By Jennifer L. Warren
NEWBURGH – Stevenson Monchery knows all too well it’s not enough simply to do your job…especially when it comes to people in need.
“You really have to think outside the box,” said Monchery, the Outreach Coordinator for Team Newburgh. “A lot of times people in Newburgh agencies will sit behind a desk, but we know how important it is to get out from there and go directly to the people who need this important and needed information.”
Team Newburgh, along with Cornerstone Family Healthcare and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County (two of their 150 affiliates), could be seen doing just that kind of proactive work Thursday afternoon on 9 Johnston Street, outside of Newburgh Ministry. Here, several tables, laden with that integral information and critical supplies, were set up and overseen by enthusiastic volunteers and workers.
The smiling, gregarious Monchery, clad in a black Team Newburgh tee-shirt, proudly stood behind his 19 year old, Catholic Charities-sponsored, organization’s table, whose overriding mission lies in bridging the gap- a special coalition- between community resources and the community. A large piece of that puzzle entails substance abuse prevention. Today’s available selection of items available included; prescription medication bags, medication trackers, Deterra Bags to dispose medications, socks and wristbands as well as headphones sporting the Team Newburgh logo.
“It’s just so important for the community to have access to these resources; prevention really is the key,” explained Team Newburgh Coordinator Megan Robbins, who was standing alongside Monchery. “The Opioid epidemic is on the rise, especially since the Pandemic, so we want to make sure we are doing everything possible to make sure people are prepared.
Another population Team Newburgh holds close to its hearts is the youth. At virtually all of its functions, resources and special items are carefully selected with them in mind. Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County fulfilled that role, providing information on their mentorship programs as well as handing out enrollment cards. Executive Director, Mary Kate Lowe, from the New Windsor office, could be seen sharing specifics about her organization with two elementary school-aged children as they intently listened, holding onto their new water bottles they had just selected from the neighboring Cornerstone Family Healthcare booth.
In addition to the water bottles, Cornerstone also handed out multi-colored jump ropes and small, hand-held beach balls to children eager to explore their uses. For the adults, free blood pressure readings were available. Their mission to connect with the public continues on Saturday, August 6, from 10am-1pm, when they host a Free Annual Community Health Fair, at their 147 Lake Street, City of Newburgh location, providing a wide range of medical screenings, fun activities geared to all ages, community vendors, raffles and prizes as well as music and refreshments. They again appear on two Thursdays: August 18 and 25, from 4-7pm, for a Back to School Celebration at that same home location.
These vital links between the area agencies and the community are ongoing and something that Team Newburgh is intent on delivering in whatever manner and to whoever is in need.
“We do these types of table setups about two-three times a month, as well as walk around Newburgh, bringing the resources directly to the people,” said Monchery. “We don’t discriminate; whoever needs them, we are there.”