The organization is a 501C3 non-profit organization. The mission of Bill's Brigade is to support families in crisis. Crisis can be defined in a myriad of ways, but our agency is focused on supporting families when everything feels like it's "falling apart."
Whether it's the loss of a loved one and a family navigating their way through grief, a family member in the midst of medical treatment from cancer or another devastating disease, or a family reeling from a catastrophic event, Bill's Brigade aims to remove the day-day tasks of running and maintaining a household. The goal is to allow the family to concentrate solely on the crisis at hand.
Qualifying events include: the loss of a loved one within a family's household, a critical illness within a family's household, and/or major loss of a home due to fire or other natural disaster.
*For families who believe to have another qualifying event, we will review the request on a case-case basis.
Our mission will be accomplished utilizing a team of volunteers, first identified within the families immediate circle of friends and family. Bill's Brigade will fill in the gaps when their circle has been exhausted or if there is no support at all. We will offer support within these four service areas:
Bill's Brigade will offer all services for a total of 12 weeks per family and can be used at anytime within a one year period.
1. Errands and/or grocery shopping
Bill's Brigade will physically shop for, deliver, and put away the groceries. We will also use supermarket and restaurant gift cards to use to purchase meals when there are identified volunteer gaps.
2. Coordinate a meal system to avoid duplication and overload of food
Utiizing an online system such as care calendar/meal train, we will organize meal delivery system using first from the friends and family members of the family in need. We will then find volunteers when the friends and family members have been exhausted or no support is in place. A coordination of meals will avoid duplication of food offerings and overload of food on any given day/week. Over time, we aim to find a NYS health department certified kitchen to use to also prepare and deliver meals to supplement what the friends and families will offer.
3. Small home repair/handy-man services
Utilizing volunteers who are professionals in the construction/carpentry trade, we will provide services to alleviate a "punch list" of household items to complete. Small home repairs may include fixing a leaking sink, repairing holes in the wall, replacing appliances, snow removal, lawn mowing, etc... We will also offer home organization services to allow the families a more streamlined flow of the household and ease their remaining day-day tasks.
4. House cleaning
After exhausting the family members/friends we will utilizing teen volunteers with an adult supervisor and provide cleaning services within the home on an as-needed basis.
Social services/insurance navigation support referrals will also be offered for families with financial support needs.
The ethos of Bill's Brigade is enveloped in a belief that a community comes together to support a family in need. We aim to avoid duplication by partnering with other agencies who offer services we do not why offering services that no one yet provides to fill a needed gap and allow families a breather during their most difficult moment/s.
Bill Leahey was a husband, father, son and friend to many. He embodied community support and "giving back." Never shy to take on a project to help a friend, his heart was as wide as his smile. In February 2015, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and within 10 days he passed away. His spirit of helping others was the inspiration behind Bill's Brigade.
In Sue's words:
During those 10 days and the weeks that followed, my three children (at the time ages 14, 10 and 6) and I were cared for by a loving group of family and friends at a time when we couldn't find our way to function on our own. I have often referred to that time as the "fog" phase. Simple tasks such as dressing, making lunches and getting the kids off to school seemed insurmountable. Friends and family grocery shopped, plowed my driveway, then mowed my lawn, cleaned my house, did my laundry, along with a myriad of small home repairs. I was truly blessed.
However, at some point people have to return to their lives and natural most of that support coms to an end. But then what? I distinctly remember trying to navigate a weed whacker and after several failed attempts, I tossed it to the ground in tears. I had friends I could have called in that moment who would have taken care of it, but I couldn't make the call. I didn't want to ask another favor of a friend.
Asking friends and family for help can feel too hard and because I don't think that feeling was unique to me is why Bill's Brigade exists. It would have been easier for me to call a non-profit for help than my friends.
At that time I needed my friends and family for one very important job; to be a should to lean on for me and my kids.
Bill's Brigade will allow your friends and family to do the important work to help you. Let us take care of the rest.