Mary Nelson Calls for Help

Today I received an e-mail from Mary Nelson, who is well-known in the community for her annual Youth Day Barbecue and Backpack Giveaway and most recently for her youth center. She is in search of funding to keep her programs going.

She wrote:

From the time of my first Youth Day Barbeque, I had a vision creating a safe place for the youth in our community, a place where their hopes and dreams could become reality. My vision called for supporting education and health needs, offering career training and making referrals to other agencies. Thanks to you and many other generous souls, The Mary Nelson Youth/Community Center opened its doors in May of 2009.

The response from the neighborhood tells me our work is important. The Center is open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday and is fully staffed by volunteers. No one is paid to work there, including me. We are serving donated food to those who stop in, and most days, about a dozen men enjoy coffee and a roll or two in the morning. Senior citizens make there way in for a light lunch, and every day, 120 children come to our after-school program beginning at 2:45 PM. Volunteers serve them a snack, then help with homework, and help lead and supervise games until 6:00 PM. Some children stay until closing, and we keep a good eye on them, serving supper when they get hungry.

As much as I planned for my vision, I didn’t realize how many people need our help. We don’t turn any child away, and you know me; I can’t say no. You have been a wonderful friend to me and now, I am asking you to help me, I am not receiving any Federal & State funding.   Would you please consider making a generous gift to the Mary Nelson Youth/Community Center to help me continue my work?   I would like to ask  if you would  be able to donate on a monthly basis, in these  increments of $25, $50, $100, $200 and or  a one time donations of $250, this will cover our Administrative cost, food,  field trips, activites, and also continuing programs for our youths.   Your contribution is tax-deductible and your support will be blessed.

With many thanks,

Mary Nelson
Founder

Children line up at this years backpack giveaway to receive free school supplies for the school year. Steve Driscoll and his wife, Michaeline, check off students as they enter the giveaway. The Driscolls have known Mary Nelson for years.

Children line up at this year's backpack giveaway to receive free school supplies for the school year. Steve Driscoll and his wife, Michaeline, check off students as they enter the giveaway. The Driscoll's have known Mary Nelson for years. -- Photo by Ashley Hanry, The Stand director

To learn more, visit the Youth Day Barbecue Web site or e-mail info@youthdaybarbecue.com or TMARYNELSONYOU@twcny.rr.com