Posted - January 8, 2018
’Tis the Season for Generosity
The holidays seem to put many people into a giving state of mind. They ask me that we need or what they can do for us at this time. I have to admit, I’m always happy to answer that question, because this is the time of year when we begin to run out of the things we need for our guests! I look forward to filling up our storage cabinets and food pantry. It does feel great to give, but here at Harbor House, we are the humble and grateful recipients of the generosity that abounds during the holidays. There are a few simple but great ways that you can help us. If you are an online shopper and you shop through Amazon, please consider logging in to “Amazon Smile” instead of just Amazon. It just takes a moment. A percentage of everything you purchase through Amazon can be channeled as an Amazon donation directly to the charity of your choosing. We would love it if your choice of charity would be the Harbor House of Rochester. It’s an easy way to do good! I never shop online without typing that one extra word—smile.
Here’s how to do it: Simply go to: https://smile.amazon.com/. Choose Harbor House of Rochester as your charity of choice and that’s it! You shop—we benefit! It’s truly like giving twice—one gift for that special person on your list and one gift for the Harbor House, just for shopping through Smile Amazon. Now that’s a bang for your buck! Another great way is to pick something from our Wish List, buy it and drop it off. We are always happy to meet another one of Santa’s helpers. You can find our current wish list at https://www.harborhouseofrochester.org/make-a-donation/
Looking for a team-building activity, a charitable deed for your Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop or your church youth group? How about organizing a drive for the
items we always need, like bottled water, paper products, cleaning products or healthy snacks? Whatever you do to show your generosity this year, our wish for
you is that it comes back to you a hundred fold!
Thoughts from a House GuestOn October 10th, our LVAD journey began. So much info, leaving home, and being away from family and friends caused quite a bit of anxiety. Sitting in the kitchen at Harbor House with Joan, I must have looked like a deer in the headlights. She made me feel comfortable, and the house was beautiful and clean. I had no idea we would spend over a month here. Harbor House is a soft place to land after a long day at the hospital. I made new friends who taught me the ins and outs of taking care of a very ill loved one. Going “home” at night was like therapy. Sitting around the kitchen table or the fireplace, discussing the day, came easy. We could even dare to laugh, and laugh we did. Thank you, Harbor House, for everything!—Dawn Strawn
“And the BEAT goes on” … 2017
Our annual fundraiser took place on September 23 this year. We were very excited to hold our event at a new location, Locust Hill Country Club. And we were thrilled with this new venue! The picturesque setting created a welcoming atmosphere for a fun and profitable evening.
We were again graced by the presence of Maureen Maguire of Channel 8 News and Scott Hetsko of Channel 13 News. The duo made for a lively night, as Maureen was the host of the evening and Scott was our auctioneer for the live auction. Their warm and fun-loving personalities added such a special touch to the night.
There were so many ways to win something that very few people left the party empty-handed. Our Basket Raffle was awesome with an enormous variety of truly amazing items, and the baskets were all beautifully decorated. Our silent auction had some one-of-a-kind items such as a championship WWF wrestling belt and an antique chest, as well as some gorgeous art pieces, one of which was painted by our very own Mary K. Crowley. The chocolate hearts raffle did not disappoint because even those who didn’t win the necklace still went home with a fabulous chocolate heart from the Williamson Candy Kitchen. The stunning, heart-shaped diamond necklace for the raffle was donated by J William Jewelers of Spencerport. Some lucky folks won trips during our live auction, and one even included a seaplane ride over the Keuka Lake region.
And at the end of the evening, folks still had a chance to win an amazing Get Caked Bakery cake! This exciting evening was also a success because it will allow Harbor House to continue to be a home away from home for another year. Next year’s event will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at Monroe Country Club. Mark your calendars now!
Volunteer in the Spotlight:
This issue’s volunteer in the spotlight is someone who has been helping the Harbor House since before we even had our first guest. It’s almost impossible to
make a list of all the good things that Norman Breen has done for the Harbor House— the list would be so long that it would take forever to read it. Norm is the type of person who is grateful in nature, and because of this, he gives from the heart in three very important ways.
First, with his treasure: Norm generously donates lots of items to us every year that help to ensure the comfort of our guests. He is always showing up with a car loaded with items that make the lives of the families staying at the House easier and more comfortable. I can always count on him calling up just to ask, “What do you need”?
Second, he shares with us his talent: Norm has been printing items for us since our inception, including most of the material for every fundraiser, at no charge to us whatsoever. I generally give him a rough version of what I am hoping for and he turns it into a work of art. He has taught me a lot about how to make printed items look their best.
Lastly, his time: Norm always has time for us, and if he is out of time, he seems to find a way to make time to get the job done. He is an honorable guy who does what he can for as many as he can. I have grown to admire him (and his lovely wife Phyllis) for so many reasons, but especially for putting up with my version of crazy on a regular basis.
I think of Norm more as a big brother—someone to look up to and admire, and also as a good friend—someone you can always count on and turn to whenever you need them. That’s why this month, as we consider all of our blessings, I count my blessings and Norm is at the top of the list!