Editor’s notice: This profile is certainly one of a sequence of tales about Staten Island ladies who’ve gone above and past throughout the coronavirus pandemic. They’re ladies who’ve been vital in conserving important capabilities working because the well being disaster grips our neighborhood, our metropolis and our nation. The Staten Island Advance/SILive.com is proud to dedicate its annual Ladies of Achievement program, established in 1964 and celebrated yearly since, to those native heroes; we are calling it Staten Island Women of Achievement 2020 – The Front Line. Congratulations to this 2020 Girl of Achievement: Antoinnette Donegan.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — It was initially of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, when Antoinnette Donegan acquired a name that meals had been donated to Central Household Life Middle to be delivered to North Shore households in want.
Like many individuals throughout Staten Island on the peak of the pandemic, Donegan was spending most of her time at residence to assist curb the unfold of the coronavirus. However the 60-year-old Mariners Harbor resident, who’s the neighborhood coordinator of Central Family Life Center and affiliate minister at First Central Baptist Church, Stapleton, rapidly sprang into motion.
She spoke with Rev. Dr. Demetrius Carolina Sr. — the pastor of the church and govt director of the middle — to develop a supply plan to senior residents in want throughout the North Shore.
“Any individual mentioned they’d donated meals or some bins,” Donegan mentioned. “I mentioned, ‘Okay Pastor, I’m coming to the Life Middle, give me an inventory of who I’m delivering to,’ and I had been in quarantine myself. I made a few calls and I went to Cassidy Place [NYCHA Cassidy/Lafayette Senior Center] and I delivered a few meals.”
And she or he made certain to make the supply course of as protected and seamless as potential at NYCHA and a number of other senior services throughout the North Shore — making contactless deliveries to residents.
“I had a lot enjoyable delivering these meals with my face masks on and my gloves on, and delivering these meals to their entrance door,” she mentioned. “After I say I had enjoyable, it was the very best afternoon. I used to be drained, I used to be exhausted, however it was the very best exhausted I had. And that’s how outreach goes for me. I can be drained, simply exhausted… however then I take into consideration why I’m exhausted. It brings me pleasure.”
NORTH SHORE’S ‘POINT PERSON’
Donegan has lengthy been generally known as the “level individual” within the North Shore neighborhood. She identifies new neighborhood teams and public or personal initiatives to construct relationships, manages neighborhood partnerships, and organizes occasions.
She serves as a mentor by offering data to the neighborhood and inspiring residents to handle their well being and well-being. Donegan hosts a quarterly Ladies’s Empowerment Tea with visitor audio system, treats and giveaways. She additionally provides packages and occasions round matters of home violence, breast most cancers consciousness and HIV/AIDS.
Extra lately, she has taken on the function of program supervisor of the Take a look at and Hint Corps by means of NYC Well being and Hospitals at Central Life Household Middle, as a part of a grant given to a number of community-based organizations citywide.
Donegan defined that her crew at Central Household Life Middle is targeted within the Stapleton space, however has been going wherever it’s wanted, particularly throughout COVID-19.
“I’ve been organizing our crew and reaching out to the place we’re wanted to the NYCHA homes. We’ve made certain we’ve had cell testing [for the coronavirus] on the Life Middle at the very least twice. I reached out to Northwell, which is Staten Island College Hospital (SIUH), to ensure we had flu pictures within the Stapleton neighborhood as a result of, as you realize, there is no such thing as a main drug retailer in that space,” she mentioned.
A flu shot clinic occasion has already been held on the Central Household Life Middle, and Donegan is planning to host a second one at a well being and wellness occasion with companions in the neighborhood.
“That’s what I form of do, we attain out, we coordinate with completely different companions, in order that the neighborhood can have completely different sources in a single place,” Donegan mentioned.
After Central Household Life Middle acquired a grant to be a part of the town’s Take a look at and Hint Corps to supply training and outreach in the neighborhood, Donegan was named this system supervisor. She is answerable for internet hosting city corridor conferences, taking part in outreach efforts and hanging posters inside the neighborhood.
“I’m obsessed with our well being in the neighborhood, so it’s a blessing,” she mentioned. “It’s not prefer it’s simple work, however it’s a blessing. And it was a blessing to rent individuals in the neighborhood to do the work… and to service the neighborhood.”
PARTNERSHIP WITH NYPD
She additionally coordinates and promotes anti-gun violence workshops and pro-social occasions, the place neighborhood stakeholders and businesses associate to speak and ship companies to focused neighborhoods.
Donegan acts as a liaison between the neighborhood and the NYPD, making calls to the division’s Group Affairs crew when members of the True 2 Life program plan or participate in an occasion.
True 2 Life — part of the town’s Disaster Administration System (CMS) and Treatment Violence Motion and a program at Central Household Life Middle — works year-round to resolve potentially violent disputes, whereas educating youth about their financial environment, the historical past of their neighborhood and the potential to interrupt the cycle of crime and poverty.
In October, Donegan took half in a True 2 Life peace occasion, offering private protecting gear (PPE) like face masks and hand sanitizer, in addition to a farmer’s market-style desk with vegetables and fruit.
“I put gloves on and I served the neighborhood, as a result of that’s the best way the fruit market does it,” she mentioned. “And to stop the unfold, I simply ask them what they need and I give it to them so I can be sure that everybody stays protected. I discover that Stapleton and New Brighton are in a health-food desert. There’s no place to purchase these wholesome vegetables and fruit for an affordable price, or in any respect. In order that they have been very appreciative. Not solely do they get PPE, not solely do they get details about COVID, however they get vegetables and fruit for the time that we do these occasions.”
‘TIRED OF THE PANDEMIC’
Donegan mentioned one of many largest challenges throughout the pandemic has been getting the neighborhood to comprehend it’s not enterprise as typical. The middle and church have been devoted to handing out PPE as a result of nobody is carrying a masks, she mentioned.
“That’s disheartening as our neighborhood of shade, and that’s black and brown, who’s hit the toughest. And that’s why we got the grant [for Test and Trace], to service these which might be challenged financially and challenged health-wise …,” Donegan defined. “They’re bored with the pandemic. They’re bored with the violence. They’re bored with their life-style. They’re bored with being poor. They’re bored with all that. This pandemic is only one thing more that’s beating them on the pinnacle.”
That’s why initiatives inside the heart are so vital, as a result of it offers the neighborhood pleasure, Donegan mentioned.
“That’s why I mentioned I don’t thoughts coming residence drained, as a result of there are such a lot of issues that these communities must struggle,” she mentioned.