Bushkill Outreach Director Announces Retirement
BUSHKILL — Kate Newman of Bushkill Outreach, which has helped families in need in Bushkill and throughout Pike and part of northern Monroe counties since 2000, is retiring as director at the end of September.“I’ve prayed about it and feel this is exactly the right time to go,” said Newman, whose mission has grown to service 300 families in need annually, most recently at the Dutch Reformed Church of Bushkill on Route 209 near the Bushkill Falls intersection on the property of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Newman, whose volunteer workforce has grown to 55 in recent years, said no succeessor has been named but said the outreach’s Board of Directors expects to name a director within six months. As for Newman’s next step, she said she plans to work at a small orphanage in Budalangi, Kenya, next year under the international Ebenezer Project. Newman said Pocono ProFoods, a “huge contributor,” and WalMart of East Stroudsburg provide much of the food along with other local businesses and scouting groups as well as church and school drives. They have given support to families facing challenges of serious illnesses, unemployment and underemployment.
Along with food, there also is clothing, mostly donated by local residents, as well as a coat drive. The Bushkill Outreach Flea Market has been a leading fundraiser held throughout Memorial Day weekend for the past 38 years at different locations, the last seven at Lehman Township Community Park. A popular Christmas Cottage of donated holiday decor sold at reduced prices open in November and December, run for many years by Lehman Township resident Rose Capitelli, also is a major fundraiser for the outreach. Newman said the outreach has a relationship with the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army to provide toys for children of families in need at holiday time. The outreach also directs funding and food donated by local service organizations to qualifying families in need at holiday time.
“She and her commitment will be missed,” said Christine Guaranaccio, who oversees the food pantry that also helps support other food pantries in the area as needed. It also provides food for dinners at the Reformed Church of Bushkill every Thursday night and at St. John the Apostle Church in Marshalls Creek the final Sunday of every month as well as some donated food for nonprofit fundraising events. “This change will be seamless. They won’t miss a step,” Newman said. “It should keep going along very solid, with a good operating body.”
“It won’t be the same without her but we won’t miss a beat,” said Guaranaccio... for complete story, get this week's issue.