With the coronavirus blanketing the Queens community, Steve Wilson, Martin Van Buren High School (MVBHS) alumnus, and President of the Martin Van Buren High School Alumni Alliance knew students, staff, and alumni could not simply stand by. They searched for a mission that would reconnect the community and embrace what is most important and share it with the world. That was the inspiration behind their Give Hope to Help initiative and the MVBHS Comfort Food Cookbook.
All of the proceeds from the cookbook are being used to support the students and families hit hardest by the pandemic. The project resulted in an exceptional collection of 168 special recipes, representing 60 countries. The recipes were submitted by teachers, administration, students, parents, and alumni showcasing the incredibly diverse community in Queens, the melting pot of the world.
“From day one of Commonpoint Queens’ partnership with Martin Van Buren, the school’s administration welcomed us. Our collaborations on many joint initiatives have improved not only the 500+ students participating in our five programs currently at MVB but also the overall success of the larger school community,” said Heather Liverpool, Community School Director.
MVBHS alum, President of the Martin Van Buren Alumni Alliance, Steve Wilson, said, “Seeing the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic was having on our MVB students and staff, the Alumni Alliance quickly mobilized to find a way to help show our support for those who were struggling most. We wanted to not just help to raise desperately needed funds to assist MVB families but also to galvanize the community behind this effort, giving hope to those in desperate need. We wanted to also create something that would both honor our diverse community and share in our rich cultures. We are proud to serve the school in many capacities but this one stands out due to the pain and suffering we hope to help alleviate. We created this cookbook to raise money and awareness of the collective plight of the Queens community-at-large and the Van community. We recognize even when the virus has finally retreated, many financial, physical, and psychological scars will remain and this undertaking is one small thing we as individuals can do to help those most impacted by the COVID crisis.” Wilson continued, “I am particularly grateful to Commonpoint Queens for partnering with us in this project to provide emergency cash assistance to Van students and families. Their support in this project and everything they do at Van including attendance interventions, mental health counseling, community service opportunities, and mentoring.”
The Van Buren Alumni Alliance asks the community to join them alongside their partners, Commonpoint Queens, and People’s Bank as they help their neighbors far and wide travel the world from their kitchen.
Copies of the eCookbook are available at www.mvbhsaa.com.
Interested corporate partners can contact Steve Wilson at [email protected]
More About Commonpoint Queens
Commonpoint Queens is a social services organization that meets the diverse and evolving needs in the borough of Queens —a place where people of all ages and backgrounds come together to find support, access opportunities, and build connections to the community throughout their lives. To learn more, go to www.commonpointqueens.org.