HEARTH’s 19th annual ‘Art of Wine & Food’ is looking for committee members!

Do you love Wine? How about delicious food? A great silent auction? Then our committee is looking for you!

Purpose of the Committee:

As an operational committee of the organization, the Wine & Food Committee is responsible for planning HEARTH’S signature fundraiser, “The Art of Wine & Food”.

Members of the Wine & Food Committee assist the Chairperson and Special Events Coordinator with planning the event. The chairperson(s) of the committee reports to the board on all aspects of the event.

Reporting: As an Operational Committee, it will report to Special Events and Development Coordinator

Committee Membership and Operations:

All committee work is done in partnership with and through the leadership and enabling of assigned staff. The CEO makes all staff assignments. The committee does not usurp the authority of the Board, and neither directs nor oversees staff.

Scope of work for the Wine & Food Committee:

  • Attend meetings
  • Fulfill areas of accepted responsibility
  • Solicit sponsors and vendors
  • Secure silent auction packages
  • Sell a minimum of ten tickets to the event
  • Recruit committee members and Friends of Wine & Food Committee
  • Donate one bottle of wine or liquor for the silent auction

Skill Set required:

  • Commitment to the vision, mission, and goals of HEARTH
  • Ability to engage donors & sponsors in order to meet Wine & Food goals
  • Adept at maintaining relationships with donors and vendors
  • Capacity to attend and participate in committee meetings

Frequency of meetings: As necessary, estimated at 9 times per year

Meeting logistics: Second Wednesday of the Month at HEARTH or offsite, past vendor’s establishments

HEARTH’s new Q&A – Eavesdropping

This is a new column featuring conversations about housing and related issues.  We hope you will join in by sending us your questions, comments, critiques, new resources, and ideas.  Send your input to Trmaziarz@hearth-bp.org

Eavesdropping

You’ve been around the housing field for a long time so what is all this I keep hearing about “Affordable Housing” or really the lack of it?  What is Affordable Housing anyway?

I think mostly what people are referring to when they talk about affordable housing is housing that does not cost more than a third of an individual’s or family’s income.  It’s an old rule of thumb in the housing field.

Rule of thumb, huh – who made that up?

I really don’t know, I suppose that over the years experience and research has shown that if a person is paying more than one third of their income on housing, other parts of the budget have to suffer.  I know that government housing subsidies use the 33% figure when making rent payments to support low income individuals or families, that is, qualified recipients only have to pay one third of their income whatever it is and the government picks up the remainder of their rent.

So, if I’m paying 50 0r 60 percent of my income on housing what gets left out?

Typically, medical needs, clothing, and food.  That’s why so many people who may be working two or three jobs have to rely on supplemental food from food pantries.  It’s also why so many people do not have regular medical care or use the emergency room for their medical care.  People also fail to take their medicines as prescribed, changing the dosage to make them last longer.  And if there are children in the household, the clothing issue becomes key – kids keep on growing out of last year’s shoes and coats etc. And forget about all those “minor costs” for school outings.

All this because a person is paying too much for housing?

You got it.  And it’s not just people on the low end of the wage scale who are affected.  Affordable housing is a community wide issue, that’s why you are hearing and seeing so much about it.

Lots to think about – I’m glad I asked – I think!      

 

The 4 Pillars of HEARTH

As we prepared for our 25th anniversary, we started to re-think how to describe our program. HEARTH is very unique with many moving pieces. This means we needed to develop a clear way to explain what exactly our program does for homeless women with children.

This year we will take the time to delve into each pillar. Our goal is to present you with quarterly information on each of these topics. This will help us to reminisce on our past and look to our future.

The Four Pillars of HEARTH are,

  1. Housing
  2. Supportive Services
  3. Economic Self-sufficiency
  4. Relationships

Each Quarter we will delve deeper into each pillar, highlighting how that topic pertains to the families at HEARTH.

Volunteer Spotlight – Meghan McLachlan

Meghan McLachlan is a familiar face at HEARTH. She has volunteered in a variety of ways, from helping out at our special events to being a mainstay during Monday night child care, she is always willing to lend a helping hand. Our kids think she’s the best and so does the HEARTH staff! We caught up with Meghan to find out why she continues volunteering at HEARTH!

What motivated you to volunteer with HEARTH?
I used to volunteer with kids in college and really enjoyed it, so I wanted to get back into it! 

What makes this volunteer experience meaningful to you?
I love getting to know the kids while their mothers are going through training, and I also love that HEARTH helps women and families get back on their feet. 

What is the biggest personal benefit you receive as a volunteer with HEARTH?
Getting to hang out with the kids for an hour is so much fun. They teach me things like how to floss (the dance –not dental hygiene!) and they also make me laugh. No matter how I’m feeling when I get to HEARTH, I always end up leaving with a smile on my face. 

What is the most memorable moment or accomplishment of your volunteer experience?
Sometimes HEARTH employees will let me know how past residents are doing and it always makes me happy to hear they are doing well and leading a healthy life.

HEARTH’s 25th Anniversary Year is Underway!

This week HEARTH unveiled a new logo which kicked off of 25 years serving the community. Throughout 2020 HEARTH will be sharing important information about our history and our future. Stay tuned to our website post section for exciting updates all year long!

Volunteer Spotlight – BNY Mellon

BNY Mellon has been volunteering at HEARTH for many years! Today we have a Q&A feature with several volunteers from their team. Special event volunteers are crucial to HEARTH’s success! If you are interested in getting involved in the new year, please contact Morgan Ceschini at mlceschini@hearth-bp.org

“I am Elysa and I started volunteering for the HEARTH Art of Wine and Food event in 2014 as a member of the BNY Mellon volunteer team.  I was inspired by the stories of the women in the program.  In 2015, I started leading the BNY Mellon team and coordinating and acting as the liaison between HEARTH and BNY Mellon.  We have grown the team each year for this event from 13 volunteers my first year to over 30 in 2019.

Any organization that helps people become the best version of themselves inspires me.  I believe volunteering is the best way for personal growth as well and I encourage my fellow colleagues and friends to find a cause they care about.”

How does your organization work with HEARTH?

We have volunteered for HEARTH’s signature event “The Art of Wine and Food for at least 6 years.  We also have a team that participated in the Tees and Traps event over the summer.

What makes this volunteer experience meaningful?

Tracey: When I found out what HEARTH represents, it was imperative to me to be a part of an organization that helps survivors of domestic violence.  This cause is very personal to me and I want to ensure that I give back and help in any way I can.

Nerina: I liked knowing I was in the presence of kindhearted individuals that found this cause worthwhile. I feel like I played a small part in ensuring generous donors continue to support HEARTH.

What is the biggest personal benefit you feel volunteers receive?

Tracey: Being able to share your time and assistance to something that is bigger than you.  To be a part of the greater good!

What is the most memorable moment or accomplishment of your volunteer experience?

Tracey: The faces of those that need the assistance and the smile you can bring to someone face when they are at a low point in their life and give them hope.

Nerina: Being a willing hand on deck to help the HEARTH volunteers run a smooth operations was a very satisfying feeling. I also really enjoyed having a chance to try good food, drinks and meet some co-workers I’ve not met before!

Hops for HEARTH tickets are on Sale Now!

Join us for our 10th annual ‘Hops for HEARTH’ a beer tasting, presented by Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh! The event will once again be held at Nova Place in Pittsburgh’s historic North Side neighborhood. Check out our ‘Hops for HEARTH’ page for more information on vendors and sponsors!

You can purchase your tickets by clicking here!

We are Looking for Tees & Traps Committee Members!

Join HEARTH’s Tees & Traps Committee!


Do you love golf or trap shooting? How about helping your local community? The Tees & Traps committee is looking for you!

Interested? Contact Morgan at mlceschini@hearth-bp.org.

Role of the Tees & Traps Committee
Operational

Purpose of the Committee: As an operational committee of the organization, the Tees & Traps Committee is responsible for planning HEARTH’S signature fundraiser, “Targeting Homelessness Tees & Traps Event”.
• Members of the Tees & Traps Committee assist the Chairperson and Special Events Coordinator                with planning the event. The chairperson(s) or board liaison of the committee reports to the board            on all aspects of the event.

Reporting: As an Operational Committee, it will report to Special Events and Development Coordinator
• The Board Liaison (or Chairperson) with report to the Board the responsibilities for the event

Committee membership and operations: Members include both Board and non-Board members. All committee work is done in partnership with and through the leadership and enabling of assigned staff. The CEO makes all staff assignments. The committee does not usurp the authority of the Board, and neither directs nor oversees staff.

Scope of work for the Tees & Traps Committee:
1. Attend meetings
2. Fulfill areas of accepted responsibility
3. Solicit sponsors and foursomes/fivesomes
4. Secure silent auction packages
5. Secure foursomes to the event
6. Recruit committee members and Friends of Tees & Traps Committee
7. Donate one bottle of wine or liquor for the silent auction

Skill Set required:
• Commitment to the vision, mission, and goals of HEARTH
• Ability to engage donors & sponsors in order to meet Tees & Traps goals
• Adept at maintaining relationships with donors and vendors
• Capacity to attend and participate in committee meetings

Frequency of meetings: As necessary, estimated at 9 times per year

Meeting logistics: First Tuesday of the Month at HEARTH or offsite

BNY Mellon Focuses their Volunteerism at HEARTH

Employees from BNY Mellon’s Legal team helped refresh an apartment and helped us prep for the Art of Wine and food. Stacy Grana “It’s great to be able to use our volunteer time with real purpose and to know we are making a real difference in creating a home for someone else”

Homelessness is not what it appears

HEARTH was featured in this week’s Post-Gazette issue in response to their series on homelessness. HEARTH board member and volunteer Barb Smith submitted a powerful letter to the editor. In it she highlights the importance of transitional housing.

You can read Barb’s letter by clicking here.

The original articles on homelessness were a two part series.

Part one

Part two