Linking Thousands of Human Service Agencies

Omega Service Week:  Retreat Heaven

Omega Institute in Rhinebeck played host to 24 nonprofits representing a broad spectrum of social issues on local, statewide, national, and global levels during its 4th Annual Service Week, May 26th through May 30th.   Omega’s Service Week Grants provide recipient organizations with a fully-supported planning retreat and includes free room and board and use of all the facilities at Omega’s 195-acre Rhinebeck campus. Recipient nonprofits can tailor their time to their needs, using it for anything from strategic planning to team-building activities.

“As a nonprofit, the philosophy of service has been at the heart of Omega’s work in the world for 30 years. Now more than ever, service based organizations are in desperate need of support to strengthen and nurture their ability to thrive in the future,” said Carla Goldstein, Director of External Affairs at Omega Institute.

This year’s recipients included such organizations as Anderson Center for Autism, Cornell University Cooperative Extension Ulster County, Human Rights Watch, the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division, NPower, Queens Community House, Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO), Sustainable South Bronx and The Astor Home for Children.

Omega also partnered with the Council of Community Services of New York State, Inc. and the Support Center for Nonprofit Management to provide organizational development expertise in an onsite Nonprofit Wellness Clinic for grant recipients.

NPower brought sixteen of its senior and middle managers to explore a variety of strategic planning and organizational issues.  “We as an organization are undergoing a tremendous amount of change,” says CEO Barbara Chang. “We took over the leadership role of the national NPower network about nine months ago.”

Queens Community House used its grant to run a retreat for its Senior Staff who manage its various major programs.   “We have doubled in size in the last five years; we are in the midst of an executive transition and we just changed our name.  We have a lot going on,” says Irma Rodriguez, Executive Director Designate.

“The place was gorgeous,” Rodriguez continues.  “it was wonderful to go someplace like that and just feel nurtured.”  In fact, the experience helped shape Queens Community House’s approach to its own agency-wide Staff Development Day a few weeks later.  “In the afternoon we had these local health and wellness folks come and offer classes.  It went over really great with staff.”

For information on the ‘Omega In Service’ grant program visit or contacting Marta Szabo, at 845.266.4444, ext. 229.

Photos: Courtesy of Omega Institute.