Having moved away and lost contact with the Aisling Center in Yonkers Mary Quinn McAleer jumped at the chance to reconnect with the community and help with fundraising for the Aisling Irish Community Center.

Mary Quinn McAleer, a key member of Team Aisling, is a Team Captain and the Rockland County coordinator for the team workouts and activities.  When Team Aisling was formed early in the year, Mary jumped right on the opportunity to be a part of a team that was working to bring a community together for fun, fitness, and fundraising for the Aisling Irish Community Center.

When Mary came to the US from Dublin in 1987 she quickly became involved with the Aisling Irish Community Center’s Homeless Feeding Program.  For many years she volunteered every week to shop, make and deliver sandwiches as well as helping to coordinate the volunteers.  When she moved up to Rockland County a few years back she got involved with her family and friends in her new home there.  Being a part of Team Aisling has provided Mary with the opportunity to reconnect with the center, reconnect with old friends, and push herself to run in the Yonkers, New York Marathon, Sunday, October 21st

Mary has never done a marathon before, so she began running and training straight away.  She’s worked on recruiting members from the Rockland GAA as well as friends and neighbors from the Pearl River Area.  When asked why she wanted to do this, Mary stated “She loves the Aisling Center and all the good work they have done for the community”  “There is always a friendly face in the center” 

Mary is just up the road in Rockland but is in the area often as she and her family have many friends in the Yonkers area and they are very involved in the Gaelic Athletic Association.   She made lifelong friends through her involvement in the center and is giving back to help the community that gave so much to her when she first came to America.

Aisling Irish Community Center provides resources and a community respite to the Bronx, Yonkers, Queens and the entire tristate area. The Irish Volunteers for the Homeless program is a weekly feeding program, delivering food to the homeless at numerous locations throughout New York City. Over the years, the role of the Center has evolved into a fully-fledged social services organization catering not only to the Irish and Irish-American population but also to the community at large. Aisling Center is one of the largest Irish immigrant resource centers in the tri-state area and the main provider of services for communities of Yonkers and Woodlawn. 

Monies raised will help fund the Aisling Irish Community Center’s Mental Health Programs including; free and confidential counseling services with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Life Coach with extensive mental health experience in supporting individuals, children, families, and groups. 

The center provides an Irish arts and culture program including classes in Irish language, music, and dance; assistance with employment & accommodation; services for Senior Citizens; various classes for adults and children and weekly AA meetings.  Our educational, cultural and welfare programs/services benefit over 900 people each week.   www.aislingcenter.org

This article was submitted to the IrishCentral contributors network by a member of the global Irish community. To become an IrishCentral contributor click here.

Mary McAleer