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The Holiday Edition 

Welcome to a very special Aisling Irish Community Center Newsletter. Thank you to every single one of you, our volunteers, program particpants and donors. Without your help we wouldn't be able to provide all of our much needed services in the community. From everyone here at the center, we hope you have a happy holiday and a healthy New Year.

What are the Holidays?

Put simply, the Holidays is the period of time from Thanksgiving until New Year, which includes festivals such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is a week-long annual celebration held in the United States and other nations of the African diaspora to honour African heritage in African-American culture. Kwanzaa celebrates seven principles unity, self-determination, faith, creativity, collective work & responsibility, cooperative economics. 

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. The word Hanukkah means rededication. Every year, the celebration honours the hard-fought victory of those trying to keep their faith.

Christmas is the annual festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus. The Irish tradition of lighting Christmas candles by windows seems to have come from the era of the Penal Laws, a time when it was against the law for Catholics to practice their faith. Priests often visited homes in secrecy to bless a family and to say Mass. The candles were a secret message to the travelling priests that it was a Catholic home and they were welcome. If government officials inquired about the candles, they were told they were lit at Christmas time as a sign for Mary and Joseph that there was room for them in the house

Program Spotlight: Volunteers for the Homeless



 

We sat down with two of our volunteers, Marie Walsh and Tony Gormley to find out how and why they got involved in helping others.

When did you start volunteering? 


Marie: I’ve been with the Center a couple of years. I’ve been away for the last six months, but I come back once a month and try to do the [sandwich] run on Monday night.

Tony: I’ve been volunteering for fifteen years in the center, doing errands here and there. I knew someone that was doing it and I figured I should do my part too. 

Marie: Really you get at the stage in life where you want to give back and contribute to the community that was pretty good to you because, I lived here for like thirty years and this community was pretty good to me when I came here first.  

For anyone thinking of volunteering, what would you say to them? 

Marie: One of the reasons it was made more feasible for me is that my company started giving us community hours. So for any organization out there, if they can commit their staff to use community hours or give them time off and support the time off to do volunteering efforts, it makes it so much easier. 

Tony: I say by all means [do it, you get so much] satisfaction that you’re doing something for someone else. 

Marie: There’s such great clients, they start your week off. You’ve done something good and something worthwhile, it’s the best day of the week for me. We [see the same people every week] and there’s some great characters downtown who are just hard on their luck. 

Do you have any significant memories from volunteering? 

Tony: One night I went downtown because there was a heavy snow storm and they were short drivers. One thing that sticks out for me is that there was a person sleeping on a piece of cardboard and bags and I woke him up to tell him that there’s food there. He thanked me for coming out ‘on a night like that’ and I’ll always remember that.  

Marie: One of the nights a lady who shows up every Monday came with a holiday card for us signed by all the clients. That would bring you to tears. It shows you that they truly do appreciate what we do.  

Not [all of our clients] are homeless, they may just be in unfortunate circumstances. Some of them just come out for that chat. This one elderly lady comes and might sometimes have something small to eat, but if she ever gets a donation of a coffee she will ask for us to distribute it and she’ll always give us something to bring home in the car. The generosity of the people is amazing, they are willing to give back themselves when they can.  

When the weather is bad, they hold a parking spot for us, whether they put down boxes or sometimes they'll stand in the street. Some of them will help us unload the car, some will carry the soup containers.

Volunteering is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. Hail, rain or snow they are there and so are we.  

WEEKLY CLASSES WINTER 2019

MONDAY

  • Irish Volunteers for the Homeless Program      2:00pm—4:00pm                                                                                                                                                             7:30pm—9:30pm
  • Flynn School of Irish Dance      4:00pm—7:30pm
  • Art for Preteens                         5.00pm—6:30pm
  • Foróige Youth Group                 7:00pm—8:30pm

TUESDAY

  • Parent & Toddler Playgroup        9:30am —11:30am
  • Flynn School of Irish Dance        4:00pm—8:00pm
  • Irish Music & Singing with Dawn   4:00pm—6:00pm
  • Open Level Yoga with Carolyn    7:30pm—8:30pm

WEDNESDAY

  • Music Together (0-3 years old)    10:30am—11:30am
  • Karate for Kids                             2:30pm—7:30pm
  • Flynn School of Irish Dance         3:00pm—8:00pm
  • Céilí Band                                    7:30pm—8:30pm

THURSDAY

  • Book Club                                     11:30am—1:30pm
  • Flynn School of Irish Dance         4:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Art & Yoga for Kids                       4:30pm—5:30pm
  • Irish Music & Singing with Dawn  5:00pm—6:00pm
  • Foroige Youth Group                    7:00pm—9:00pm

FRIDAY

  • Karate for Kids                             4:00pm—7:00pm
  • Flynn School of Irish Dance         4:00pm—8:00pm
  • Irish Music/Singing with Dawn     4:00pm—6:00pm
  • 25 Card Drive (1st Friday each month)   8:00pm—10:00pm

SATURDAY

  • Yoga with Pamela                         9:15am—10:15am
  • Flynn School of Irish Dance         11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Irish Music with Dawn Doherty     11:00am—1:00pm

SUNDAY

  • AA/Betterway Group Meeting       9:30am – 11:30am
  • Monthly Matinee/Refreshments (1st Sunday every month)  2:00pm—4:00pm
 

Who we are and what we do


Founded in 1996, The Aisling Irish Community Center is a not-for-profit community based organization providing social, educational and cultural programs.

 

We offer a range of classes from music, karate, Irish dance, yoga, youth groups and much more. Our Young at Heart is a group we welcome with open arms into the center, where seniors and retired people get together for lively conversation, light refreshments and friendship. Guest speakers frequently attend to talk about various topics/ issues. Frequent trips to plays, movies and places of interest.

The center also provides free counselling services, crisis intervention and life skills coaching.

 

Feel free to stop by anytime if you have any questions or issues that we can help you with!

 

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Copyright © 2019, Aisling Irish Community Center. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Aisling Irish Community Center, 990 McLean Avenue, Yonkers, NY. 10704

Contact
info@aislingcenter.org
Tel: 1914-237-5121 / 7121

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Aisling Irish Community Center · 990 McLean Avenue · Yonkers, NY 10704 · USA

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