There are people in the Valley Stream and neighboring communities who do good deeds each day, not for recognition or praise, but because it’s the right thing to do. Many of these people go unrecognized — not that they mind — but the Valley Stream Presbyterian Church wanted to make sure a few of them received some attention at a recent gathering.
Rev. Kymberley Clemons “KC” Jones, who is in her fourth year a pastor of the Presbyterian church, started recognizing members of the parish and community upon her arrival. This year, the church hosted a Family and Friends Day on Nov. 18 to honor the recipients.
“We have great people in the community and in the church that do awesome work and I just feel like they need to be recognized,” she said.
Jones and eight church elders selected four groups and individuals to be honored during the ceremony — Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt, Deacon Dorothy Ramsay, Elder Delorese Gordon and Envision Valley Stream President David Sabatino.
“I really appreciate them honoring me because this is something that tells me I am really a member of the church and I’m on the right track,” said Gordon, a Laurelton resident. She has been a member of the church for 10 years and an elder for eight.
Ramsay has been a member of the church for more than 12 years and is responsible for overseeing the food donations. Jones said Ramsay never has a discouraging word and is always willing to tackle the next project. “We need people who are willing and able to take the bull by the horns and do it,” Jones said of Ramsay.
Memorial Presbyterian Church has gotten involved with the W.A.N.T.E.D. program, which Jones created for black and Hispanic boys, ages 12 to 18. The meetings at the church feature speakers who say they sympathize with the struggles of young men of color and that they are W.A.N.T.E.D — worthy, accountable, named, thankful, empowered and determined.
According to Jones, Memorial has helped fund the program, so this was her way of returning the favor. Jones invited graduates of the program to attend the ceremony so they could meet the people who help keep the program going. Also, Memorial will start its own W.A.N.T.E.D. program in September, Jones said.
Sabatino found out in September that he and Envision Valley Stream were being honored and said he was completely shocked and flattered. “I don’t look for these things or expect these things,” he said, “but when people out of the goodness of their heart do something like this, it’s very flattering.”
In the future, Sabatino said, he would like to partner with the church to provide volunteer opportunities in the community. He added that a relationship between church and community group is not conventional, but it’s important to build a community feeling.
“You can’t go anywhere in Valley Stream without hearing the good things that Envision Valley Stream is doing in the community,” Jones said. “I just felt that they’re a group that is up and coming and is still fairly young in the community, that is doing such great work in the community and we should encourage them to keep going.”
Sabatino, who was accompanied by his wife, Sarah, and other members of Envision at the ceremony, said they’re still working hard to see their goals come to fruition. Jones is excited to see what Envision accomplishes next and added that all of the recipients make the community a better place to live.
“We’re just excited about what and who Valley Stream is,” Jones said on behalf of the church. “It’s an awesome community.”