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On Friday, February 6, 2009, the Yorktown Congress of Teachers made a contribution of $10,000 to three important local charities. The union donated $5,000 to Yorktown Community Help (the Food Pantry), $3,000 to the Support Connection (a local organization which assists individuals and families affected by breast and ovarian cancer), and $2,000 to Beaver Farm Conference Center (another local charitable organization).


YCT president Bob Faigle pointed out that the current recession which is gripping the country has had severe consequences locally as well as nationally. Layoffs have spread from the financial sector to all areas of business, home foreclosures are at record levels, and even people with jobs which were once considered totally solid now face the frightening prospect of unemployment or underemployment. New York’s northern suburbs are no longer the impregnable bastions of affluence that they once were believed to be. “As problems have spread from Wall Street to Main Street,” Faigle said, “it’s critical that those of us who can afford to do so make every effort to help our neighbors.”


The teachers’ union has consistently taken a leadership role in community service. In addition to the contributions announced on February 6, the YCT has made many other donations. The teachers, last year, gave $3,000 to a Yorktown woman whose daughter passed away last year; donated $2,050 to the Maria Ferari Children’s Hospital at the Westchester Medical Center; and collected 2,000 lbs. of food which it contributed to the food pantry. Working with Raymond Optical, the union participates in a program to provide free eyeglasses for local children who might not otherwise be able to afford them.


As has been the case for many years, the Yorktown Congress of Teachers has awarded four $1,000 scholarships to Yorktown High School seniors who are going on to college. The organization, each year, also provides internships for seniors who gain academic credit for learning about the workings of labor and professional organizations and participating in the union’s community-service efforts. The YCT also sponsors a number of “dress down days” to provide funds for philanthropic purposes, and generally fields large contingents of members for various walkathons and other activities aimed at raising both funds and public awareness.


Last year’s cash contributions by the YCT exceeded $15,000. Union President Faigle predicts that this year’s total will be even higher. “By the nature of their work,” he said, “teachers are always involved in community service. But at this critical time, all professional people and all caring organizations must make a special effort to expand their work in giving back to the community.”





Recently, the Yorktown Congress of Teachers and Raymond Opticians entered into a partnership that should be of benefit to many children in the Yorktown Central School District.


Children in financial need who are students in the Yorktown district may receive an eye examination and a set of prescription lenses and frames free of charge.     

The student must be recommended by his or her school nurse and co-sponsored by a YCT representative who works in the school building in which the student is enrolled. 


Any parent or guardian who believes that his or her child might be eligible should contact the school nurse at that child's building.  If it is determined that the child is eligible, the school nurse and a YCT representative will sign a form which will be given to the student to take to Raymond Opticians. 

The student should be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and should call in advance for an appointment.


Raymond Opticians has been providing vision care since 1959 at 18 locations throughout the Hudson Valley.  The most convenient locations for Yorktown residents would be the Jefferson Valley branch at 3656 Lee Road (tel. 914-245-1222) and the branch at the Arcadian Shopping Center in Ossining (Tel. 914-762-2800).  For further information or other locations, see   YCT President Bob Faigle has praised Raymond Opticians for its generosity and community spirit in spearheading this program.  Educators are critically aware,he said, of the importance of good vision to a child's success in school.  We are also aware that even in our relatively affluent community, financial concerns make it difficult for some families to provide their children optimal vision care.  Members of the Yorktown Congress of Teachers feel that that this program is a real service to the community, and we are happy to help in providing screening and referrals so that the program can go forward.




On December 14, the Yorktown Congress of Teachers made a contribution of $7,000 to two important local charities.  Of that amount $5,000.00 went to Yorktown Community Help, and $2,000 went to the Beaver Farm Conference Center.  These two organizations serve the  community by providing food and clothing for needy families in the Yorktown area.

YCT President Robert Faigle pointed out that this year has been a difficult one for many charities nationwide:  “With gasoline and heating-oil prices rising dramatically, and in a climate of growing economic uncertainty,”  Faigle said, “many donors have cut back on their contributions.  It’s critical that those of us who can afford to do so make every effort to fill the gap.”

Members of the teachers’ union in Yorktown have traditionally put a great deal of time and effort into community-service activities that go above and  beyond their work in the district’s schools.   The YCT has sponsored a number of fund-raising “dress-down days” and has participated in various other activities such as “walkathons” through FDR Park to raise awareness and funds for key charitable organizations.

As part of last year’s food drive, Yorktown staffers contributed $1,189.00 and a full truckload (120 boxes, 4800 lbs.) of food to Yorktown Community Help, and donated $500 to Beaver Farm.  While this year’s contributions of food have not yet been tallied, the recent cash contributions totaling $7,000 to these two organizations is more than four times higher than last  year’s total.             

The teachers’ union has also contributed heavily to the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at the Westchester Medical Center, to the American Red Cross, and to the Support Connection, a local organization which assists individuals and families affected by breast and ovarian cancer.  Each year, the YCT awards three $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors at Yorktown High School, and sponsors student internships allowing seniors to hone their organizational skills under the mentorship of union leaders

While lasts year’s contributions to various causes by the union’s membership set a new record (of $11,806), this year’s total giving should surpass that amount by a considerable margin.   “The excellent performance by our staff in the realm of community service activities,” YCT President Faigle said, “reflects the ongoing commitment of our members not just to the school district, but to the broader community which we serve.”