At right, White Plains YMCA Press Event (Left to Right): Jane A. Solnick, Con Edison Director of Public Affairs; CEO of Rollins Insurance, Mark Rollins; White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach; Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins; Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett; Civic Leader and Community Activist, Sol Skolnick; CEO of YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester, Cynthia Rubino; Paul Schwarz, White Plains Library Chair and son of Volunteer New York! co-founder Jane Schwarz; and Barbara Schwarz, noted community activist and wife to Paul Schwarz.
At a press event, which took place at the White Plains YMCA, Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett was there to present Mark Rollins, Volunteer New York! Board Chair, with a proclamation from Westchester County Executive, Robert P. Astorino. Also in attendance was White Plains Mayor Tom Roach; CEO of YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester, Cynthia Rubino; Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins; and Paul Schwarz, who is the son of Volunteer New York!’s co-founder, Jane Schwarz. Mr. Schwarz discussed the important role Volunteer New York! has had over the years to nonprofits, volunteers, and in his life and explained the significance of gathering at the White Plains YMCA – which was the place that the very first volunteer-to-nonprofit connection took place some 65 years ago, on a borrowed desk and phone.
“We hope this celebration has just begun to raise further awareness about what we do and the types of connections we make to strengthen our community,” says Volunteer New York! Executive Director, Alisa H. Kesten. “Which is why for the rest of the year we invite you to celebrate our birthday by volunteering to help children in need celebrate their birthday in a manner that all children deserve. It’s a really great project made possible by the nonprofit, Family-to-Family.” To find out more about the Birthday Giving Project please visit volunteernewyork.org/birthday.
The #VNY65 is a year-long celebration about legacy, impact and the next 65 years. Volunteer New York! changed its name last spring from The Volunteer Center of United Way, while maintaining a strong strategic partnership with United Way of Westchester and Putnam – one which has already connected over 100 mentors, tutors, and volunteers readers to their SmartStart program and has focused more time and resources on programs that support education, income and health. In 2014 Volunteer New York! inspired over 15,000 individuals to volunteer over 240,000 hours of service to over 500 nonprofits.
Volunteer New York! also recently received a grant from Westchester Community Foundation to further support their disaster readiness program and to mobilize more volunteers in the event of a future disaster.
Volunteer New York! Board Chair, Mark Rollins who will be honored this April during the organization’s annual Volunteer Spirit Awards breakfast gala (volunteernewyork.org/VSA), commented that, “For 65 years, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of nonprofits in our community have been impacted by a connection made through Volunteer New York!. Many volunteers have gone on to become professional business and nonprofit leaders, continuing to give back by sharing skills and passions. They’ve led by example and encouraged volunteerism in others. Volunteer New York! continues to evolve and be the bedrock for these connections.”
About Volunteer New York!
The core mission of Volunteer New York! is to inspire, mobilize, and equip individuals and groups to take positive action to address pressing challenges, support nonprofits and strengthen the quality of life in our community. For the past 65 years the organization has encouraged adults to serve, youth to build character, families to bond, young professionals to lead, mature adults to share their wisdom and businesses to engage through volunteerism. By connecting individuals to nonprofit organizations as well as through organized volunteer projects, Volunteer New York! helps people take action to strengthen the quality of life in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam. Over 240,000 hours of service were devoted last year to 500 nonprofits at a value of over $7.2 million.
Volunteer New York! is proud to have United Way of Westchester and Putnam as a strategic impact partner. Corporate Champions who strongly support the mission of Volunteer New York! are New York Life, MasterCard, TD Charitable Foundation, PepsiCo, Bunge, Con Edison, Xylem, Morgan Stanley, Robison Oil Company, M&T Bank, Scent 2 Market, Journal News Media Group, Mack-Cali Reality, The Dannon Company, Reader’s Digest Association, Regeneron, The Rollins Agency Inc., Chubb, Pentegra, Reckson, Division of SL Green Realty Corp., O’Connor Davies, LLP, and RPW Group. Ongoing support is provided by Westchester County, the Corporation for National and Community Service and the New York State Commission on National and Community Service.