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11 Reviews
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November 29, 2013

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November 29, 2013

I first visited the Mercy Center about 10 years ago when dropping off donated clothing from my daughter's school's Dress for Success drive. That's all it took, one visit, to make me know that this is a very special place run by very special people doing a tremendous amount of good in a very under-served part of out city. The center serves poor women and their families by empowering them to help themselves. The result is an atmosphere of mutual respect and great sense of community that is immediately felt when you walk through their doors. Truly amazing is how they manage to run their programs and are always looking to expand them on a shoe string budget. Over the years I have invited friends to Mercy Center events. What speaks volumes for the mission of the center is how quickly people "get it" and want to help.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 25, 2013

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November 25, 2013

I've been connected with Mercy Center for nearly 20 years and I continue to be amazed at how much this South Bronx community resource accomplishes on a shoe string budget, using a small staff of 20 and more than 165 regular volunteers, serving the poorest of the poor in the nation's poorest Congressional District. Mercy Center provides support, skills and hope to 2,000 persons a year. The majority are Latin American and West-African immigrants. Two-thirds of Mercy Center families earn less than $15,000 annually, half of these families survive on less than $10,000 a year. What inspires me to support Mercy Center with my time and money is how it serves poor women and their families by addressing the needs of the whole person and by building a community of respect, hospitality and nonviolence that makes transformation possible. Mercy Center is a very special place that helps those it serves take charge of their lives and gives them a reason to hope.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like to see it grow and serve even more without losing its special sense of mission.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 18, 2013

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November 18, 2013

Mercy Center is an inspiration to all who visit there. You can just feel the energy, the love and the respect with which they treat all who are engaged with the center in one way or another. This center is not just helping women, but helping families in addressing whatever needs they have.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 15, 2013

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November 15, 2013

Mercy Center is a special place. You can feel the love, the sense of purpose, and the sense of sanctuary as soon as you walk in the front door: children playing in the front room, parents hurrying down stairs to classes, staff talking on the phones to outside agencies. These feelings are why I decided to get more involved with Mercy Center and have helped with their fundraising for a few years now. I am amazed at the sisyphean task that Mercy Center faces every year to meet their budget, but they do so without complaint and without failing. I am honored to be associated with such wonderful people.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 30, 2013

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October 30, 2013

I'm in awe of Mercy Center's Employment Yes! program which addresses the needs of a swelling number of women seeking their invaluable work-readiness resources in a neighborhood where few services exist.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 26, 2013

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October 26, 2013

I volunteered 2 days a week for about 10 years. What I liked most and kept me coming back was the sense of community. A person may start out as a participant and after a while become a volunteer helping others.I was always happy to see how many women made Mercy Center an important part of their lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Enlarge it.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 16, 2013

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1 previous review
March 1, 2011

As a longtime financial supporter of Mercy Center, I have been gratified to see all the good the staff does and how the services offered to the neediest New Yorkers have grown over the years. Now t... more

October 16, 2013

From time to time, one of the women at Mercy Center asks my help in untangling her knitting. Having had the good fortune to have learned knitting as a girl from a mother who was there to correct my mistakes and teach me what to do instead, I now play this maternal role for a new generation of knitters. While engaging in a meditative group activity, these women take pride in making something both beautiful and useful for themselves and their families. I enjoy using my skills to help these beginners to see where their stitches went wrong, fix what can be fixed, and offer encouragement to keep moving forward. This strikes me as an apt metaphor for much of what I and so many others do at Mercy Center.

At present, I am in my sixth semester of teaching beginning English language learners and I also interview people seeking naturalization. This service to the poorest of the poor is rewarding in a way that practicing law seldom was for me.

Our ESL class is made up of adults who attend four mornings a week, even though they may have as many as five children or have worked a night shift. They come from Central and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Often, they have literacy issues even in their native languages. Despite these challenges, they are motivated to change their lives by improving what little English they may already know.

Our course is very practical: rather than literature, there are units on such topics as visiting the doctor, shopping, and making telephone calls. I supplement our course materials with flyers from local supermarkets, directions to the Bronx Zoo, and subway terminology. We sing songs and exchange recipes used on special occasions in different countries. In addition to emphasizing English grammar, I introduce the students to American culture, New York history, and teach quarts and pounds to those used to the Metric system. Some of the parents have remarked that this helps them because it is what their children are learning in school.

A woman from Mexico once said that she needed to learn English so she could find work. Everyone rejoiced when she proudly told us she’d been hired to answer the phone in a coffee shop. And I was so pleased when she remarked that she was using vocabulary we had learned like “side order.”

On another occasion, a pregnant woman from Algeria stayed after class to ask my help in reading her sonogram report. It looked pretty good to me, but after some discussion, it turned out she had been crying all night over the list of body parts under the heading “not well seen.” She interpreted “not well” as “ill” and thought the baby was malformed. Reassuring her that all the parts that could be visualized were reported as perfect, I felt I was in the right place at the right time. (And I followed up by making sure the next month’s report was just fine.)

As a supporter of Mercy Center for over 20 years, I have seen so much good and so much growth in the people, the programs, and the facility. We do big and little things with great love in a nurturing environment. We learn from each other and show that positive change is indeed possible.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the amount of space because the Center is bursting at the seams with all the people they serve.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

March 1, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

As a longtime financial supporter of Mercy Center, I have been gratified to see all the good the staff does and how the services offered to the neediest New Yorkers have grown over the years.

Now that I'm retired from the practice of law, it gives me great pleasure to volunteer 2 days a
week at Mercy Center. In particular, I enjoy teaching in an ESL program is very practical in its focus on empowering the students to use English in everyday situations, such as speaking to doctors, merchants, and their children's teachers. Programs like this enhance the participants' confidence and strengthen the whole family.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It is enormously gratifying to make a positive difference in the lives of my students.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

With additional funding, even more students could be served.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Additional training.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I learned new skills & met new friends.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

The experience benefits both me & those I serve.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

October 16, 2013

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1 previous review
December 20, 2010

I have come to know Mercy Center as an Ignatian Volunteer and am privileged to share, in a small way, (two days per week) in so much good that happens for and among the participants of Mercy Center. ... more

October 16, 2013

I have come to know Mercy Center as an Ignatian Volunteer and am privileged to share, in a small way, (two days per week) in so much good that happens for and among the participants of Mercy Center. I do various and sundry tasks in my volunteer role from teaching in the Employment Yes program (computer skills and work place readiness) to tutoring in an Afterschool program for Grades K – 5.

The time I spend volunteering at Mercy Center is the highlight of my week!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

December 20, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

I have come to know Mercy Center as an Ignatian Volunteer and am privileged to share, in a small way, (two days per week) in so much good that happens for and among the participants of Mercy Center. I do various and sundry tasks in my volunteer role from teaching in the Employment Yes program (computer skills and work place readiness) to tutoring in an Afterschool program for Grades K – 5.

The time I spend volunteering at Mercy Center is the highlight of my week!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The growth and development of individuals and their self esteem

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes

June 14, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
June 14, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I coordinate a food program for 20 Mercy Center families.
My favorite day of the month is the day I visit Mercy Center. It is the most uplifting, heartwarming experience for me. There is a warmth that is exuded from the staff and the participants that permeates my soul. It is a gift to
give of oneself, but the great gift is what you get in return.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way the staff reaches out to the community. I have been involved with a few programs the Center has offered. Through the relationships they develop and maintain with participants, they have changed many lives in many wonderful ways.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change a thing. The dedication of the staff is unsurpassed.

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