HG Realtor Foundation Cautiously Resumes Volunteer Events
Mary Prenon | July 2020
WHITE PLAINS—Stymied by COVID-19 from on-site volunteer events since mid-March, the Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation (HGRF) is carefully resuming volunteering with local charities and non-profit organizations throughout the Hudson Valley.
On July 28, Realtor volunteers will join an outdoor event, sponsored by the Westchester County Parks Foundation, to clean up Twin Lakes Park in Eastchester. Volunteers will be on land and in canoes, assisting in hand-pulling water chestnuts, which are invasive aquatic plants found in the lake and on its shores. Ridding the area of these plants will help to ensure the environmental health of the lake.
While this is an outdoor event, participants will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing practices while working.
The Westchester Parks Foundation often engages the public to advocate for and invest in the preservation, conservation, use, and enjoyment of the 18,000 acres of parks, trails, and open spaces within the Westchester County Parks system
“We are cautiously optimistic about re-starting our volunteer events on behalf of the HG Realtor Foundation,” said Gail Fattizzi, HGAR President and HGRF Program Committee Chair. “We have contacted many of the non-profits that the Foundation has issued grant money to, to see if they are open to receiving volunteers at this time, and setting up events if they are.”
On August 14, HGAR Realtor volunteers will be back at the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall-on-Hudson, helping to sort and pack grocery items for needy families. This follows the Realtor Foundation’s mid-May event at the Food Bank, which was its first post-COVID volunteer event.
While the food packing takes place indoors, the volunteer groups are smaller than normal, allowing people ample room to navigate the facility. Masks are also required.
The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley is a branch of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and a member of Feeding America, the national food bank network. Last year, the Hudson Valley branch provided more than 15 million pounds of food to 400-member agencies in Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Rockland, Sullivan and Putnam counties.
The agency also offers other programs such as the BackPack Program. This helps alleviate child hunger by discreetly providing hungry children with backpacks full of nutritious and easy-to-prepare food on Friday afternoons, so they have food to eat throughout the weekend.
“In addition to the upcoming events we already have confirmed, we’ll be planning something for NYS Realtor Cares Week (August 16th – 22nd), and other events in the fall, conditions allowing,” added Fattizzi. “Events will follow all recommended health and safety guidelines such as masks and social distancing.”