Manor Club Zoom program Monday covers efforts to welcome refugees to Westchester

Editor’s note: This press release was provided by the Manor Club.

Kathie O’Callaghan

The Manor Club will host a Zoom program on “Welcoming Refugees to Westchester” that will be open to the public on Monday, March 1 at 7:30pm featuring Kathie O’Callaghan, founder and president of Hearts and Homes for Refugees.

She is expected to discuss President Joe Biden’s comments at a recent town Hall on his plans to increase the number of refugees who will be allowed to settled in the United States.

As a longtime resident of Pelham, Ms. O’Callaghan is passionate about bringing people of good will together to share the resources they have with those forced to flee violence and seek a place to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.  To answer this call  she started Hearts and Homes for Refugees  in 2015 as a grass-roots solution to the global refugee crisis; since then hundreds of additional  volunteers have mounted a massive effort to focus on programs that create a climate of acceptance and opportunity for those fleeing violence and persecution.

It is through Hearts & Homes for Refugees that Ms. O’Callaghan focuses on programs that create a climate of acceptance and opportunity for those fleeing violence and persecution. She created the Westchester Refugee Initiative to expand a collaborative network to achieve this throughout the county.

Hearts & Homes identifies and supports volunteer teams that provide short-term support to refugees and asylees in need who are identified by Catholic Charities.  In total, HHR supported 20 Helping Hands cases in 2020, offering assistance to 61 individuals in those families. The estimated value of support in 2020 totaled over $35,700 ($25,950 in cash/gift cards and $12,750 in goods. 818 volunteer hours were contributed, valued at nearly $24,000!

Westchester Refugee Initiative Winter Drive — co-hosted with Neighbors for Refugees — provided warm coats and boots to over 500 refugees in Westchester, New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Through Valentine’s Day, HHR hosted the Love Your Neighbor Personal Products Drive, collecting full-sized, new personal care items, such as toiletries and laundry detergent, until February 14.

As a longtime resident of Pelham, Ms. O’Callaghan has worn many volunteer hats: Pelham Manor volunteer firefighter; Friend of the Pelham Library; Hurricane Sandy community relief effort;  Pelham schools site-based council; tutor at Mt. Vernon High School Destination College; Jansen Hospice & Palliative Care; Wartburg Senior Care Facility and currently a proud member of the Rotary Club of the Pelhams.

To register for this Zoom meeting, send an email to:  [email protected], and a return email will be sent to you  with the Zoom access codes.