GO Month 2009



Jayne Schoenbrun

Reaching Out in GO Month

Wyandanch, NY
January 2009
GO month 2009
Left to right: Marguerite Barone, Joan Essex,
Cynthia Braun
, Noelle Campbell (in pink),
Carla Mazzuchelli and Jayne Schoenbrun
go month 2009
Left to right: Alix Lieberman, Pat Botter,
Jayne Schoenbrun, Carla Mazzuchelli
and Alice Price

This January marks the fifth year that the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is sponsoring Get Organized (GO) Month. GO Month is a national industry-wide event aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of getting organized and hiring a professional organizer. Each January, NAPO members lend their talents, free of charge, to non-profit groups in need of organizing assistance. Here on Long Island, a neighborhood group of NAPO members known as POLI (Professional Organizers of Long Island) volunteered their time to help the Gerald J. Ryan Outreach Center in Wyandanch, New York.

The Gerald J. Ryan Outreach Center has served the Wyandanch community for over 30 years, providing food, clothing and valuable services as a crisis intervention center. Local residents can turn to the Outreach Center for computer access for employment and other online resources, referrals to substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health counseling, immigration counseling and document assistance, shelter and utilities assistance, and even an after-school program and a summer camp. The Center is funded primarily by individual contributions, grants, support from private foundations and fundraising.

When POLI member Jayne Schoenbrun heard that the Outreach Center had suffered a major loss in December 2007-the building that housed its food and clothing departments was destroyed by a fire-she proposed that POLI help them out during GO Month.

Since the fire, the Outreach Center has been operating out of temporary trailers, which are considerably smaller than the original building. The overcrowded clothing department, which was cluttered the men’s, women’s and children’s clothes that have been generously donated, was the focus of POLI’s work over the course of two consecutive Wednesdays (when the department is closed). On day one, members Marguerite Barone, Cynthia Braun, Joan Essex, Carla Mazzuchelli, and Jayne Schoenbrun tackled the initial sorting, dividing all of the clothes into the appropriate categories and seasons. Day two found Pat Botter, Alix Lieberman and Alice Price joining Carla Mazzuchelli and Jayne Schoenbrun to continue the project by placing the clothes on hangers and making them more easily accessible for the Outreach Center staff.

While the Outreach Center will have to continue to work in their smaller quarters for now, the neater more pleasant and organized space will make it easier for them to welcome the community members they serve.

The Gerald J, Ryan Outreach Center is located at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, 1434 Straight Path, Wyandanch, NY 11798. For more information or to make a donation, please call 631-643-7591.