How Neighbors Connect to Help Each Other

The Community Center of Northern Westchester is a hub for giving.

A family man doing his best to find work—and who often walked from Mount Kisco to Katonah, knocking on doors for a job. A volunteer helping with computer skills and with filling out online job applications. A Pound Ridge donor offering new bicycles.

At the Community Center of Northern Westchester, we helped bring these three people together. The result was a full-time job at the A&P for Ranoldo Cruz Mejia, with two wheels to get him there.

The mission of the Community Center of Northern Westchester is to give support to those who need it; be it food, clothing, English and job-training classes, computer skills instruction and more. Our goal is to help clients attain self-sufficiency.  And when we meet a highly-motivated person like Ranoldo, the pieces fit together beautifully.

Ranoldo, who hails from Guatemala, originally came to the Center for food assistance. After learning about services that were available to him, he turned to the Center to help him with his job search.

Steve Peeples is a Center volunteer who teaches English and computer skills here each Wednesday. “Ranoldo is the nicest, most determined person,” he said.“He truly wanted to work and make a better life for himself and his family.”  Steve assisted Ranoldo with the job application process and with completing his forms accurately to help secure the job.

Around the same time, Clare Murray, the Center’s Assistant Director of Operations, received a call from the Obzud family of Pound Ridge, who wanted to donate two new bicycles through our “Furniture Exchange Program.” The program is designed to match offers of donated items with recipients who need them.

She said that Ranoldo Cruz Mejia’s name immediately came up as a perfect candidate for the bikes. In December, he came to get a bicycle for himself and one for his daughter and now pedals to his new job at the supermarket.

What does Ranoldo think about what the Center has done?  “I hope God keeps the Community Center where it is; it helps a lot of people,” he said.

This is just one of many stories the Center can tell, about how neighbors help neighbors. They remind us that the Community Center is a true hub for giving—in so many different ways.


(Pictured above:  Ranoldo Cruz Mejia (left) and Steve Peeples)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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