President's Update – September 2014
Connecting the Two New Yorks
One way to look at what we do at The Bowery Mission is this — we help connect two different worlds in the world’s most complex city.
There’s the world of fortunate and blessed New Yorkers — all of us with many problems, but all of us with the basic necessities of life. But then there’s the world of New York’s least fortunate men and women living on the streets or in crowded shelters without a way out; children who don’t really have someone able to advocate for them or a shot at a decent life.
Our mission in life is to connect these two groups — so that both are blessed and enriched through the contact.
Avenues to connecting, of course, include volunteerism, expertise, gifts of materials and food, and cash gifts flowing one way — and friendships, gratitude and a new perspective on happiness flowing the other way.
The fall season, peaking at the Thanksgiving holiday and end of the year holidays, is when the greatest amount of connections occur. Over 40% of our gifts came in the last calendar quarter of the year.
And this year, as the financial markets set new records and some New Yorkers feel prosperous, the number of New Yorkers who feel hunger, homelessness and despair is also growing. City shelters have hit a new record in beds filled, over 58,000, up from 38,000 just three years ago.
Our connection services are needed more than ever.
I hope you’ll find the joy of being a “connecting New Yorker” this fall like thousands of other New Yorkers. When our grandkids did a home-designed service project this summer during our family summer vacation at the lake, one of them said; “you’re right grandpa, it is more fun to be a giver than a taker”.
May we all find that simple joy.