Human InterestThe White Plains Examiner

Lifting Up Westchester Unveils Plans for Two New Initiatives

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A White Plains-based nonprofit organization has received a $200,000 challenge grant that will help it kick-off fundraising efforts for two community initiatives this year. Lifting Up Westchester (LUW), which was founded more than 40 years ago to provide support to people who have lost their housing or are struggling to meet other basic needs, will also be having its annual Gala & Life Auction April 27 to launch programs Job Central and Community Central.

“Both of these programs seek to ensure that people receive the right services, at the right time and in a holistic way so they are not, getting piecemeal support, and having to jump through incredible hoops to get the support they need moving forward with their lives,” said Anahaita Kotval, CEO of Lifting Up Westchester.

Job Central will address barriers to employment for low-income individuals through pre-employment skill building and post-employment support. Individuals will get support with coaching, clothing, transportation, and overcoming any other hurdles to employment.

Community Central is a way of centralizing opportunities to access community and resources for personalized support. A combination of services including Grace’s Community Kitchen, the Charlie Bevier Outreach program, the Lifting Up Health program, and employment services from Job Central will be available for people suffering from hunger, isolation and other problems.

The honorees at the Gala will be AvalonBay Communities, Leon Feigenbaum and Sylvia and Walter Simon.

Over the last five years, AvalonBay has partnered with Lifting Up Westchester and has a long history of giving back to communities.

Feigenbaum is one of Lifting Up Westchester’s volunteers and supporters, coordinating meals for the kids during summer camp, helping at the organization’s golf outing, coordinating food prep and serving meals at holiday events.

Walter and Sylvia Simon have been advocates since 1980 for Westchester County residents who become homeless. Walter was a founding board member of the former Grace Community Center that is now LUW. Sylvia started as an active volunteer at LUW’s Neighbors Home Care and assisted in the creation of Samaritan House, LUW’s Women’s Shelter

“We are also excited to bring recognition to a group of honorees who have each been critical in strengthening Lifting Up Westchester’s ability to make an impact on people’s lives in Westchester County,” Kotval said.

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