11/12/2009 - A Million Chances: Millennium Sistahs Give Hope To Those in Need
By: Beverly Fortune
When I met Glenda Hills at her Uniondale office, she was in the midst of preparing for a very unusual event: a community baby shower. This event is not an ordinary baby shower where there is one guest of honor who receives presents from her family and close friends; Glenda’s baby shower is produced on a much larger scale. It will include almost 40 expectant mothers who are related only by their circumstances and will be receiving gifts donated by local merchants. A community bridal shower is an opportunity for these young women to attend an event that is honoring and supporting them as well as promoting the health and well being of both mother and child.
Glenda’s husband, Peter, popped in saying that he was going to pick up some of the items that were being donated from local Bye Bye Baby and Toys “R” Us stores. “It’s going to take Peter three trips to get everything and then [after he unloads] this room is going to be piled high,” Glenda said, smiling, and explained that the expectant mothers, “send in a wish list, like for car seats or cradles and baby supplies.”
One lucky mother-to-be will be the recipient of a dark wood cradle with cream colored sheets that was donated by Eddie Bauer. It stood as a centerpiece in Glenda’s office waiting to be surrounded by the other gifts. Glenda also said that her organization receives donations of gently used clothing that the mothers can select for their babies. “Most of our donations are products, not money,” she explained.
“We’ve had people come from as far away as New Jersey,” Glenda said about the popularity of the events. She produces five community baby showers annually and said that the summer showers are held outdoors and have almost double the number of expectant mothers in attendance. “It’s almost like a fair.”
A Trinidadian by birth, Glenda is a social worker by profession and a giver by nature.
“Someone called me from Trinidad for [donated] bed sheets that were needed at a hospital. That started the ball rolling,” she said about her first donation experience 10 years ago. “It started with sheets and now it’s [grown to include] medical missionary trips twice a year. It’s a huge project in the Caribbean” where they provide full physicals and health screenings.
She knew this was her calling and wanted to do more. She founded the Millennium Sistahs, Inc. in 1999 as a non-profit human service organization to enhance life, promote visibility and provide medical and social services to young women and adults worldwide. Glenda remembers how she selected the name: “We were moving into a new millennium and one of my goals was to see a million women and children and to provide services. I wanted to give them a million chances.”
That’s a big number to aspire to, but Glenda has already helped thousands of people from Long Island to the Caribbean and as far away as South Africa. There are no borders for Glenda; her giving doesn’t end at the city line. She knows that small changes can make a big difference and she breaks down barriers by reaching out and giving hope to women and their families who need it most.
Millennium Sistahs is run by volunteers who help in administration, program planning, warehousing, food pantry, clothes sorting and distribution.
As Glenda explained her work, her volunteer administrative assistant, Lisa Murphy, was nodding her head in agreement and approval. “Glenda’s very committed,” Lisa told me. “She’s so dedicated. She puts her heart out to anyone and everyone who needs it.”
On Long Island, Millennium Sistahs have various programs serving different segments of people in need.
Glenda administers a community food pantry that feeds 42 families every week, and works with both Island Harvest and Long Island Cares. “It’s very small,” she says of the modest food pantry, but I’m sure the recipients of the donations feel differently and are thankful for her support. Working with basically the same families, Glenda also has a back-to-school program that includes donated books and school supplies, and she also mentors those who need assistance with job searches or help navigating the Internet, or just need advice.
Millennium Sistahs envisions a world where all people regardless of ethnicity, gender, socio-economic background, educational level, or disability are provided with health care and positive life experiences. Glenda just distributed 242 pairs of eyeglasses through Eyes for the Needy in Trinidad and is planning another missionary trip to Haiti in February 2010. She also travels to upstate New York and Westchester on health missions, and as she explained her work in these seemingly upscale communities, Glenda saw the questioning look on my face and said, “There’s plenty of people in Westchester who don’t have health care.”
“People call me all the time for help, especially for medical supplies,” Glenda says of the very special and rewarding work she does, “I’ll always do missionary work,” she smiled, “It’s what I do.”
For more information or to donate go to www.millenniumsistahs.org or call 516-214-0470 or email Glenda at email@example.com.
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Community Baby Shower!
Time: 2pm – 5:00pm Saturday Dec 5th 2009
Place: 40 Brevoort Pl, Brooklyn (Between Bedford and Franklin)
On Saturday December 5th , 2009, Millennium Sistahs Inc will present its Community Baby Shower Celebration. With the theme "It's Your Baby’s Time," the initiative encourages low income women to register to receive items from their new born or pregnant women. We are expecting at least 200 women to register for the shower. The first 75 women to register will receive items such as crib bedding sets, and clothing. In addition we will be giving out baby safety items, toys, bottles, bathtubs and pacifiers etc. Information will be provided on breast feeding, post partum depression, eating healthy, shaken baby syndrome etc. Women who are “newly pregnant, can bring a doctor’s note as proof of their pregnancy.
This is an opportunity for individuals to come out to be to learn and gather information about organizations in the community and get products for their babies. Information will also be shared about Breast Cancer and Breast Health. The event is open to the public and there is a $25.00 registration fee for low income women. However advance registration is required for shower items. Women are also encouraged to email us their wish list and let us know if they are having a boy or a girl. They can call for registration at 516 214 0470 or email: msistahs@Yahoo.com.
Millennium Sistahs Inc is a 501(c) 3 non- profit organization that was founded in 1997 by Glenda White Hills. Our Mission is to enhance life, sustain visibility to young women and adults worldwide. Through our community service programs, we provide preventative medical care at health fairs, a community food pantry, children clothes and toys. We also host spiritual retreats. Please visit our website: www.millenniumsistahs.org.
If further information is needed, please call 516 214 0470 or email: email@example.com