YORKTOWN, N.Y. - My Brother Vinny, a Yorktown-based non-profit organization, continued to “help mankind one good deed at a time” Sunday, April 30, with the return of its annual fundraising walk at FDR Park. At the walk, hundreds came out to enjoy music, food, games and good company.
For the past four years, My Brother Vinny, a Yorktown-based charitable organization founded by Paula Miritello, has been responding to the needs of former enlisted men and women by bringing furniture and housewares to formerly homeless veterans.
Shortly after the walk, state Sen. Terrence Murphy honored Miritello's volunteer work by presenting her with the New York State Senate 2017 Woman of Distinction Award. The award is given to outstanding women living and working in New York State whose contributions have greatly enriched the quality of life in their communities.
“My Brother Vinny has done an incredible job in helping veterans restart their lives,” Murphy said. “There are men and women who fought for this country, left V.A. hospitals or were discharged from the service and have found themselves without a bed to sleep in or pots to cook with until Paula came along. When it comes to giving, Paula is in a class by herself. She works full-time, then donates her time to bring furniture and supplies to veterans who may have little for themselves, other than an empty apartment. Her generosity has helped turn a lot of lives around.”
Miritello thanked Murphy for the honor.
“I feel fortunate to have the support of a dedicated group of volunteers who are always willing to go the extra mile so a vet can have a bed to sleep in or a lamp to read by,” Miritello said. “Seeing the smile on a vet's face when our van pulls up makes it all worthwhile.”
My Brother Vinny fills a void left by the federal government, social services and others. All of the veterans it assists come from many different branches of military service with varying degrees of disabilities and hardships.
Miritello's has her own army of volunteers (many of whom were helped by My Brother Vinny) who pick up and deliver the beds, couches, tables, dressers, chairs, dishes and household items. Much of the furniture she and her crews deliver comes from hotels undergoing renovations or movie sets. All of the items donated to My Brother Vinny are in pristine condition and are stored in weatherproof units until they are ready to be delivered.
Information in this article was provided by Sen. Terrence Murphy's Office.
All photos were taken by Tabitha Pearson Marshall.