When I met Glenda Hills
Uniondale office, she
was in the midst of preparing for a very unusual event: a community baby shower.
also said that her
organization receives donations of gently used clothing that the mothers can select for their babies. â€œMost of our donations are products, not money,â€� she
â€œWeâ€™ve had people come from as far away as New Jersey,â€� Glenda
said about the popularity of the events.
produces five community baby showers annually and said that the summer showers are held outdoors and have almost double the number of expectant mothers in attendance. â€œItâ€™s almost like a fair.â€�
A Trinidadian by birth, Glenda is a social worker by profession and a giver by nature.
â€œSomeone called me from Trinidad for [donated] bed sheets that were needed at a hospital.
That started the ball rolling,â€� she
said about her
first donation experience 10 years ago. â€œIt started with sheets and now itâ€™s [grown to include] medical missionary trips twice a year.
Itâ€™s a huge project in the Caribbeanâ€� where they provide full physicals and health screenings.
knew this was her
calling and wanted to do more.
She founded the Millennium Sistahs, Inc. in 1999 as a non-profit human service organization to enhance life, promote visibility and provide medical and social services to young women and adults worldwide.
remembers how she
selected the name: â€œWe were moving into a new millennium and one of my goals was to see a million women and children and to provide services.
I wanted to give them a million chances.â€�
Thatâ€™s a big number to aspire to, but Glenda
has already helped thousands of people from Long Island to the Caribbean and as far away as South Africa.
There are no borders for Glenda; her
giving doesnâ€™t end at the city line.
knows that small changes can make a big difference and she
breaks down barriers by reaching out and giving hope to women and their families who need it most.
is run by volunteers who help in administration, program planning, warehousing, food pantry, clothes sorting and distribution.
As Glenda explained her work, her volunteer administrative assistant, Lisa Murphy, was nodding her head in agreement and approval. â€œGlendaâ€™s very committed,â€� Lisa told me. â€œSheâ€™s so dedicated.
administers a community food pantry that feeds 42 families every week, and works with both Island Harvest and Long Island Cares. â€œItâ€™s very small,â€� she
says of the modest food pantry, but Iâ€™m sure the recipients of the donations feel differently and are thankful for her
Working with basically the same families, Glenda
also has a back-to-school program that includes donated books and school supplies, and she
also mentors those who need assistance with job searches or help navigating the Internet, or just need advice.
envisions a world where all people regardless of ethnicity, gender, socio-economic background, educational level, or disability are provided with health care and positive life experiences.
just distributed 242 pairs of eyeglasses through Eyes for the Needy in Trinidad and is planning another missionary trip to Haiti in February 2010.
also travels to upstate New York and Westchester on health missions, and as she
work in these seemingly upscale communities, Glenda
saw the questioning look on my face and said, â€œThereâ€™s plenty of people in Westchester who donâ€™t have health care.â€�
â€œPeople call me all the time for help, especially for medical supplies,â€� Glenda
says of the very special and rewarding work she
does, â€œIâ€™ll always do missionary work,â€� she
smiled, â€œItâ€™s what I do.â€�
For more information or to donate go to www.millenniumsistahs.org or call 516-214-0470 or email Glenda