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Spring/Summer 2023 Newsletter

community service newsletter

Volume VII Issue II | Spring/Summer 2023

Twyla J. Cummings, Ph.D., Editor & Publisher

Patrizia Corvaia, Director of Communications & Associate Editor

In This Issue

  • Save the Date for Second Annual Appreciation Luncheon

  • Summer Events at BTS

  • Carmen Allen among Rochester Women Recognized during Women's History Month

  • BTS Welcomes New Board Members

  • How You Can Help Support BTS Programs

  • … and more!

Appreciation luncheon save the date

Second Annual Appreciation Luncheon is October 1!

Support Beyond the Sanctuary and spend an unforgettable afternoon at our Second Annual Appreciation Luncheon! Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 1, as we gather at the Harro East Ballroom, 155 N. Chestnut Street to celebrate our successes and show our gratitude to our volunteers, donors, and community partners. The program will begin promptly at 3 p.m., which includes a delicious buffet lunch, music, and exciting gift raffles!

Seating is limited, so don’t miss out! Individual tickets are available at $60 per person or reserve a table for eight guests at a special rate of $450.

To ensure you don’t miss this incredible event, take a moment to complete the online registration form. We can’t wait to have you join us for this memorable occasion. See you there!

Summer Happenings at BTS

summer sun

Summer is finally here, and we are thrilled to announce an exciting lineup of events and programs we will be hosting.

From enriching experiences for children and teens to meaningful community initiatives, Beyond the Sanctuary has something for everyone.

summer camp child with photo

  • July 11 to August 3-Beyond Summer Camp: BTS is hosting its second annual summer camp for children and teens. Led by retired educators and mentors, the team of counselors is committed to creating a fun and educational environment. This year, we are delighted to welcome RIT professor Meredith Davenport, who will be leading an engaging photography class. Professor Davenport will teach students fundamental photography skills and techniques, enabling them to capture portraits of one another. Additionally, classroom discussions will revolve around the work of renowned African American photographers such as Gordon Parks and Roy DeCarava. The final portraits will be selected by the students themselves to be showcased in a grand public art display. In addition, kids will enjoy lunch, exercise, life skills building, and field trips to local cultural centers. We are immensely grateful for the dedication and support of our volunteers and the generous funding from the William & Sheila Konar Foundation that make Beyond Summer Camp possible.

  • July 29-Bed-Building Event with Sleep in Heavenly Peace: As part of our ongoing commitment to support our community's youth, BTS is partnering with Rochester Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an organization dedicated to tackling child "bedlessness" through the building of children's bunk beds that are given to local families in need, along with bedding. Join us on Saturday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Memorial AME Zion Church (549 Clarissa St.) for our third bed-building event. No special skills are required to volunteer as a bed builder, and all necessary tools will be provided. Alternatively, you can contribute by dropping off new twin-size bedding, including comforters, pillows, and sheets. Click here to sign up!

  • August 27- BTS Community Picnic: Mark your calendars for the BTS Community Picnic—an event not to be missed! Join us for a delightful day that includes a free BBQ lunch, engaging activities, and much more. It's the perfect opportunity to connect with fellow community members and celebrate the joy of summer. Stay tuned for more details as the event draws near!

Want to Help BTS? Here's How!

cartoon vehicle with groceries

Volunteer Drivers Needed

BTS serves many clients who lack transportation or are not physically able to come to the church to pick up their food. In 2022 BTS drivers delivered food boxes to between 70-75 households each week. At the start of 2023, the number of requests for delivery has increased to the level that the current drivers do not have the capacity to meet the demand. As a result, there are several people on a waiting list to receive food via delivery. BTS needs more delivery drivers. Please ask your friends, coworkers, and neighbors if they are interested in joining our delivery driver team. If you are interested, please contact Clara Sizer at 585-451-5570

Donations & Other Volunteer Opportunities

BTS’s operational funding is dependent on grants and charitable donations. These

donations help make a difference in the lives of thousands of Rochester area residents. BTS is thankful for our major donors and contributors. They are all friends of BTS whom without we would not be able to support our clients. We are truly blessed by this generosity.

Click the buttons below to make a donation using our online giving site or to sign up to volunteer!

In addition to monetary donations and food BTS also relies on contributions for personal care items and clothing. BTS needs the following personal care items:

  • Diapers

  • Baby Wipes

  • Soap

  • Toothpaste

  •  Deodorant

  • Wash Clothes

To make arrangements to drop off your donations, email BTS at or call 585-512-8911.

BTS Welcomes New Board Members

jason henderberg headshot

The BTS Board of Directors is pleased to welcome two new members.

Jason Henderberg has been a long-time partner and supporter of BTS. Jason is the President of Henderberg Business Solutions, LLC which specializes in helping small businesses document processes and to develop strategic directions. Prior to establishing Henderberg Business Solutions he engaged in other entrepreneurial pursuits along with being the vice president of operations at Wonder Windows. In his early career he had many positions of responsibility in the graphic arts and printing industry. He has been extremely helpful in brokering printing for BTS over the past 3 years. Jason brings a diversity of experiences and has already hit the ground running as part of the strategic planning committee.

Dr. robin cole jr. headshot

Dr. Robin Cole Jr. currently serves as Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development and Career and Technical Education for Monroe Community College. His diverse career in the field of higher education has included overseeing credit and non-credit programs, internships, and grant training programs. Before assuming the position with Monroe Community College Dr. Cole served as the Dean of Business and Technology for Southwest TN Community College where he managed 16 academic programs and developed further partnerships with companies such as FedEx and Siemens that led to exciting academic programming.

He earned his Doctor of Science in Information Systems and Communications in 2006, his

Master of Science in Communications and Information Systems, and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2000, from Robert Morris University (PA).

Carmen Allen Recognized during

Women's History Month

In conjunction with #NationalWomensMonth the City of Rochester, NY - Mayor's Office & City Council celebrated women who "demonstrate community leadership, effective change, and integrity." Congratulations to all the outstanding women recognized for their immeasurable positive impact in our community, including our very own BTS Founder, President & Executive Director Carmen Allen.

National women's month city of rochester award

Group photo of women recognized for their work in the community.

city of rochester awards group photo with carmen allen, jackie dozier, and olivia kassoum-amadou

Left to right: Carmen Allen, Jackie Dozier, and Olivia Kassoum-Amadou

JRSP Welcomes New Program Director and Staff

levar sanders headshot

The BTS Job Readiness Success Program (JRSP) has hired Levar Sanders for the position of Program Director. Mr. Sanders comes to BTS from Villa of Hope where he was the Senior Director of Community Restoration. As Director he will ensure that the program achieves its goals of enabling participants to become thriving, self-sufficient, working adults, earning a living wage.

Since taking on this role, he has organized the first informational sessions for our newest construction class. Participants will receive help with life challenges as they learn various aspects of the construction trade. They will have job placement assistance, personal life skills and health and wellness coaching to ensure their success.

Monica Hanks has joined the JRSP team as a Life Skills Coach. In this role, Monica conducts informational sessions and assesses program applicants, among other duties.

Taneisha Rodgers has also joined the team as an executive administrator.

BTS welcomes you!

2023 Day of Caring

On May 11, BTS once again participated in the United Way Day of Caring. We are so grateful that our friends from the Rochester Institute of Technology returned to support us in our efforts. These 11 volunteers came out and completed multiple assignments which has helped organize our food storage areas, the clothing closet and the outdoor trailer. RIT thank you again for your continued support!

RIT and beyond the sanctuary day of caring groupshot

Neighborhood Collaborative Project Update

bill gibbons headshot

Exciting news! Our partnership with other neighboring organizations is now in full swing. The Neighborhood Collaborative Project (NCP) has met all the initial requirements from Monroe County.

Our role in the NCP is to receive referrals from all the organizations and provide the services we have built our reputation around, basic needs and self-sustaining programs. The grant will pay for the services we render to anyone who comes to us through NCP. The grant also allows us to hire a manager for the project. This point person will be the one to coordinate communication to the clients, the partnering organizations and within BTS, as well as, managing client communications.

We are pleased to announce that Bill Gibbons will be our new NCP Manager. Although taking on this role Bill will continue to play an important role in the Food Pantry but will assume this additional responsibility.

Bill is uniquely qualified for this position based on his diverse background. He previously worked at Charles Settlement House and was also Pastor of Community Engagement and Community Outreach at several churches. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role that will touch so many lives.

Patrizia Corvaia Receives 2023 Sharleen M. Bruse Award

patrizia corvaia headshot

Patrizia Corvaia Internal Communications Manager at Highland Hospital, was presented with the Sharleen M. Bruse Award. Winners of this award exemplify a high level of professional experience and a spirit of mentorship and service.

This award was one of the 2023 PRISM Awards presented by the Rochester Chapter of the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America). Congratulations Patty on this well-deserved recognition. BTS is blessed to have you as our talented Director of Communications.

Volunteer Spotlight

BTS is a majority volunteer staffed organization. There is no way we would be able to serve our clients each week without these dedicated individuals. While each of more than 80 volunteers are important and make a wonderful contribution to the mission and vision of BTS each month our volunteer coordinator, Clara Sizer, selects one volunteer to highlight.

April – Sue and Bob Ames

Sue is a former Registered Nurse/Educator at Monroe Community College and

Bob is a former Educator from the Fairport School District.

May – Delores Jackson Radney and George Radney

Delores is the owner of KUUMBA Consultants Arts and Education Agency.

George is Executive Accountant at The Beat 105.5 FM Radio Station. He is also the host for The Real Deal Sports Show and Sports Director for The Challenger Community Newspaper.

June – Norman and Shirley Strothers

Shirley is a former Program Administrator at The Developmental Center and

Norman is a former Student Support Specialist with the Rochester City School District.

Mark Your Calendars! Upcoming Events

  • Beyond Summer Camp: July 11-August 3

  • Third Annual Sleep in Heavenly Peace Bed Building Event: July 29

  • Second Annual Community Picnic: August 27

  • Second Annual BTS Luncheon- October 1

  • East Avenue Grocery Run- November 4

  • Thanksgiving Holiday Meal Distribution-November 16

  • Community Service Sunday- December 3

  • Christmas Holiday Meal Distribution- December 20

Support BTS!

beyond the sanctuary logo

BTS is a non-profit organization powered by volunteers.

You can help!


Make your donation today to support our mission to address the physical and emotional challenges of poverty and hunger and help community members move from assistance to become self-sustaining!

  • By Check:

Make payable to: Beyond the Sanctuary

P.O. Box 18146

Rochester, NY 14618

  • Paypal:

  • CashApp: $beyondthesanctuary20


BTS is seeking volunteers to assist with food deliveries, back office processes, and more! Call 585-512-8911 or email

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