Ministry of Concern looking for executive director to lead 2-county agency
Nyla Gaylord left to join United Way in Orleans County
ALBION – While the resignation of Nyla Gaylord in early July as executive director may have left a big void in the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern, the agency is moving forward with a lot of positive energy, according to board president Sister Dolores O’Dowd.
Gaylord served with GOMOC for 5 ½ years, with more than four of those as executive director. She has accepted a position as director of development and fundraising for United Way of Orleans County.
“We appreciate all the time, effort and expertise she shared with employees, board members and especially the clients of Orleans and Genesee counties,” Sister O’Dowd shared in their summer newsletter.
Meanwhile, the search for a new executive director is continuing.
“We are looking for someone who has a heart for our ministry and someone who is also familiar with the agencies in Orleans and Genesee County with whom we work,” Sister O’Dowd said.
While the past year and a half have been challenging, GOMOC can celebrate a lot of successes. These include the purchase of a new furniture truck with a lift gate, made possible with a generous donation and grant from the Lyndonville Foundation.
“In spite of the challenges, we managed to keep our office going,” Sister O’Dowd said. “No one refused to come to work because of Covid. “We are thankful we could continue to help people with the money we received from grants.
In January this year, GOMOC was the recipient of a $50,000 grant from Eastman Savings and Loan, made possible by United Way of Orleans County. This allowed for creating the ESL/Covid Relief Housing Project to help families and individuals who were economically and financially disadvantaged and who suffered from either loss of income due to Covid or had difficulty making ends meet. GOMOC was able to provide rental/mortgage assistance and help with outstanding utility bills.
Although the ESL/Covid Relief Program ended July 31, GOMOC will continue to service income-eligible families in need through other funding sources and referral processes, wrote program coordinator Lydia Duncan in their newsletter.
Sister O’Dowd is especially excited about a new Financial Literacy Workshop started by Just Friends coordinator and advocate Ayesha Kreutz. Funded by a Heritage Wind community grant, the program is open to residents of Orleans County 12 to 18 years old and their parents. Five participants aged 12 to 18 years will receive a $300 scholarship to open their own investment portfolio or start a business. The program will focus on everything from investing money and saving for the future to interviewing skills, how to get and keep a job, life insurance, budgeting and their credit score. The first class started the second week of August.
Last year, GOMOC handed out school supplies to almost 300 children through donations from individuals and a grant from the Emma Reed Webster Aid Foundation. They are hoping to do the same this year and are still accepting donations of new school supplies and backpacks.
Sister O’Dowd reported the resignation of advocate Sharon Quill, who worked with the furniture program. That void has just been filled by hiring of Gretta Smith, who will start Tuesday as advocate.
Sister O’Dowd said Smith brings a lot to the Ministry of Concern.
“She is a college student in her senior year at Daemon College,” Sister O’Dowd said. “She has worked with many organizations in our area and worked with the poor. She is young and has a lot of good ideas. She will be a good fit.”
GOMOC had to cancel their annual fundraising gala due to Covid, but plan to reschedule it as soon as the danger of Covid has gone away.
“For now, we are depending upon donations from the community and grants,” Sister O’Dowd said.
The Ministry of Concern can also use items such as toilet paper; backpack and school supplies; any size mattresses, box springs and frames; new and gently used sheets and blankets in any size; appliances, such as refrigerators, electric stoves, microwave ovens, washers and dryers; small appliances, including toasters, coffee makers, hand mixers, hot plates, blenders and crock pots; paper towels, tissues, dish and laundry detergent and cleaning supplies; new bed pillows; bath and kitchen towers; and dressers, end tables, recliner chairs; loveseats, sofas, tables and chairs.
Information on how to donate cash or items is available by calling (585) 589-9210 or logging on to their website at www.ministryofconcern.org.