GUARDIAN ANGEL CRISIS CENTER ENCOURAGES OTHERS TO "PAY IT FORWARD" AT ANNUAL BENEFIT DINNER AND CHINESE AUCTION
November 19, 2015 -- With nearly 150 supporters in attendance, the Guardian Angel Crisis Center of Sea Cliff held its third annual Benefit Dinner and Chinese Auction at the Brookville Country Club on Saturday, November 14.
Established in 2009, with a mission "to meet the needs of women who have lost control of their lives,who are struggling to raise their children, or who have been left shipwrecked by economic or marital hardship,” the Guardian Angel Family Crisis Center, located at 239 Glen Cove Avenue in Sea Cliff, has since then offered a variety of services to women in crisis, providing for both physical necessities such as shelter, clothing, and sometimes even food, as well as emotional support and life skills guidance for women who are victims of abuse, or who are facing financial hardship, or who are experiencing some other life altering crisis.
This year’s Benefit Dinner’s theme,“Paying it Forward,” explained crisis center founder Barbara Costello, describes a central goal of the organization’s work - to instill in those who are helped the desire and ability to help others.
Helping others, Ms. Costello explained to the audience, “has a rippling effect, it can be quite contagious. Each person is a little link but it’s a part of a large chain.”
One of those links is Farah Rico, a Honduran immigrant and single mother who settled in Glen Cove, and who found assistance at the crisis center. Paying it forward, she has helped to extend the organization’s reach into her of hometown of Comayagua, a community where extreme poverty is widespread.
“I was blessed in America,” Mrs. Rico explained, “and I could give that blessing to people who did not have Guardian Angel in their town.”
Guardian Angel, through the efforts of its donors and volunteers, has been able to provide a hospital and orphanage in Comayagua with clothing and supplies. This next year, the goal is to establish an after-school program that offers educational opportunities to children in this under-resourced area.
Kim Godoy, a single mother at age 25 and homeless for four months found a haven at Guardian Angel, moving into the center’s residence two months after it had opened.
“Barbara saved my life,” she said.
Having never graduated high school, Guardian Angel provided her the support that enabled her to get a GED and then enroll in the paralegal program at Nassau Community College, where she earned an associate’s degree. She will be transfering to John Jay College of Criminal Justice and then eventually go on to law school.
Ms. Godoy is now paying it forward, offering support to a young woman, Shannon, originally of Boston, and now at Guardian Angel, helping her to enroll and succeed in that same paralegal program.
“You have literally passed the baton to Sharon,” said. Beth Richert, Guardian Angel's goals setting coach as she presented Ms. Godoy with this year's Guardian Angel Achievement Award.
For more information about the Guardian Angel Crisis Center, click here for a link to their website.