The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber's April 2022 Nonprofit Newsletter
The Nonprofit Committee brings you a newsletter once a month that focuses specifically on the issues confronting nonprofit organizations including an educational article and an article highlighting a Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber member nonprofit.
Let Us Help You Get the Word Out!
Is your organization having a Gala? Fundraiser? Volunteer Recruitment Day?
Chamber member nonprofits please contact us
so we can publicize your event in this newsletter.

Gearing Up for Global Volunteer Month

by Justin Wingenroth

Struggling to find the right volunteers for your organization? Have you found some amazing volunteers, but can’t seem to keep them coming back for additional events? What about your volunteer staff and your board members…are they feeling burned out or unengaged?
In a recent Coffee & Conversation hosted by our Nonprofit Committee, Jeanette Gisbert, Executive Director of Volunteer New York, highlighted a major aspect of enticement, engagement, and retention…RECOGNITION!
“We all, as people, as humans, love to see our contributions and efforts acknowledged” says Gisbert. When was the last time you acknowledged the backbone of your organization’s success? When did you last say thank you to the volunteers who keep your organization thriving?
There’s no better time than now

April is Global Volunteer Month and we’re fast approaching National Volunteer Week (April 17 - 23, 2022). How is your organization celebrating?
Gisbert highlighted some of the formal ways Volunteer New York thanks their exceptional volunteers:
  • Volunteer Spirit Awards: An annual awards ceremony celebrating some of our local outstanding volunteers
  • Points of Light’s Daily Point of Light: A daily highlight of volunteers from all over the nation that uses social media to showcase their dedication
  •  Presidential Service Awards: A national honor bestowed upon volunteers with hundreds of hours of service by the President of the United States
But what else could you do? Other participants in the call offered up these ideas:
  • Reception or luncheon for your volunteers
  • Bring a food truck to feed your daily volunteers
  • Highlight your exceptional volunteers on your social media pages
  • Send a card (or email) when it’s a volunteer’s birthday or anniversary
Need some more ideas? Points of Light has a toolkit to help you celebrate Global Volunteer Month.
One of the strongest takeaways from this wonderful presentation and conversation? As nonprofits, we often focus on our donors and how we touch them throughout the year to make them feel appreciated for the money they give in support of our organizations. But what about our “human capital”? So many of the achievements of our nonprofits depend on our board members, daily volunteers, and event volunteers. We must remember to touch them just as we do our donors. 
This April, and all year long, remember to show those members of your organization the appreciation and recognition they deserve. We promise, they’ll keep coming back for more!
Want to learn more about all the valuable insights shared by Gisbert and other members of our nonprofit circle? View a recording of this presentation and be sure to check out all of our upcoming events! 
Need additional help recruiting and managing your volunteers? Check out to connect with Jeanette Gisbert and her amazing team at Volunteer New York.
Justin Wingenroth is a member of the Chamber's Nonprofit Committee and is Owner/Director of The Dance Conservatory. Read more about his services at:
To request that your nonprofit be featured in this newsletter, please contact Lynn Amos at
To request an article about a
specific topic, please contact
Lucille Geraci-Miranda at
April 26th, 5-7pm
LIVE Evening Mixer 5-7pm
3436 Lexington Ave.
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547

Complimentary Appetizers, Cash Bar
Non-members: $10
Chamber members: FREE
Featured Organization: Happy Birthday to Peekskill’s Field Library!

by Mary F. Foster
National Library Week is April 3rd - 9th and The Field Library’s 135th birthday is April 11th. What a perfect time to take a look at how our local Library has grown and where its future lies.

The Field Library is a nonprofit, Association Library. It is not part of the municipal government and it is not part of the school district. It raises its own funds through a tax levy, grants and donations and is overseen by an 11 member Board of Trustees. The Library’s mission to “Inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen the community by offering free and open access to library services” is fulfilled by programs, books, movies, music and archives that are free for everyone. Dedicated staffs of 10 full-time and 15 part-time employees carry-out a host of programs both onsite and offsite.

So what does a modern library do?

It is so much more than borrowing books. Homework help with the Teacher in the Library program, and book clubs for all age groupsyouth, teen, several adult groups and offsite at Drum Hill Senior Living—is usually what comes to mind immediately. But that is only the start of the programs that are offered. The Library has hired a full-time Teen Librarian and targeted services to teens with Anime Thursdays, Gaming Fridays, a crafting program, the LBGTQ Club, the Teen Advisory Board to offer suggestions on our collections, the Teen Station Book List, and on-line tutoring site through the Westchester Library System (WLS) and Princeton Review. In 2021 a new teen program room and a new STEM lab have been added. Welcome teens!
While the Children’s Library is undergoing a face lift to better serve families, the programs have continued to expand on-line and in-person. Yes, there is the Teacher in the Library, but there will also be a new group study room and a junior book club for 4th and 5th graders. The computer area has been better configured to separate those doing homework from those who are gaming. The in-person Tales for Tails with Paws for a Cause encourages hesitant readers to read aloud. Mad Science and Craft programs are offered in person during the month for different youth age groups. The Library’s Facebook offerings have targeted young children with Bilingual Story Time, Fiesta with Flor! Live, and Storytime at Home, and with zoom you can join the junior book club or catch a live kids concert. So families, let’s check out some books and pick up the monthly calendar of events.

Serving our senior citizens has always been important. The Library offers to the homebound, free delivery of books and CDs/DVDs. Through collaborations with WLS and local pharmacies the Library offers Medicare help, free flu shots, free COVID test kits, WLS learn on-line, and in-person training on how to navigate social media. Other adult services include printing documents emailed from your home, museum passes, the Job Information Center, and the Job Career Accelerator (a comprehensive on-line job search system). In 2020 a new multi-use program room has been added on the lower level. And let’s not forget the Gallery on the Mezzanine level, which is now hosting exhibits again.
Although there are reference desks staffed in both the Adult and Children’s Library, to help with research and reference, there is also a Local History Librarian that manages the Library’s extensive archives. Local history maps, newspapers, directories, books, photographs, pamphlets, ephemera, obituaries from Peekskill newspapers since the mid 1800’s, and genealogical records are stored at the Library. There are also special collections on Abraham Lincoln Collection, the Irish-American history in Westchester County and the U.S., and local Peekskill history. Researchers are welcome at the Library!

Did the Pandemic have an impact?

Like every other business, the Library had to pivot to on-line services, curbside pickups, book check-outs and returns with new safety protocols, adding health and safety protocols for staff and maintaining staff cohesion with a closed building. While the world of zoom helped with maintaining staff contact, reducing staff travel and expanding programs, a lot of new technology needed to be added and the bandwidth expanded. Reestablishing a sense of normalcy among the staff and with the Library’s patrons, as the community emerges from the pandemic, is now a priority.

One word of advice from the Library Director—having a full-time Human Resources professional is worth their weight in gold. This enabled a professional to manage the changes in protocols and changing regulations while the Director focused on serving patrons and positioning the Library for its future. The Library’s 5-Year Strategic Plan was developed in 2020 and is posted on their website.

Great things are in store for Peekskill’s 135 year old Library!!
Mary F. Foster is a member of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Committee; Vice President of the Peekskill Rotary Foundations Board; Treasurer of The Field Library Board; a founding member of HVH2O; and a retired partner from Deloitte, an accounting and consulting firm. 
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
LIVE breakfast networking meeting and tour at Ronald McDonald House at 80 Woods Road, Valhalla, NY 10595
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Breakfast presentation and networking meeting at the Chamber office: 1 South Division St., Peekskill, NY 10566 or Zoom.
Hope's Door
42nd Anniversary Gala
Friday, May 6, 2022
Stars Along the Hudson
Annual Recognition Jazz Brunch Gala
Sunday, June 5, 2022
Would you like to host an event for your nonprofit colleagues at your facility once COVID restrictions are lifted?

Please contact please contact Lucille Geraci-Miranda at
Do you have expertise to share with other nonprofits? Ask us about writing an educational article for this newsletter!

Please contact Lynn Amos with your ideas at

Follow the Chamber's Nonprofit Committee on Facebook:
The Chamber’s Nonprofit Committee provides meaningful opportunities for nonprofit staff, managers and board members to come together to collaborate, and embrace the importance of growth and sustainability. The Committee serves as a resource for ongoing professional development and as a forum for sharing best practices.

Committee Chairperson
Lucille Geraci-Miranda
Geranda Projects

Committee Members
Lynn Amos, Fyne Lyne Ventures
Mary F. Foster, HVH2O and The Field Library
Chereese Jervis-Hill, Events To Remember
Tim Warn, Civic Member
Justin Wingenroth, The Dance Conservatory