Dear Beautiful Miracle Makers,
Thank you for sticking around and supporting our work! In this time we are so grateful for how our community has wrapped around us. These uncertain times has helped us to really understand how sacred every interaction is that we have with others. We’re all here just trying to navigate safely and remain healthy physically and emotionally. We believe this work is a part of the plan that aids in the most basic human need, belonging. The global pandemic and the personal/political revolution centered on the sanctity of Black lives has made it clear to us that, we belong to the earth and we belong to each other. We are each other’s responsibility and we need each other. Here are some ways in which we have been coming together!
We are now running community cleanups every Wednesday at the Carver Community Center. We have been working on the reclamation of the Carver Community Center outdoor children’s park. We have also began adding beautiful art to our space along with new plant babies. We’ve received so much support from our community and different organizations have helped out. A big thank you to The Vale Urban Farm, Schenectady Retree, Land Art Studio, Electric City Food Co-op, All of Us, Schenectady Summer Youth Program, CREATE Studios, and all the community members who have came out and helped us pull up some tough weeds! We’d also like to give a shout out to our sponsors for the painting and cleanup efforts – Seymour Fox Foundation, MVP Healthcare, Jammella Anderson & Friends and Price Chopper! Thank you for being a phenomenal neighbor!
Pave The Way Sponsors support our capital renovations at the Carver Community Center. Each sponsor receives a personalized brick that will be paved in the walk way going into the center. We want to give special congratulations to our new Pave The Way Sponsors. Thank you Boys and Girls Club, Sabrina Priddle of Pridd Kids and Jammella Anderson and Friends! We appreciate being your sweet generosity and intention to uplift the community by supporting our project. To learn how to become a Pave The Way Sponsor visit HERE.
We would like to welcome our new board member Ashley Whiteside! Ashley is currently working as a Licensed Master Social Worker for Neil Hellman School at Northern Rivers Family of Services. She has a passion for people, a wealth of community relations experience and leadership skills to support the mission of this organization; to bring culturally competent resources and opportunities to communities that need it most. Help us welcome Ashley to our team! We’re so blessed to have her at our table.
We’ve been working hard to get our space up and running for 2021! Check out some of our articles in the media. We have an ongoing online gofundme campaign to support the work that we are doing this Fall to restore and prepare our space for community use! To donate to our organization, visit the link above!
As we begin to plan for the re-opening of the center. We are beginning to collect data that will inform our resources and services offered at Carver. We are planning to house doula services in our space offering services to support women through pregnancy, birth, and post-partum. We have begun spinning our web to gauge interest and current needs for doulas and birth workers. If you are a doula or birth workers and are interested in being a part of a larger network of resources for birth work, please fill out the following survey HERE.
Thank you for staying in the loop with our important community work. We appreciate the sharing and exchange of energy with you! None of this work is possible without the many hands that come together along the way and offer support by way of donating monetarily, donating services, volunteering, or connecting us to resources. If you are reading this and feel like we are doing amazing work, please reach out and support us in a way that feels meaningful to you! This is how our work sustains. We hope that you stay tuned for the exciting journey ahead!
Dear Miracle Believers,
I hope that this message finds you in a place of openness and receptivity to all that is shifting and changing in our world right now. As a small grassroots non-profit and historically Black organization we stand with all those who are protesting, organizing, rallying, marching, speaking out against racism, police brutality and many other social injustices and atrocities that need changing.
We believe The movement for Black Lives is everyday. The work is everyday. Every day in our interactions, in our listening, in our self care, in our capacity and ability to reflect. What/whose voices are we listening to? Whose haven’t been heard nor centered? Who are we choosing to be in community with? How are we embracing, welcoming & coping with discomfort? Who are we seeking out for guidance, visioning and support because we ALL need that! How are we contributing each day to change state violence against Black lives in ALL or ANY of these systems?! How are we prioritizing the work of Black organizations with support, funding, and other resources? How do we stand in integrity and spiritual obligation to love each other without conditions?! This is all of our work. We know that everyday we get up to do this work; to network, plan, and contribute energy to this organization, we are a part of the solution and the healing that needs to happen.
Last month we launched a gofundme to raise $2000 to begin painting and landscaping the outside facade of The Carver Community Center. We are happy to say that we exceeded our fundraising goal in just a week! Thank you to MVP Healthcare for donating $1000 towards our Art Project and being supportive of our work in the past! We are set to begin Painting the outside of The Carver Community Center this month! A local artist, school district employee, who is also our board member and someone very special to me: Rae Frasier will be leading the art project with help from students at Schenectady City Schools. If you would like to help volunteer with landscaping or paint scraping outdoors, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We can’t wait to get started!
We launched our Mommy To Be Initiative for Mother’s Day. This initiative aims to support first time and experienced moms by providing them with gifts to support their transition into motherhood. We all know that too often moms are not supported enough through the transition into motherhood and also that the baby gets all the gifts at the baby shower! Disparities in premature births, infant mortality, mother mortality, and birth complications are exacerbated in communities of color. This is a small way to uplift and hold all our mother’s sacred in their important and significant experience as a mom. If you are interested in purchasing a gift for a Mommy To Be please visit our Amazon list and purchase through the link HERE. You can also make a donation to purchase multiple gifts for moms by sending a check made out to Miracle on Craig Street (Memo: Mommy To Be) at PO Box 357 Schenectady NY 12301. Please Note** That by shopping at smile.amazon.com or using the Amazon Smile App you can also donate 5% of your purchase price to Miracle on Craig Street now! You can do this while shopping on smile.amazon.com at any time. This is a quick way to support our organization without spending any additional money! Please consider this when doing your Amazon Shopping.
We want to give a BIG Thank you to two of our newest Pave The Way Sponsors! Thank you to Leah Akinleye and Sheila Rivera for purchasing a total of three bricks to support our renovations at the Carver Community Center. This is an example of what cooperative economics and collective responsibility look like. We appreciate y'all so much not just for supporting us with your dollars but for your contributions and work in the Schenectady Community. Thank You for leading by example! If you are interested in supporting our renovations at The soon to be Historic Carver Community Center in Schenectady, please visit our donor site HERE to become a Pave the Way Sponsor.
I want to give a big, warm, welcome, to our newest board member Georgina Parsons. Georgina joined our board in February. Georgina R. Parsons was born and raised in Schenectady, New York where she attended Schenectady Public Schools. After graduating high school, she attended Utica College, receiving a degree in Journalism and Sociology. Georgina started her career as a program specialist with Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region. She also worked at Trinity Alliance and was a contributing writer for Go Indie TV. Georgina continues to stay connected to the community. She has over 10 years’ experience working with nonprofits and community based organizations. Her experience and passion in community work, journalism, and writing has led her to work with the NYS Senate. She is currently the Deputy Press Secretary for the NYS Senate Majority. When Georgina is not reading she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Help us welcome Georgina! We are so thrilled and grateful to have you on our board Georgie! Thank You!
I’m honored to be in community with you all and to be doing this work together. We are here at this important time in our lives where the universe is calling for deep shifts in our collective consciousness. The universe is asking us to prioritize our self care, nourishment, and love for each other. The universe is asking us to prioritize humanity and have each other’s back in this struggle for liberation, sustainability, creativity and self preservation. At this time our work is more important than ever. If you would like to take the universe up on this call by supporting our work and/or our organization in a deeper way, we encourage you to do so. The time is now.
Thank you for all that you are and remember whatever you do, you are enough and if you feel fear that's a calling to love harder.
Rosa E. Rivera
Dear Loved ones,
I hope this email finds you well, in good health and in good spirit. It’s been such an eye opening and anxious few months for many. For others it may be still and peaceful. And still for some, we are living in the duality and irony of stillness and major transitions, in light of the global pandemic COVID19. One of the hardest parts of this pandemic for me has been not being able to physically spend time and casually check in on friends, loved ones, and my community. Though many physical connections and events have been cancelled and postponed, I am witnessing people be creative, encouraging and inspiring about how we come together and the significance of our ties. I am witnessing people and organizations not miss a beat in their expressions and their important work they do for others. I would just like to say I’m grateful for bearing witness to such a fluid and intentional community.
Art for Carver!
We are planning to add some life to our beloved Carver Community Center this Spring by painting over the façade of the building, landscaping the front, and cleaning up the park! We've received a donation from the Seymour Fox Foundation in the amount of $3000.00 to go towards the project! We are now looking to secure another $2000 to complete the project! Rae Frasier, Schenectady native, Schenectady City School District Engagement Specialist and Girl's Assistant Varsity Coach, artist, and community activist will be creating the art! Please help us reach our fundraising goal and beautify our sacred space! You can donate here. If you cannot donate, please consider sharing with others who you think might be able to.
New Board Members
We would like to welcome one of our newest board members Raysheea Turner. Raysheea Turner is a Senior Assistant Public Defender for Schenectady and a mother of a beautiful baby boy. Raysheea and her family a passion for service to the Schenectady community! She is one of our newest additions to the Miracle Crew! We are so delighted to have her serve on our board. Please help us welcome them to our team!
Pave The Way Sponsors : Helping us Reclaim our Safe Space!
We launched our Pave the Way Campaign last summer! As you may know our Pave The Way Campaign supports our capital project to renovate the Carver Community Center. Each sponsor receives a brick with their name or business name that will be paved in a path leading to the center. We’re extremely thankful for these folks' generosity and support of our mission. We would like to give a special Thank You to our current Pave The Way Sponsors:
If you are interested in becoming a Pave The Way Sponsor Please Visit our online donor site HERE!
Clearing out Space
Our partners Bluelight Development Group Inc. have been hard at work clearing out the site and preparing it for renovations. They have been able to continue routine maintenance on the site during this pandemic. We get to experience small victories and reclamations through their cleaning and maintenance endeavors. We are grateful for their involvement and expertise they bring to this project and the work they do in this community. Due to the COVID19 Pandemic our project has extended our invitation to bid to May 31st. If you or someone you know would like to conduct a walkthrough of the space in order to submit a bid, please contact Travon Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online Offerings - Doula Services and more!
As we transition to become responsive and accessible to the COVID19 Pandemic we anticipate offering more of our resources online. Currently I am offering private sessions for yoga and doula services via video conferencing. If you or someone you know would like to access these offerings or schedule a new session please visit my site HERE.
We are working on moving our grant writing seminar to be offered completely online as we were just gaining some really great momentum and opening up a platform for community engaged folks to connect. We promise to keep you in the loop as further advancements are made with our offerings.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions or inquiries on our capital project or community offerings. We wish you security, safety, and wellness. Until next month!
Dear Miracle Believers,
My, my, my, what a journey 2019 has been! It was the year of transformation. As we begin 2020, the year of “no time” symbolically it feels like anything is possible. 2020 is for flying and being present in all that we have manifested up until this point. It feels like our organization has come such a long way in such a short amount of time. We will be approaching our 5th birthday! We are so grateful to you all and the community we have built around our important community development work. We can only hope to keep growing and nourishing our community together, day by day, moment by moment. We would like to share some news with you on how our year went in 2019!
Coming Soon 2020 !!!
So the cat is out of the bag! We have closed on The Carver Community Center in December of 2019! Yay!! We finally did it and we could not have done it without all of your support and the help of MANY! We would like to give a special thank you to The Albany Law Community Development Clinic & Bluelight Development Group for supporting this important cause! We are soliciting for bids to begin renovations at the site in the Spring of 2020. If you know a MWB/E who might be interested in putting in a bid, please reach out directly to Travon Jackson at email@example.com You can find the bid solicitation in the Gazette Newspaper, on our website, and on our Facebook Page!
2019 Recap - Come Unity Basketball League
We continued our programming for The Come Unity Basketball League in Jerry Burrell Park along with Yoga in the Park. We provided programming for over 200 individuals and families in Schenectady this year. Our summer league was successful and as always, affirming that we are holding a safe space for our community. We collaborated with Project LIT which is a school based program from Schenectady City School District that provides students with resources to aid them in enhancing their literacy. In addition to the abundant amount of collaboration among community organizations, the league coaches acted as mentors to their players on the team. Miracle on Craig St. Board Member Raeshelle Frasier states “Often times we tend to let our ‘titles’ define and dictate relationships with others. The basketball league was able to provide a safe space for equality and voluntary co-existence between school officials, teachers, principal’s from Schenectady City School District, police officers, community leaders, City Council representatives, community members and students. Thank you to The Times Union Hope Fund and Pioneer Savings Bank for supporting the program this year!
2019 Recap - Project Backyard
2019 was our second year offering Project Backyard, a program aimed to help first time and returning gardeners to grow their own food in their backyard. The amount of ease and joy people have being able to have access to their own raised bed in their backyard is priceless. We worked with five families this year to help reconnect them with their roots and getting back to the land and ancestral wisdom we all carry. There is so much magic in this work especially and the reciprocal relationship between living earth and living human. We are humbled to be able to hold the intention to create access and share/exchange knowledge about ritual, history, and sustenance as it pertains to soil, food, plants, health and environment. We wish to introduce our programming to additional community organizations and schools this year!
Fundraising Recap 2019
The only way to approach fundraising is with the significance of your soul purpose work in mind! Fundraising can be a beautiful thing because you get to meet beautiful people, who are generous, kind, and giving. You get to see people’s hearts, you get to bear witness to a type of hope and belief in the collective that unfortunately we don’t get to witness enough. The challenging parts of fundraising metaphorically are the same challenges with life--time is precious and has to honored as such, some structures need fixing and some people who are well deserving have to go without. We have done our best this year to balance fundraising tasks with our presence in our community building work. This year alone we have raised $50K for our organization and Capital Campaign!! We’re excited and optimistic about what this year holds for us on the fundraising scene, as we dive into renovations at the Carver Community Center. We are also intently looking forward to building our sustainability resilience by finalizing our partnerships and tenants at our new but familiar home.
Grant Writing Seminar - 7 Spots left!!!
In the spirit of fundraising, grant writing and making miracles happen, we are offering a Grant Writing Seminar on January 18th from 9am-1pm with Rosa Rivera. This seminar will cover how to get started writing your grant for your program, basic budgeting for your program, resources and grant opportunities, and best practices in grant writing. We believe that sharing and the exchange of knowledge is instrumental in our success. If we are not creating and supporting leadership in community learning (especially by and for marginalized groups) we are not evolving and we are not building capacity. There is a $90 fee for the seminar. The contributions for the seminar support, sustain and facilitate collective learning and sharing in our local community. You can register or sponsor a ticket for the seminar HERE.
New Year Giving - Make a Contribution!
You have all of the time in 2020 to support Miracle on Craig Street and our journey home to The Carver Community Center. You and/or your organization can become a Pave The Way Sponsor and receive a brick with your name on it that will be laid in a path to the Community Center. If you are interested in becoming a Pave The Way Sponsor, check out our donor site HERE. If you would like to mail us a New Year donation you can do so through our website or send a present to PO BOX 357 Schenectady NY 12301. Your donation is tax deductible and we appreciate your light!
As always, I am blessed to serve in this role and take the time to be still and grateful for all the good things 2019 has showered upon us. 2020 is here and we are excited about all that it has in store! Thank you for all that you do to support us and the community at large!
Good Afternoon Miracle Makers,
It is with great pleasure that we communicate with you all of our happenings that we have going on this summer. The sun is here, full force, gracing us with its presence. It is feeling like a purposeful and abundant time to show love to our community and receive all the blessings this work has to offer us. We know that our schedules our full but we are intentionally moving a little bit slower and making our way through our day with confidence, grace, measures and practices for stillness, eating well, movement when needed, and most of all freedom, freedom as to agency, freedom as to self care, freedom as to making the best decisions for ourselves at every juncture. Period!
Every year in the month of July we kick off our Come Unity Basketball League. We showcase the amazing talent and skills of many Schenectady natives while fostering positive community relations and occupying the park on the Saturdays in July: 13th, 20th, 27th, August 3rd and Sunday August 4th from 12-5pm. This year we are collaborating with the Hamilton Hill Arts center and their Culture Fest on July 20th, also happening during the league will be The March for Jesus on July 27th. We'll have several vendors this year who will be offering different activities, products, and resources for the community during the league and yoga in the park from 12-1pm! Come by and enjoy a game and have a good time with us! Thank you to our sponsors Pioneer Bank, The Times Union Fund & Schenectady YMCA for sponsoring this event and giving back to the community!
We are kicking off our Pave The Way Campaign this month! Our goal is to raise the remaining $110,000 to aid us in our goal to close on the Carver Community Center in September. It's been a long time coming and we are almost there, literally a few steps away. Helps us to re-open the Carver Community Center by becoming a Pave The Way Sponsor today. Sponsorship begins at $500 and you are able to pledge an amount and pay the sponsorship over the summer if needed. We want all people to be able to take part in helping to open the doors back to Carver. All sponsors will receive recognition for their support by way of having their name paved in the pathway leading to the doors of the center! You can have your business, family, or loved one recognized in the path. You don't want to miss this opportunity to help bring us home! If you are interested in being a Pave The Way Sponsor, visit our website and contact us!
Project Backyard has began and we are working with folks in their new gardens to learn about growing their own food right at home. Meet Theresa, this is her first garden that she has created for herself. She remembers watching her grandmother growing food and singing to her plants when she was a young girl. She has been wanting to have a garden for a long time now and re-learn her connection to land. She is so happy that we were able to connect her back to the tradition of growing food, resilience and resistance.
Meet the founder! In honor of celebrating the real valuable and intimate purpose and intention behind this labor of love we call Miracle on Craig St. The founder (me :) ) has decided to open up and share with you my personal story of how all of this came to be and why I felt compelled to do this work. It has been quite an evolution and I have learned so much about organizing, politics, community and most importantly, myself. You can learn more about me and my personal journey here!
I am wishing you well on your journey, hoping you enjoy every piece of sunshine and every bit of warmth and joy this summer holds for you! We know it goes fast, be intentional everyday about soaking it up!
Sun, Sun, Sun,
Where are you?
Come out and play
Kiss my face
Tell me you love me
If only for the day
And tomorrow I will sing
Your song again...
July by Star Womban
In loving Inspiration,
Hi Miracle Makers,
We hope this message finds you well!
Spring is here! We are so excited for the warmth of the sun and all of the energy it is bringing back to us. The theme seems to be patience and gratitude around this time. As we are anticipating in excitement to see the fruits of our labor sprout up, we must be grateful for the alignment, energy, faith and determination that has allowed us to sow our seeds in the first place. This may cause us a little bit of unease but, if we can be still for it, we can be open and present to all the abundance that we are and have always been, and all that is coming to us.
We just most recently had our Sip & Slay event hosted by The Face Gawdess at The Hamilton Hill Arts Center. It was such a nice time! We learned a LOT about applying makeup, experimenting with techniques, and how to add some fun color to your normal routine. Twilisha McClelland was a great host and very enthusiastic about her craft! We were happy to have her host and donate her first class to us and we’re looking forward to seeing more from her. Thanks to the Arts Center for always hosting and supporting Miracle on Craig St.
Project Backyard Signups are officially open!!! Yay! It is spring and we are looking forward to getting our hands in the soil with you! For those of you who are not familiar, Project Backyard is an initiative to teach people how to grow their own food and bring community gardening right to your backyard! We work with you all season to support your growing journey and the maintenance of your garden. We work with herbs and vegetables and it is geared to beginning growers. If you are interested, please fill out the registration here.
In celebration of PRIDE we will be hosting a paint nite on June 1st at 6pm at The Hamilton Hill Arts Center led by Rae’ Frasier. We will be doing a Keith Haring themed piece. You do not want to miss it! It is the night before Schenectady Pride which is June 2nd downtown on Jay St. If you are interested in vending at this year’s PRIDE event, please contact us for an application! To register for our PRIDE paint nite click here!
We are still on a mission to raise funds for our capital campaign to re-open Carver Community Center. Last month we received a generous donation from the William Broughton Gundry Foundation for $25,000! Woohoo! Thanks so much to the wonderful people at the foundation who support and believe in our important cause! If you would like to donate, please visit our online campaign here. If you are interested in donating any materials/services to our organization for our programming, please visit our donation list here.
Thank you so much to everyone who has shared our videos about Carver, has donated to MOC, and especially to those who have continuously supported us throughout this journey. I am honestly so grateful, so humbled, and the love y'all show truly gives me HOPE and keeps me going. We have built community here without a “center” per se and the real miracle is in our connections and resilience! To view our capital campaign videos that Open Stage Media has compiled for us, visit here.
Happy New Year!
2018 has been an amazing year for Miracle on Craig Street. We are grateful to be able to accomplish more and more each year. We continue to learn and grow from our community while building alongside them. We have raised a total of $330K for our capital campaign for Carver Community Center! We had our first clean up of the property this November! We are so close to restoring this legacy and space for our community. It is our goal to close on the property in the Spring of 2019! Fingers crossed that all of our hard work on fundraising, business planning, securing tenants, building partnerships, strategic planning, and grant writing pays off in a big way this year! We have worked really hard to build on our assets here in the community and leaders and stakeholders have come in every step of the way to support our cause. Here is an overview of our fantastic 2018 year.
Our veteran initiative The Community Basketball League at Jerry Burrell ceases to amaze us. We started this important community series event five years ago as our first anchor program for engagement, promoting safety, celebrating community, promoting physical activity and improving community ties. The initiative has evolved to encompass several community partners including The YMCA, Boys Day Out, and The Schenectady City School District. In conjunction with the League we now include yoga classes during the games, a book mobil provided by SCSD, free and for sale food, and community giveaways. Next year we are looking to continue collaborating with our community by signing up additional vendors to provide information, resources, and goodies to our community. Occupying Jerry Burrell Park, one of the local community parks while ensuring safety and a vibrant experience during the summer in conjunction with our community members, partners, and collaborators is what our work is all about; building from within, pooling our resources together, many hands make light work.
Project Backyard proved to be a great success during its first year in 2018. In our attempt to meet our community where they are at and bring farming/gardening education and fresh food to their doorstep, we launched Project Backyard in the Spring of 2018. We worked with ten families over the course of May-November to support them in building their own garden beds, learning, and practicing growing their own food. All participants were satisfied with the program, felt more confident to continue growing food for the next season, and responded likely to recommend the program to a friend. 2018 was our first year of piloting the program ,our intention is to continue piloting the program and learning how best to develop and implement it to meet the needs of the community. But our program proved a sure success in the engagement, dissemination of information, and retainment of knowledge/education regarding growing food! Small victories make for big celebrations here :) Thanks to our sponsors Bellevue Builders, Honest Weight Food Co-op, Home Depot, and Electric City Food Co-op for making this possible.
Though our Self Care and Yoga Series with Chelle Marie Wellness was brief in the Spring of 2018 it was magical. Women gathered together to discuss personal conversations about social and emotional health that helped to connect all of us in the room. We laughed together, cried together, and participated in movement and the sharing of intentions. We shared and borrowed each others tips and tricks to maintain and build peace, confidence, and self love. With Chelle’s direction we followed specific prompts to journal and dig into and explore ourselves. We are hoping to do a lot more Self Care and Yoga with Chelle Marie Wellness and other instructors in 2019. We’d like to keep developing and opening up this resource to our community as we have witnessed the need for this type of support in our community by the overwhelming response to these workshops.
In 2019 we are looking to promote collective responsibility and cooperative economics especially regarding our fundraising practices. We have had many community members who have stepped up and requested to host fundraisers for Miracle on Craig Street to support our organization. It is our goal to support those individuals with this very meaningful and generous task and act of kindness. First up is Erin Hundley owner of Red Door Beauty Studio and our Soul Fire Farm Family. Red Door Beauty Studio will be hosting author, farmer, activist, spiritual leader, Leah Penniman for an intimate discussion and book signing of “Farming While Black” on January 26th at 3pm. All proceeds will go to providing 1-2 families with garden beds, farming/gardening education, and all materials and seedlings through Project Backyard. Isn’t our community amazing? To register for this event please click here. Seats are limited to thirty people, so hurry hurry! To purchase this must read, important, and necessary book click here.
As we continue to add new professionals and talented individuals to our board, we would like to introduce them to you! Please meet our new board member and treasurer, Nash Hylton. Nash dedicates most of his time to the work of empowering others. Through his work as a Financial Wellness Coach, Nash has been plugging away at establishing himself in the community as a readily accessible resource for sound financial decision making and planning. The opportunity to serve on the board of Miracle on Craig Street is not only an honor, but also right in line with his mission of getting in the trenches with the community. Outside of financial planning, Nash spends the rest of his working hours training at Empire Self Defense and Fitness where he studies Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He also teaches a cardio kickboxing class at Empire called Strike-Fit, aimed at empowering women and creating an environment where they can flourish and achieve their fitness goals. To round him out, Nash is a musician with training from Berkeley School of Music, specializing in Rock Guitar. He’s often likened to the “Metal” Jimi Hendrix who passed on Nash’s birthday years ago.
Thank You to all of the volunteers, board members and countless individuals and partners who have helped to make 2018 a great, fun-filled, productive, and meaningful year for Miracle on Craig Street. We are looking forward to experiencing and sharing all that 2019 has to offer with you!
Yo Te Bendiga
Happy New Year!
Good Morning Miracle Makers,
Happy Giving Tuesday! We hope that this message finds you feeling abundant in health and good spirit. Today is the day that many non profits carefully craft appeal letters, emails, mailings, and campaigns at one last attempt to raise money by the end of the year for their next year of programs and services. We here at Miracle on Craig Street are taking this opportunity to launch our Final Countdown to the start of renovations on The Carver Community Center. Who better to help us have a successful launch then our beloved community of believers.
The Final Countdown to Carver
It has been three years of strategic planning, networking, collaborating, researching, grant writing, determination, unwavering faith and community support. We are counting down until the doors of Carver Community Center reopen! We have 6 months and $120,000 left to go before we begin renovating! We are slated to re-open the Carver Center in the fall of 2019 as the historic home for Miracle on Craig Street and many other organizations in Schenectady NY. We are so excited to finally be able to open the doors to the community again. We have raised $180,000 to date for the renovations of the center. With the help of our community we know that we can reach our goal to restore this community asset back to use. We are asking that you and all members of our community who are able pay it forward give to our cause generously. Your donation will have an impact on future generations to come. You can donate here.
My Giving Story
For the past three years the revitalization of the Carver Community Center has been my passion project. I have given my time, energy, money, effort, love, and dedication to this project. I have learned how to detach myself from the outcomes of my work so that I can keep going. I have seen my community come through and give to this project consistently for three years and continue to do so increasingly. More than anything the community has taught me about real faith, love, abundance, optimism, courage, and sacrifice. I am so thankful and grateful for all the people that have put their hands on this project and all the people who have encouraged me and inspired me along the way. There is no I in team and there is no me in Community. I truly could not have come this far without the hands of many. I understand that this project is bigger than me, it is even bigger than this city. This project is about servant leadership, labor of love, investment into our healing, ownership in communities that lack all over, being resilient enough to dream and having the tenacity and patience to see that vision through. I ask that especially at this time, our community continue to carry the load together and move closer to our goal by donating what you can today. We are truly making miracles happen right here in our hometown!
Looking Back on 2018
This year we have shared and opened up space for our community to learn about farming and growing their own food through project backyard, becoming physically active and engaged in our community through our summer basketball league, reflecting on our personal journey and path to healing and joy during our self care series with Chelle, celebrating and validating each other's self expression and experience through spoken word, and laughing and feeling pride in our ability to create artistically at our painting events. We feel so honored to be able to hold this space for our community. We are ecstatic to think about all the ways we will continue to support, celebrate, and build community together in our newly renovated space. Please help us to get there if you can!
New Board Member Alert!
We are excited to add new members of the community to our board of directors here at Miracle on Craig Street. This month we are introducing Rachelle Pean. Rachelle "Chelle" Pean is a licensed clinical social worker whose passion is making trauma informed healing and wellness accessible. She is the founder of Chelle Marie Wellness, LLC, a therapy private practice that uses mind body healing techniques to help people heal themselves from their past and live fully in the present. She recently published her book: “Balance Your Sh*t: The Chakras”, a beginner’s guide to self reflection and energy balancing. She has received her 200 hour vinyasa yoga teacher certification from Yoga to the People in NYC, a day long Trauma Informed Yoga training from the Prison Project, her level 1 Reiki certification, as well as an EMDR certification (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) to help her clients heal from past traumas. Help us welcome Chelle to the team.
Community, thank you for being the amazing, beautiful, light that you are!
Dear Miracle Believers,
Happy September! We hope that you have had a magnificent, beautiful, productive summer! At this time I think we are all transitioning and getting back to “reality”. Isn’t that always the case? We are always becoming. We had a very eventful summer with a lot of great things happening! We’re happy to share with you and give an update to you about what all took place.
This was our fifth year of The Community Basketball League in Jerry Burrell Park! What an amazing season. Every year we are out there on every weekend in July with music, food, activities for children, and the best talented basketball players in Schenectady. If you haven’t been to any of the games, catch us next year. The Showtime team brought home the championship trophy for the fourth year in a row! They are the team to beat. We want to give a big shout out to our volunteer coaches, refs, and organizers who help make this happen every year for the community!
This was our first season trying out Project Backyard and what a special program it really is. We worked with ten households to start their own gardens in their backyards. For most participants this was their first time growing food ever! We walked them through growing specific types of vegetables, harvesting, and storing their herbs and veggies. We are finishing up our program this month and will be putting all the gardens to bed and focusing on intentions for growing next year as participants go off on their own and begin to start their journey growing food and sharing with their families. We are planning to continue the program next season. Thank you to our donors Bellevue Builders, Honest Weight Food Co Op, Electric City Food Co Op and Home Depot for making this project Possible.
The best news of all is that we got approved for the CDBG Grant of $150,000 for the renovations of the Carver Center in July!!! Wohooo! This is our first big grant commitment for our project and we are so excited and grateful that the city has shown their support for our project by being the first commitment on the table! All of our hard work is paying off as we knew it would and we are forging along with additional grant requests to begin the first phase of renovations on the center! Miracle on Craig Street is coming!
As a grassroots organization we rely on our small constituency for support to help make our initiatives possible for the community. If you are interested in donating to our capital campaign or a specific program please feel free to contact us and/or mail in a donation to PO Box 357 Schenectady, NY 12301.
Much Love and Blessings,
Rosa Rivera <3
Good Afternoon Miracle Believers,
Happy Spring! We hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather that New York has to offer (for about 5 months but who’s counting?) We are happy to give you some updates on our project and let you know what we have going on this month and coming up this summer! A lot of new beginnings are in store for us and we are looking forward to all the abundance to be had and felt.
Our Paint for a Purpose was phenomenal! We had a blast with Art Diva who led the Painting session with her very own original painting! It is always beautiful to see all the very unique paintings and the art skills of our community. All of the people who say "I'm not creative" or "I can't paint" who end up leaving feeling more confident and with a painting that they actually feel good about is priceless. This was our last paint fundraiser of the summer so stay tuned for a fall Paint for a Purpose fundraiser!
Maybe we have seen you already during our community gardening this spring? We have launched Project Backyard 2018 and it has been amazing! We’ve had so much fun learning how to grow food together with our community. We have also enjoyed bringing new people into our community and expanding our network. Folks have been really excited to get dirty, get in the ground, and start their process of growing food this summer. If you are interested in setting up your own vegetable or herb garden in your backyard…you have a week or so to complete the survey and schedule a date with us here.
Next up this month we have our Poetic Justice Spoken Word Showcase featuring Ahmel Williams! Ahmel is a Schenectady native who grew up in the Hamilton Hill Arts Center with his brothers playing the steel drums. He will be returning home on Saturday June 16th at 7pm to bless us with his presence and artistry. Tickets are on sale now for $15. There is a lineup of other amazing artists before the featured poet that night. Please come and celebrate community and the living word with us in two weeks!
Next month we have our annual Community Basketball League in Jerry Burrell Park on Saturdays from 12-5 July 7th-29th. This is a basketball league, participants are required to pay a $10 registration fee and attend every Saturday. This is a community basketball league that we started five years ago now to create a fun and family friendly event in the park and offer the opportunity for organized sports/athletics in our area for teenagers and young adults. We will have a live DJ, mobile book library, a yoga class, and food/organization/and activity vendors every week. If you are interested in vending or receiving more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Self Care Please!
We have started our Self Care Series with LCSW Chelle Pean in April and it has been an awakening experience. In our last workshop we explored boundaries and what it looks and feels like to have the right to tell someone else how to treat you. Building community and sharing space and vulnerability with other women has truly been a blessing. Our next Self Care Event is in August look out for registration in July! Registration fills up fast as we usually only have about 20 available spots. So when you see it come through don't hesitate to register.
Check out the Hamilton Hill Arts Center's 50th Anniversary Sankofa Celebration next month on July 14th from 10am-10pm. There will be many different activities and entertainment for the whole family! They will have a poetry slam, a play (for colored girls), fashion show, musicians, film festival, art exhibits, vendors and workshops and more. You don't want to miss out on the festivities. For more information please contact Rachel Conn at (518) 346-1262.
Wishing you all much love and light and all the joy that the sun and earth have to offer you!!
By: Rosa Rivera
Lead Organizer of Miracle on Craig Street