Changing lives Through...
Community Service Program
Our volunteers were essential in all of the activities El Centro Hispano conducted, from its Educational Programs to its bi-monthly food distributions. We are extremely grateful to all of our volunteers who made sure our community received the help that they needed during and after the pandemic shut down.
Every year since 2001, White Plains High School students give back to their community and earn community service hours through the Community Service Program at El Centro. They serve as tutors and translators, distribute flyers for special events, and help distribute food, recruit other students and parents to attend events at El Centro, and set up and organize various other activities throughout the year. 240 students registered to perform community service in 2020.
Affordable Care Program Assistance
Since October 2014, a bilingual representative of the Westchester County Department of Health has been on site at El Centro one full day a week to offer our clients free assistance in completing the application paperwork for the Affordable Care Program. 46 clients were assisted onsite until March 2020. From April to December, our clients were assisted via telephone to ensure safety for both our clients and the Westchester County Health Department Navigator.
On December 5, 2019, El Centro Hispano welcomed Robin Bikkal to its Legal Assistance Program, where she has been providing legal advice on immigration issues every Thursday at 2:00pm. 88 clients were assisted in 2020.
Due to COVID-19, Ms. Bikkal has been offering her services remotely, ensuring our clients receive the legal advice they need during these very difficult times.
El Centro Hispano’s Board of Directors and its staff would like to extend our most sinceregratitude and appreciation to Robin Bikkal for her services during these difficult times.
Because of its closeness to and knowledge of the Hispanic community, El Centro Hispano has been called upon since its inception in 1974 by many agencies and organizations in the City of White Plains to communicate and disseminate important information or publications to the local Hispanic population.
At the height of the pandemic, El Centro Hispano’s social media pages were essential in spreading the wordabout important COVID-19 relief programs, food distributions, and health information from the City of White Plains and Westchester County.
The Idania Rosa Cancer Support Program
Since 2008, El Centro has supported 62 White Plains residents diagnosed with cancer with a range of services including referrals to cancer specialists, assistance in communicating with doctors and hospitals, and/or with modest monetary help.
On August 14, Kari Sailowitz, founder of the NYC based Fhitting Room Studio, Eric & Jessie Salvador, andErica Ungar worked together on a virtual fundraiser for El Centro Hispano’s Cancer Support Program, in honor of Eric & Jessie Salvador’s late mother Idania Rosa who sadly passed away from this terrible disease.
The Board of Directors and staff of El Centro Hispano have renamed its cancer program the “The Idania Rosa Cancer Support Program” in appreciation for the generous donation and trust of the Rosa family.
The Stephen Michael Sules Food Distribution Program
Since 2013, twice a month, El Centro has been distributing fresh bread, fruits, dairy products, meat, frozen foods, and vegetables throughout the year. Thanks to a grant from the Giving Circle of Lower Westchester, El Centro purchases food from the Food Bank for Westchester for our clients. Last year the Food Bank truck delivered a total of 163,383 pounds of food to 5,295 families from January to December.
This program has been renamed the Stephen Michael Sules Food Distribution Program in gratitude to the Sules family for their generosity and hard work in helping El Centro Hispano provide this important service to our community at the peak of the pandemic. Twice a month, the Stephen Michael Sules Foundation team provided bagged lunches for participants waiting to receive food.
During COVID-19, this program was the most essential for our community. Throughout the pandemic, El Centro Hispano, along with other organizations in White Plains coordinated their food assistance to make sure the needy members of the community had access to food on a daily basis.
Workshops on Other Issues
Since the 1980’s, El Centro has offered workshops on nutrition, major illnesses affecting Hispanics, domestic violence, rights of immigrants, abuse of women, the stock market, housing trends, safe communities, investments, and safe banking practices. These workshops have drawn hundreds of community members eager to learn.
Representatives from White Plains Hospital, Hon. David Buchwald, Hon. Andrea Stewart Cousins, The Cornell Cooperative Extension, Formé Urgent Care, Westchester Alzheimer’s Association and The Westchester Hispanic Coalition Victim Assistance Program made presentations about their services to the food recipients.