A Match Made in Nonprofit Heaven
By Gretchen Althoff Snyder
When 5 Steps to Five (525), a non-profit parenting program for low-income, underserved families in Port Chester was in dire need of office space, little did they know at the time that another local nonprofit would come to their rescue. After several years piecing together work space, 525’s co-founders and director realized that, based upon the rapid growth of the program, they could no longer continue to house their files in several different locations (mostly their own homes). They needed a central location for all their files, as well a workspace for Director Lisa Field and recently hired Associate Director Helen Rice.
Board member Emily Hurd knew just where to advertise the need for office space – the invaluable resource known as the Rye Moms Facebook page. Sheri Jordan, Executive Director of the Rye Historical Society, saw the post, and an opportunity to help out another local nonprofit. The solution was relatively simple. The Timothy Knapp House, acquired by the Historical Society in 1992, was built in 1667 and is Westchester County’s oldest surviving house. After careful restoration of the property, the Knapp House was opened to the public in 2001 as an archival and research center. The Archives contain over 25,000 items pertaining to local history, including photographs, maps, census data, books, pamphlets and manuscripts. While Archivist Dan Marino works at the Knapp House several days a week, there is still plenty of room, so Jordan contacted Hurd to offer up the office space that 525 so desperately needed.
“This is what Rye is all about,” says Jordan, “being good neighbors and helping others in need whenever we can.” Jordan also points out, “Heightened activity at the Knapp House will hopefully increase exposure to the incredible wealth of information about Rye’s vibrant history that is right here at our fingertips.”
“Having our own office,” adds 525 co-founder Allen Clark, “is a big step forward for us for two reasons. First, we now have over 200 families enrolled in the program since we began in spring 2014, and have all sorts of records that need to be centrally filed. Second, one of our main goals for 2018 is to broaden our base of involved Rye residents and organizations. The Rye Historical Society stepping up to help us is a wonderful example of shared community outreach, as well as a vote of confidence in 5 Steps to Five.”
525 Associate Director Helen Rice with Rye Historical Society intern Matty Johnson at the Knapp House