“Let the children laugh and join with the wind of God.”
Catherine Smith, known affectionately as “Sister Cathy,” is the founding director of the Children of Hope mission on Long Island, NY. At present, the mission focuses on neglected and abandoned children who have become all too acquainted with hunger, sickness and fear.
Sister Cathy began her ministry many years ago in her own local community of Amityville, NY, where she saw a great need to demonstrate Christian love by feeding the residents of the community from her station wagon. She would prepare large quantities of soup and sandwiches and distribute them to the destitute and hungry, as well as to those afflicted with alcoholism and drug addiction. She would provide clothing and food provisions door-to-door and to “Welfare motels,” turning no one away. In later years, her ministry expanded to the Wyandanch area, where she received support from area churches, including the Upper Room Christian Church. At this time, Sister Cathy turned her focus to helping children, which is the primary aim of her outreach today. For the past 20 years she has provided a ministry of compassion to children who have become the innocent victims of poverty; broken and dysfunctional homes; physical and mental illness; or any situation that has caused them suffering.
At various points in her ministry, Sister Cathy’s compassion has also been extended children of the inner city neighborhoods of New York through her affiliation with the Fresh Air Fund, as she has provided enriching summer camp experiences for children who spend most of their time surrounded by asphalt, brick and smog.
All those who have been touched by Sister Cathy’s generosity hold her in high esteem. and she has also received public commendations by numerous civic and religious organizations and leaders for her humanitarian work. Among those who have honored Sister Cathy are:
* Suffolk County Executive, Robert J. Gaffney (1996)
* The Ronald McDonald House of New York (1997)
* Wyandanch Board of Education (1999)
* The Day Rehab of North Suffolk Center
* The National Association of Negro Business & Prof. Women’s Clubs (2000)
* Wyandanch Progressive Civic Association (2001)
* Madonna Heights Services (2002)
* Newsday (2004)
* Macedonia SDA Church (2009)
* Town of Babylon Supervisor, Richard H. Schaffer (2012)
* Reggie Mays – Computer Business Center
* Mildred Floyd – Project Redirect, Inc.
* Mark S. Demopoulos – Valde Ice Cream Corp.
* Dr. John G. Cottone – Clinical Psychologist