Rochester Good Deeds Day to benefit Neighborhood House

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published March 19, 2019

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ROCHESTER — The city of Rochester is once again joining volunteers in 100 countries to take part in a worldwide celebration of doing good during Good Deeds Day April 7.

This year, the Rochester community is invited to donate children’s items to the Rochester Area Neighborhood House for the birthday room at the Clothes Closet, which provides new items to families in need for a child’s birthday.

“The Clothes Closet has a special birthday room, and when one of our clients has a child with a birthday, they pick out a present for the child at the Clothes Closet, so we are looking for gift items that would be good for a child between 1 and 10. Educational items are always nice to have,” said Kathy Losinski, the executive director of Neighborhood House.

Many of Neighborhood House’s clients are living paycheck to paycheck, and if an emergency comes up, Losinski said, they need assistance.

“If a special event comes up, like a birthday, they want to be able to get their child something special, but it might not be in their budget because they have to take care of basic needs first. In the Rochester area, about 25 percent of the population is living paycheck to paycheck, or even having more difficulty than that, so we just try to make sure the children are taken care of for their birthday, and that takes the pressure off the parents too, so they can spend that money on the basics,” Losinksi said.

Good Deeds Day participants are encouraged to donate new items such as toys, children’s clothing, children’s tennis shoes and diapers sizes 4-6.

Because Neighborhood House clients are also able to pick out supplies to make a birthday cake from the Neighborhood House food pantry, Losinski said donations of birthday cake mix, frosting, birthday plates, napkins and birthday candles are also being collected.

“It’s kind of a teaching moment for people in our community, because a lot of people don’t think there are people in the Rochester area that have needs like this. But there absolutely are,” said Kristi Trevarrow, the executive director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority.  

Rochester’s Good Deeds Day will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 7 at the Rochester Fire Department, 277 E. Second St. The day will include kids activities, tours of the fire station, fire and police vehicles, and more.

“The kids will have fun coming in and meeting the firemen and touching the different engines. The police always have the Harley over there, and we usually have a kids craft going on, so it’s just a lot of fun,” said Trevarrow.

The first year the Rochester community participated in the event, volunteers collected over 500 gifts for the birthday room. The next year, over 1,000 food items were collected for the Rochester Community House food pantry — which offers emergency food for low-income families in Rochester, Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills — as well as its pet care pantry, Benny’s Kitchen, initiated by Rochester resident Pat Kane. Last year, thousands of household items were collected for the Neighborhood House Clothes Closet, which provides new or gently used clothing and household items to families in need.

Good Deeds Day was created in 2007 by businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison, who encouraged her friends to join her in paying it forward by helping others on one particular day. Now businesses, nonprofits, local municipalities, schools and more participate in a wide range of Good Deeds Day projects, such as painting the homes of senior citizens, cleaning beaches and parks, renovating community centers, and creating public gardens.

For more information, contact the Rochester Downtown Development Authority at (248) 656-0060.

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