Rhinebeck Responds experienced a remarkable outpouring of community generosity

Rhinebeck Responds experienced a remarkable outpouring of community generosity

Over the last three weeks, Rhinebeck Responds experienced a remarkable outpouring of community generosity.

Friends and neighbors, long time residents and families who just arrived all stepped up and joined “a deliberate act of kindness.”  

Those are the words Terri Hall brought to our collective vocabulary as she was asking for your support

Those hundreds of “acts of kindness” far exceeded our greatest expectations.

Our two primary fundraising efforts raised more than  $80,000.

A birdhouse auction and a $10,000 challenge. 

The wonderful birdhouse auction, supported by 22 artists, grossed over $28,000. Support from renowned actors and artists, especially Hilarie Bruton, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Paul Rudd and Griffin Dunne helped the bids to soar.

As the auction was unfolding, a group of ultra-generous neighbors decided to “just click the donate button” to add another $15,700 to the Small Business Support Fund.

Combined, the auction and those additional gifts will support at least three more rounds of small business grants.

Since our business grant program launched in July, we have delivered 23 grants and more than $85,000 in sustaining support to local business owners and arts groups.

As that was happening…. We took a pretty big risk by launching a second fund raising effort, this one aimed at matching a $10,000 challenge grant from the Thompson Trust.

And it worked.

Over two weeks ending on Labor Day, 99 donors contributed $19,400, nearly double our initial goal.

Plus, in the final days of this drive, our most generous supporter, Illiana van Meeteren, decided to send us a check for $10,000 (just, she said, “to make sure we would reach our goal”).

With the check from Illiana and the match from the Thompson Trust, this part of our summer effort raised $39,408 in support of our most vulnerable Rhinebeck neighbors.

What can you say in the face of this bounty of kindness?

Author Lesa Cline-Ransome captured our feeling in the wonderful video she created as part of our campaign to meet Thompson Trust challenge grant. Rhinebeck, she said, “is a small town with a big heart.”

You showed she was right.

From all of us at Rhinebeck Responds… thank you.

Love to all. Be safe.



Martha Honey, Director of the Small Business Support Program
Sarah Rosenthal, Director of Support for Vulnerable Families and Individuals
Debra Pemstein, our fundraising coordinator
David Weiner, our volunteer coordinator
CJ DeGennaro, our webmaster
Mark Fuerst, chair of the Steering Committee

P. S. If you did not have a chance to join this outpouring of community generosity, just click this button to reach the Donate page at Rhinebeck Responds where you can join the celebration.

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