The Cosmopolitan Review

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 11/21/2013, 1:35 p.m.

It’s almost here! Thanksgiving, that is, one of the most celebrated holidays in America, as everyone stops to give thanks. I know I am thankful—so thankful that I don’t know where to begin—but I just know I am.

City Harvest, known worldwide for providing food for those most in need of a meal, has begun rolling in the turkeys. Dedicated to feeding the hungry, City Harvest has partnered with various agencies around the city to ensure there’s always a meal available so that no one should have to go hungry.

Over 140 pounds of turkeys have been delivered to the city’s network of food pantries and soup kitchens located throughout the five boroughs. This year, in what will be one of the biggest food distributions in the organization’s 30-year history, City Harvest will also distribute fixings to go along with those turkeys to more than 500 households at its Thanksgiving Mobile Market in the South Bronx. Want to help? Visit www.cityharvest.org/donate-food.

Also helping New Yorkers is the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), which recently hosted a wonderful gala at the Waldorf Astoria with over 700 people in attendance. The master of ceremonies for the evening was actor Joel Grey, who reminded the audience that “Life is a Cabaret,” but for many, it wouldn’t be so without the services that the VNSNY provides. Mary Ann Christopher, president and CEO of VNSNY, gave a rousing speech, interrupted several times by a thunderous applause from the audience. Those receiving the VNSNY Lillian D. Wald Award were Frank J. Branchini, chairman and CEO of EmblemHealth Inc., and Claire M. Fagin, a registered nurse and member of the board of VNSNY. 

Lillian D. Wald was a strong advocate of public health and women’s rights and was among the first to make home nursing visits. Wald founded the Henry Street Settlement in the early 1900s, where she would be able to make services provided by a nurse available to a greater number of the city’s poor. By 1913, with the help of some financial funding, she was able to acquire a staff of over 75 nurses. Henry Street Settlement eventually evolved into the VNSNY, which makes over 2 million visits throughout the five boroughs. Other organizations Wald helped to found were the Women’s Trade Union League, the Columbia University School of Nursing and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The evening began with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner, a short presentation and, of course, dancing. The band was spectacular, and the dance floor remained crowded—always a good sign of a good time for a worthy cause.

Happy birthday to Rita Butler, Kayla Chambers and Whoopi Goldberg. Nice to see that Goldberg remembers from whence she came. Hosting a small dinner party with some of her nearest and dearest, Goldberg brought the gang uptown to Sylvia’s. What good is a party without fried chicken? Actually, they didn’t have fried chicken, but they had the smothered pork chops instead, which are Goldberg’s favorite. Who else would tell you these things if I didn’t?