Local High School Student Uses Her Creativity to Raise Money for Northern Westchester Homeless Organization
Zeina Soliman, a rising senior and honor student at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, NY will be selling homemade decorative soaps at the Sunset Market event at the Jefferson Valley Mall (located at 650 Lee Blvd, Yorktown Heights, NY) on Thursday, July 25th beginning at 5:00 pm to raise money for the Emergency Shelter Partnership which provides short-term, emergency shelter in the northern Westchester area. For a $5 suggested donation, supporters can take home a hand-crafted artisanal decorative soap that makes a wonderful gift.
Zeina, who has a passion for helping those in need in the community with a focus on homelessness, developed her idea to fundraise for the Emergency Shelter Partnership (ESP) because of a volunteer experience of helping to prepare hot meals over the winter with her mom at one of the congregations housing the homeless men. She was so struck by the need for shelter in the harshest months of winter that she decided to create a business to raise money throughout the year. Zeina makes specialty soaps that are shea butter based with floral scents, and she packages them with decorative accents and a message inside that talks about how the purchase helps the homeless. In fact, Zeina is paying for all the costs of materials so that 100% of the purchase goes to help people who need shelter.
Zeina says, “I’m passionate about this project not just because I want to raise money for Emergency Shelter Partnership, but also because I want to raise awareness for the cause. Not many residents in Northern Westchester know of the homeless population that they live with. If more people knew about the issue, I believe we would all be able to help our homeless neighbors.”
The Emergency Shelter Partnership (ESP) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Northern Westchester County, NY which provides short-term, emergency shelter for those who need a place to stay during the coldest five months of the winter.
Shelter is provided through a coalition of congregations – Christian and Jewish – and other community groups, to anyone who needs a safe and warm place to sleep. People gather at the Police Station in Mt. Kisco by 9:00 pm each evening from November through March. There they are met by the ESP bus and an overnight supervisor who transports the group to the congregation which is hosting the shelter that week. When the group arrives at the location where the shelter is hosted, volunteers from the congregation greet them with a hot meal and a room in which to sleep. Coffee and a breakfast bag are provided in the morning. A volunteer from the congregation also spends the night and is available to assist an ESP staff person in the event of an emergency. By 6:30 am the next morning, the group is up and on the bus to return to the Mt. Kisco Police Station.
When the temperature drops and the wind blows, ESP provides a welcome, a meal and a warm safe place to sleep. Emergency Shelter Partnership, P.O. Box 427, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549.