House of Concern Honors Volunteers


HOC Volunteers
A few of the staff members, Board Members and Volunteers who got together for lunch on Volunteer Appreciation Day

The Seneca County House of Concern honored its volunteers earlier this week as staff and Board members joined them for a celebration luncheon at the offices on State Street in Seneca Falls. The House of Concern provides a food pantry and thrift store to persons in need throughout Seneca County.

The organization has seen tremendous increases in need and a corresponding decrease in government assistance, which requires even more input on the part of volunteers to meet the needs of the community to provide proper nutrition for our neighbors.

The HOC has also partnered with other agencies and businesses to provide nutrition and financial management training to help those seeking aid find ways to become more food secure. They also receive supplemental food from Foodlink and various community gardens.

The House of Concern was instrumental in starting the Seneca Falls Community Garden and worked closely with the community garden project in Waterloo as well.

On May 17-18, the House of Concern is partnering with the Hotel Clarence to present a fashion show and luncheon, The Traveling Little Black Dress Creates New Beginnings, to benefit their efforts. The show will feature local models and clothes and accessories from area businesses. There will be auction items available as well. One of the highlights will be examples of how great outfits can be put together from clothes from the House of Concern’s New Beginning Thrift Store.

HOC New Beginnings BoutiqueComing in June will be a new storefront operation on Fall Street in Seneca Falls. The New Beginnings Boutique will feature high-end gently worn clothing and consignments, as well as accessories. The shop, adjacent to WomanMade Products is currently being remodeled for its Grand Opening. All funds generated from the new store will be sued to help the increasing need for food for the organization’s consumers.

Notes from the Director

Spring BudsHappy Spring! Okay I admit that on the day I’m writing this, it doesn’t seem like Spring but the  calendar tells us it is. As I look out my window this morning it is gray and spitting snow and yet just by our office door there are little flowers standing up valiantly despite the weather.

This ability to see what lies ahead despite how things look right this minute is something that all of us here at House of Concern practice. Last summer when the numbers at the food pantry rose so drastically and we found out that we were losing grant money at the same time things looked pretty gloomy. Now I will not even pretend that part of me didn’t want to say “I give up!” However that was only for a minute (or two) and the next step was to really start envisioning new ways to get money in to our pantry. So there have been meetings with the board and several committees new and old working to do exactly that. Here are just some of the things that have been and are going on right now.

We decided it was time to give the store a much needed facelift and at the same time we needed to lower our utility costs. So with new grants and donations and lots of volunteers we have a new shed, new windows in the store, a lowered ceiling, new lighting and fresh paint on the walls all in less than a year. We have rebranded the store to be called House of Concern New Beginnings. Stop in and see all the changes and buy yourself something nice. The store is for everyone’s shopping and the sales help to fund the food pantry.

So that has been step one. Step two has been fundraising, which we have not done a lot of over the years. Thanks to a great idea from Sharon Hoatland from the Hotel Clarence we will be having an exciting fun fashion show fund raiser on May 17thand 18th called The Traveling Little Black Dress Creating New Beginnings. Read more about it in this   newsletter and please plan to come. Remember all the profits will go to our food pantry.

The Third step is both scary and exciting which is often the way with new ventures. We are opening a consignment store on Fall Street. We will be in the same building as    WomanMade Products. This will be different than our main store as it is consignments only. It will be called HOC New Beginnings Boutique. The thing that is not different is the reason we are doing this and that is to raise money for the food pantry. The sales will help to support the pantry.

So as you can see many changes are occurring but they all are in an effort to continue  doing what we have been doing for over 40 years, caring for our neighbors in need. I thank all of you for your help doing that. We could not do it without all of your support.

Have a great Spring!