Braving Winter Weather to Get Together!

More than 50 Friends with Lupus from East Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx Gather at Life Without Lupus Pot Luck Luncheon

Weathermen forecasted blizzard conditions for Saturday, February 6th but many travelers from the Foundation’s “lupus cooperatives” in East Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx braved the cold and snow to get to our offices in Manhattan for a special luncheon.

And from the bustle and smiles and chatter throughout our hallways, it looks like it was worth the chilly trip!

“This is our second life without lupus luncheon and what a success!” said Danielle Hall, MSW, the Foundation’s director of social services. “It is great to see everyone sharing experiences and providing encouragement to each other and their family members. People left with multiple shopping bags of great items, thanks to our numerous and generous sponsors!”


“The community family atmosphere offered a lot of warmth on such a cold winter day.
Great friends were made on Saturday!”

“People were really looking forward to this luncheon!” added Bronx Lupus Outreach Counselor, Yasmin Santiago.  

Lunch plus an abundance of donated winter clothing, canned goods, toiletries, and toys spread out on desks and draped on office chairs were wrapped up for journeys back home.

“Thank you for all that you do,” one visitor wrote to us afterwards. “My family and I really enjoyed the event, and it was very helpful leaving with items—from basic necessities like a toothbrush to fancy sweaters…it takes the burden off this single mother.”

“[As] a patient with a family who doesn’t always understand this mysterious disease,” added another in an email to Danielle, “I was able to show my family some other ‘faces’ of lupus in a fun and safe environment.”

The Foundation thanks the generous sponsors and many volunteers who donated their time and collected goods to make the luncheon such a success:

  • Cejon Accessories, Inc. our second year sponsor, donated the majority of the clothing, from warm sweaters to beautiful scarves, wool wraps, and accessories.
  • D’Agastino Supermarket and CVS Pharmacy donated gift cards.
  • Students at Long Island University ‘s School of Nursing in Brooklyn donated lotions and shower gels.
  • Tirsa Allen donated toys.
  • Unok Dana donated multiple items.

Finally, a special thank you to Gunjan Banati, her husband Ashish, and Steve Edelstein for helping with the clean-up! No small task!