Putting Together the Pieces

by Connie LaMotta, Fellowship Community Member

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pieces of pottery back together with gold to form something new. It's built on the idea that by embracing flaws and imperfections, you create a piece of art that is even stronger and more beautiful.

The members of the Fellowship Community can attest to the truth that is embodied in this Japanese art form. After surviving the monumental loss from the fire that destroyed Pine Lodge last May, an amazing outpouring of concern and generosity has helped start the process of healing for those of us who lost our homes, and allowed us to begin rebuilding our future with hope.

In response to the fire, nearly 1,000 individual donors generously contributed over $304,000 to support those affected, an amount which exceeded our phase one fundraising goal. This has enabled us to house displaced residents and to help replace lost items that were not covered by insurance.

Thanks to your generous contributions, two classrooms in Meadow Wood Lodge that were not in use due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been converted into studio apartments. These newly renovated apartments are being used to house two Members who lost their homes in the fire at Pine Lodge.

Similarly, with your help, other spaces in the community are being reimagined to create additional housing for those who were displaced by the fire as well as to serve the long terms needs of the community going forward.

Your donations helped to renovate 2 unused classrooms in Meadow Wood Lodge and transform them into studio apartments for displaced Members. All of the furniture, rugs and houseplants were donated by generous members of the larger community.

The Fellowship Community has been fortunate and thankful for the support of the larger community, especially members of the Jerrahi Mosque as well as parents and teachers of the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, NY who donated clothing to help our displaced members immediately after the fire. The Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River, NJ was exceedingly generous with their support, providing furniture including beds, dressers, bookcases, desks, tables, chairs and sofas along with housewares including dishes, pots and pans, coffee pots and tea kettles, towels, sheets, pillows and much more.

Another apartment of a resident who lost everything in Pine Lodge. It has been decorated with furniture donated by generous individuals from our surrounding community, immediately after the fire.

Fred Rogers, of the children's program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, often reminded children that when bad things happen to “look for the helpers.” We have not had to look far to experience the overwhelming, generous and caring outpouring of help from our donors and from the larger community of friends and neighbors. Each of us who were affected by the fire, and who received your support, are continually grateful for your generosity, which has allowed us to rebuild our lives and given us hope!

From the abundance of support, each donated item in this apartment has found its place and makes it “Home” for the resident who lost everything to the fire.

Now that all of the residents who were displaced by the fire have comfortable temporary homes, we turn our attention to the next phase of rebuilding Pine Lodge.

The next few weeks and months will reveal more about our plans for the full replacement of Pine Lodge with a new building, and kick off our Comprehensive Campaign that will help carry the Fellowship Community into the future.

Thank You from the Fellowship Community!!!

The Fellowship Community is a 501(c)(3) non-profit inter-generational community serving the needs of elders through the phases of aging, from independent apartment living to more direct care, all the way through the end of life, based on the principles of Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy.

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The Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Foundation is a 501(c) non-profit that is responsible for the operations of the Fellowship Community. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

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241 Hungry Hollow Road

Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977

(845) 356-8494, ext 2

rsffoffice@fellowshipcommunity.org

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