18th Annual Inter-Faith Housing Alliance Outing

Inter-Faith Housing Alliance provides comprehensive housing and support services to homeless families throughout Montgomery County.

This year’s 18th annual golf event was held at PineCrest Country Club in Lansdale, PA.  Inter-faith had a record turn out on a beautiful sunny day in June.  Nancy, Tom and Tyler from the Wynnstay crew joined up with Drew, Bob & Bob, golf wizards from Nancy’s side of the family.  Drew and Nancy volunteered at Drew’s ‘Beat the Pro’ par 3.  While only one of us beat Drew, overall we played well and had a great round.  Wynnstay was a breakfast sponsor for the event and we have been proud supporters for the past 5 years.

Wynnstay Sponsor Breakfast Interfaith June 2015 Wynnstay Group Pic Interfaith Housing June 2015

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Annual Philabundance Day

On November 15, 2014 we gathered for our annual Wynnstay Workday at Philabundance in South Philadelphia.  Another great turnout of family and friends, with a special guest from Canada, Tom Jr.  We were paired up with a large volunteer group from Haverford College and got to work boxing non-perishable goods.  Each box contained enough food to feed a family of five for two weeks.  The boxes were delivered to a vast network of organizations that work with Philabundance to get the food directly to individuals and families.  The warehouse only functions with the help of volunteers 6 days a week and each year it’s remarkable to see how much we can accomplish together.

Thanks again to all the friends who came out to support Wynnstay and more importantly help to fight hunger in our area!

 

Wynnstay Sponsored Hole Interfaith Housing June 2014 (1)

Inter-Faith Housing Annual Golf Outing

For the past few years Wynnstay has donated to Inter-Faith Housing Alliance through their annual golf outing.  On June 16, 2014, our own Tom Sr. played a round to support the organization.  Not only is Tom a board member, but he’s got an incredible short game.  A special thanks to extended family member Drew Garis, who served as ‘beat the pro’ on a par 3.  Out of about 100 contestants, only 12 beat Drew.  Not bad!

Inter-Faith Housing Alliance’s mission is to serve God by providing charitable services to persons located in Montgomery County whose life situations have become unstable. These charitable services shall include homelessness prevention, temporary shelter, guidance in life skills and assistance in locating appropriate housing opportunities, thus enabling families at risk to remain in or return to independent living.

Wynnstay Sponsored Hole Interfaith Housing June 2014 (1)

 

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Philabundance Workday

On Saturday October 19, we traveled down to South Philly for an afternoon of volunteering at the Philabundance Hunger Relief Center.  A total of 14 family and friends took time away from a beautiful fall day to lend a hand at the warehouse.  Philabundance is the region’s largest food and hunger relief organization, serving a vast network of almost 500 food cupboards, emergency kitchens, and shelters.  They rely not only on food donations from various sources but also on the muscle and hands-on volunteering of hundreds of individuals each week.  Volunteers are needed all year round to unload food deliveries, sort items, stock shelves and check out customers at the Community Food Center and the Fresh For All weekly farmer’s market.

During the 3 hours we spent at the Hunger Relief warehouse, a group of about 45 people sorted, boxed and loaded trucks with 5,500 lbs of bread and 7,700 lbs of frozen meats.  An amazing accomplishment at the direction of the hardworking crew at Philabundance.

Hunger is an enormous issue here in the Delaware Valley and has been exacerbated by the weak economy.  No matter the growing need, organizations like Philabundance have continued to serve any person or family that doesn’t have enough to eat.  We were proud to help and very thankful for the volunteers who came out to support Wynnstay: Tom, Nancy, Corey, Pete, Maura, Jim, Rob, Jen, Courtney, Courtney, Jonathan, Wil, and Jesse.  A special thanks to Maura for arranging and organizing the day well in advance. We plan to make this an annual occasion and hope you can join us again next year.

Philabundance logo

Coming Up: Philabundance Workday

We are excited to announce an afternoon of volunteering this coming October at Philabundance in South Philadelphia.  Friends and family are welcome to join us Saturday October 19th from 12:30 – 3:30pm.  The last Wynnstay Workday at Philabundance was a great success and we look forward to helping out this great hunger relief organization again.  Please contact wynnstay[at]gmail.com if you are interested in attending.  As the event gets closer we’ll send out an update and more details about the event.  Looking forward to it!

Philabundance Food Bank Warehouse – South Philadelphia
October 19, 2013
12:30 – 3:30pm
3616 South Galloway Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Scratch golfer, Tom Wynn

Inter-Faith Housing Golf Outing

The 16th Annual Inter-Faith Housing Alliance Golf Tournament was held on Monday June 17th at the Blue Bell Country Club.

The Inter-Faith Housing Alliance was founded in 1982 by a group of community members in Montgomery County. These concerned citizens were responding to the needs of a growing number of homeless families in the region. Inter-Faith began as a 24-hour emergency hotline, and has since evolved to provide a continuum of comprehensive programs and services of support to homeless families.  Headquartered in Ambler, PA (where the Wynn family got its roots), Inter-Faith programs endow families with the skills needed to overcome homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency.  They remain committed to being a beacon of hope to families in crisis, a goal only accomplished through the generosity and commitment of the community.

Wynnstay was proud to sponsor a hole at the golf tournament for our third year in a row.  Our own Tom Wynn is a board member and active member in keeping Inter-Faith a continued success in the community.

MLK Day of Service

Martin Luther King Day of Service has grown to be a very successful city-wide event each year.  In greater Philadelphia this year, thousands of individuals around area participated in a wide variety of volunteer projects for the 18th Annual Day of Service; the largest King Day event in the nation.  2013 also marked 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr led the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom.

This year the Wynnstay gang teamed up with the Friends School School to help spruce up the Andrew Jackson Elementary School in South Philadelphia.  We were amazed by the amount of volunteers, especially the kids who took time on their day off to help.  Our task was to repaint all the trimming and doors throughout the school from the old brown to the new the school color of burgundy.  Everyone split off into groups and headed down to the gymnasium.  We swept, sanded, taped and finally painted.  The finished product was quite spectacular and the school’s Principal was very impressed.  The cost of hiring workers to paint would have been outrageous, especially for a Philadelphia public school, which is really struggling financially right now.

Perhaps the best part of the experience was watching all the volunteers work together and be proud of their accomplishments.  This is really what volunteering is all about – a dual focus on helping those in need, with a great degree of self satisfaction.

The day was a great success for everyone involved!  Greater Philadelphia’s MLK Day of Service has a simple message:  Be a Global Citizen.  Think Globally, Act Locally

 

Superstorm Sandy

On Saturday morning November 10th, I drove down to Ocean City, NJ to help with the aftermath of Sandy.  A little over a week and a half had past since the storm hit the Jersey coast and Ocean City was one of the lucky coastal towns.  The town was largely spared major damage with flooding being the largest issue.  The Hurricane Relief Center was located at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church on 8th street.  The church opened up their kitchen and cafeteria for weeks after the storm to any individual and family displaced from their homes.  I arrived to find an amazing group of volunteers led by a woman named Karen.  The volunteers had all come from various parts of the region and simply arrived to lend a hand.  We were immediately put to work preparing lunch and helping organize the donations pouring in throughout the day.

What struck me most was the amount of food being delivered from people driving all the way down the shore.  There were fresh meat balls, hoagies, chocolate milk, homemade soups, sausage and peppers, salads, desserts, and even van load of fresh baked rolls from Lancaster County, PA.  But the most impressive donation was from Operation Cupcake – 300 cupcakes baked by a 12 year old girl and her mother.  Their slogan embodied the entire volunteer effort witnessed that day: “Nothing heals the soul like a cupcake”.  Overall I was truly impressed with the outpouring of support from volunteers across our region.  The uplifting experience we had truly matched the need of each storm victim.

To help in future needs, an organization has been established for the Ocean City Community called the OCNJ C.A.R.E Project, Cleanup and Recovery Effort.

Fairy Godmother’s Prom Sale Event

During a festive holiday party at the Beardsley household, the ladies were all sitting around reminiscing on all the incredible events we’ve been to together. Many of us have been in each other’s weddings, as well as several others throughout the years.  This led into a conversation about what we could do with all of our beautiful dresses we’d collected from being a part of these amazing occasions. Sandy Bocchino and I decided we should collect everyone’s dresses and donate them to a charity that helps underprivileged high schoolers looking for gorgeous dresses for their proms.

We found Fairy Godmother’s, Inc. whose mission is to help provide a special high school prom experience for qualified high school girls whose financial situations are such as otherwise would preclude their ability to attend their prom by providing them prom gowns, shoes, and similar accessories which have been donated to the organization.

On Saturday, March 10th the Fairy Godmother’s organization held its annual prom sale. Sandy and I brought about 20 dresses and volunteered to help the girls pick out their dream dresses. It was a fun morning of excitement as the girls proudly modeled their dresses for their families.  Because of the event, many girls were able to afford a beautiful gown so that they could attend their proms, which is such a special experience in a teenager’s life.  Sandy and I were proud to be a part of such a wonderful event.

Check out the video clip below from Channel 6. If you look closely, you can even catch a glimpse of Sandy and me helping out the girls…

Fairy Godmother’s Prom Sale

 

MLK Day Philly style

Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service was a huge success around the City… over 85,000 volunteers helped in various ways in Philadelphia and across the Delaware Valley.  It’s amazing to hear of so many people willing to take up their day and help out others, but what else would you expect from the City of Brotherly Love??

This year the Wynnstay gang teamed up with our friends from Impact Thrift Stores to help serve dinner at Chosen 300 Ministries.  We arrived at the Outreach center on 11th and Spring Garden to the hearty greeting of Brian Jenkins prepping over 50 volunteers.  Brian’s story is quite remarkable.  He started Chosen 300 in 1996 with his wife Shandai after the meeting a homeless man outside the Merriam Theatre here in Philadelphia.  The effort started small at their local church by preparing and serving a handful of meals to various homeless.  Today Chosen 300 serves over a thousand meals every week with a mission to unite individuals through faith in God and faith in the common good.

The night started off with a sermon and singing from members of Mt. Airy Baptist Church as the individuals piled into the dining hall.  After an inspirational prayer from Brian and a check presentation from Impact, we immediately sprung to action, filling plates high with sandwiches, hot dogs, corn, baked beans, rice and cookies.  Others shuffled down the hall to serve the meals, with a smile of course!  In his prep speech, Brian noted the importance of creating a warm and friendly environment for the individuals to feel welcome and appreciated.  He really strives to provide a sense of comfort and unity… something that is lacking while living on the streets.  As the last of the patrons left, we had served more than 270 people with food to spare!  It’s amazing to think that if Brian and Chosen 300 was not there to provide that meal, they’d have to find another way to eat.  But on the flip side, it’s organizations like his that provide support in a way that regular society does not.

Wynnstay would also like to give a shout out to Impact Thrift Stores.  Our own Tom Wynn has dedicated a lot of his time toward its success and mission.  On this night they presented a check to Chosen 300 for $21,000.   An amazing sum of money for any non-profit!  Impact started a little over 10 years ago as an upclass thrift store with a goal of distributing the stores’ profits to local Philadelphia charities.  It has been an overwhelming success and I believe they are opening their 4th store this year and plan to add over 50 new jobs to the area.  Wow!

Martin Luther King Day of service is a great way each year to spread the message of side-by-side volunteering.  Our experience at Chosen 300 really underscores the importance of uniting everyone to work toward a common good.

“Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.” -Dr. King