When Saint Mary’s Giving Day was canceled for September and October, director Marietta Allen went out to the public to ask for help to find a new location, and the Newburgh Armory Unity Center said they would make their space available.
Saint Mary’s Giving Day, in the past, was held at Head Start in Newburgh. Although the church was closed for several years, organizers were able to still use the building until the woman running Head Start said otherwise. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the unnamed woman said it would not be possible. Allen also faced another problem in ensuring that the Giving Days could resume. When they left the Head Start site, they needed to find another tax exempt number, which is needed to bring in food for the community.
Both of these issues – building space and a tax exempt number – have been solved thanks to the Armory and the American Legion Post 1420, respectively. The solution came just in time to prepare for the Thanksgiving Giving Day, which was held on November 20 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Allen described the win-win situation as an act of God. It only came about because someone who knew about Saint Mary’s Giving Day needing a new location was at a meeting with Max Cuacuas, director of operations at the Armory, and spread the word.
The Thanksgiving Giving Day was a huge success at the Armory. While Allen was worried about not having enough volunteers or help, everything ran smoothly. They gave away ten to 15 tons of food that consisted of items that were both Thanksgiving related like turkey, cranberry sauce and yams, and other items like chicken, shrimp, pork loin, sausage, hame, eggs and other high-protein food.
The Knights of Columbus and Dutchess Outreach Guardian Self Storage also gave away coats on Friday for the colder weather.
“I really want to thank Max, the Unity Center and the Kaplans for allowing us to do this,” said Allen. “They are very kindhearted for having reached out to us.”
The next Saint Mary’s Giving Day will be on Friday, December 18 and will have toys for Christmas. If you plan to go to the December Giving Day, be sure to bring identification, a bill and tote bags to carry items.