community, beyond Benevolence.

Supplemental Videos   –   Additional Organizations Supported by BCC

Ossining Children’s Center:

Former BCC confirmand Alex Campbell is also a graduate and now a board member of Ossining Children’s Center. He highlights their important work, the capital campaign for the new building (watch the video within the video!), and the long-term relationship BCC has had with the OCC.

The Emergency Shelter Partnership:

Ted Buerger interviews BCC member Martha Yergeau on changes in the Homeless Shelter program necessitated by Covid19. From inception, Martha and BCC have been important leaders in this effort, as BCC members stepped up to wonderful donations of time, food and money to give our neighbors the dignity of a safe place to sleep, a full stomach, and a friendly welcome whenever possible.

Career Closet:

This discussion among four Career Closet volunteers (including Executive Director Leslie Allen and 3 BCC members) was less about benevolence, and more about how BCC facilities make possible important work in our community, which is every bit as  important.

Crop Walk:

If you were unable to anticipate in this year’s Crop Walk for Hunger, this video will help you appreciate a shorter version of this 30 minute walk, which BCC led in both an online and in-person version. Special thanks to Todd for his leadership of this, which is broadly supported by other houses of worship through participation and donations.