Good Counsel’s Cardinal Cooke Home in Spring Valley opened its door to the public yesterday and welcomed visitors to see the good work that goes on inside the house at 22 Linden Avenue.
A steady stream of visitors toured the little cottage, which for over 26 years has provided a secure home for hundreds of homeless pregnant women and and a good start in life for their children.
The attendees were greeted by Good Counsel staff and volunteers who showed them through the building, explaining what life is like for moms there. They were told how Good Counsel means helping a pregnant mom before, during, and for at least a year after the birth.
There are currently eight moms in residence. Each mother has her own room with her child or children. She can return to work or school or both. She’ll have babysitting at home. When she returns, she or another mom will cook dinner and everyone will eat together. After cleaning up, there are life and parenting skills programs to help her take the next good step.
The highlight of the open house was the unveiling of the new Learning Resource Center, the inspiration of a Ridgewood, NJ, high-school senior Victoria-Elizabeth Negron. It was funded by the Ridgewood Knights of Columbus, who also donated many hours of labor to renovate the area and install the new equipment.
Women at Good Counsel receive educational and vocational assistance and professional counseling, and the Learning Resource Center provides a workspace where that can happen – with desks, computers, and shelves for materials.
The visitors all had the opportunity to ask questions and chat with Good Counsel staff and volunteers. These were: Executive Director Chris Bell, Director of Residential Services Sister Mona O’Connell, House Manager Nanette Morris, Spring Valley Leadership Team co-chairpersons Bob and Marge Reilly, team members Milly Contento, Lynn Gully, Liz O’Brien, and Joe Quattrocchi, and volunteers Terry Anselmi and Joe O’Brien.
Most of the people who came to the open house were from Rockland and nearby Bergen, N.J., Counties. Several expressed interest in donating time and skills to help out at the home.
If you weren’t able to come, but would like to help out, here’s a link to a sheet that was given to the attendees. It’s the current Good Counsel Wish List and includes basic grocery and other household items, services needed in the home, and major repairs and supplies (in case you have special skills or know someone who has).
If you can help with any of these things, please call Nanette Morrison at 845-356-0571. And financial donations are very important too. You know how much it costs these days to keep any household going — heat and electricity, upkeep, food.
The newest baby just came home from the hospital on Friday – and, yes, it was truly “home.”
Please help keep the doors open. No pregnant mother is turned away. And, hopefully, you’ll be able to come to the open house next summer, and there you’ll see God’s work in action, the home that keeps going because of you.
The next Good Counsel event in Rockland is the Concert for Life at the Marian Shrine, Thursday, December 6