Summer CSGC Grant Update: HANDS Community Center Event

Throughout the planning, the preparation, and the completion of our event, we have learned how much time and effort is necessary to bring an event to fruition.

During the planning of the event, there was some difficulty due to the community center changing plans. In the future, we will be as direct as we can when scheduling while recognizing that the schedule may change, which is out of our control. The main changes to the plan, was that the nun in charge of running the community center, Hermana Rafaela, decided to change the event from a party-like fundraiser, to a seminar based gathering. This gathering would include guest speakers, who spoke about key topics affecting immigrants living in the Mott Haven area, such as domestic violence, nutrition, and HIV . After the seminar, members could pick up meals, and groceries which we were now in charge of providing. This was much more budget friendly, given that the center already had a deep pantry for groceries. Our budget was now used solely for food, rather than party supplies. Furthermore, we decided to partner up with some of the Center’s previous donators, notably, Tacombi, a New York City based Mexican restaurant, who matched our contribution of 200 sandwiches, with about 200 burritos. While our event did not end in an amount of money raised for the center, as we had originally planned, we were able to provide people in need with 200 full meals, and 300 bags of essential groceries! While our final project was very different than we had originally planned, our project ended up being much bigger than previously anticipated, and we are extremely proud of the work that we did to help hundreds of people.

In preparation for the event, we found ourselves rushing to complete some of the tasks that we were assigned, such as the bagging of 300 different bags of groceries (provided by the center’s pantry), and the preparation of 200 sandwiches. This resulted in us being exhausted by the time of the actual event, when we still had to help set up, tear down, and make sure everything is running smoothly. During future projects, we will make sure to give ourselves enough time in completing necessary tasks, as well as have a more finalized game plan so we can budget, and communicate as effectively as possible, not putting unnecessary stress on ourselves.

When working at the community center, we witnessed the dedication of the men and women who have donated their lives to help HANDS. All of the workers were extremely motivated, hardworking, and enthusiastic about the work that they were doing, whether it was packaging food, supplies runs, or helping members of the community. These individuals inspired us with their sheer passion for the betterment of their community. Moving forward, we will work to emulate this level of dedication.

We would like to thank the Workman Fund for allowing us to complete this project. Furthermore, we would also like to extend our thanks to the organizations that support and fund the H.A.N.D.S community center, and helped give the center the resources to make this possible. These include the Caring & Loving Foundation, Oak St. Health, Effective Home care, and Comision Latina. This was truly a life changing experience for the both of us and we are beyond grateful for the opportunity.

-Jasper ’25 and Juan ’25