WHO WE ARE
Compassion Coalition is an entrepreneurial-based, innovative nonprofit located in Central New York. We focus on community-based giving, meeting needs as they arise. This means our giving is different from year to year, as the needs of the community change.
We are funded by our grocery store, Your Bargain Grocer, which allows us to be self-sustaining, which allows our giving to be fluid. This means we do not rely on grants and are able to meet needs that would otherwise not be met in our community. We partner with our area’s nonprofits to help them succeed and meet the needs of the community.
Compassion Coalition has given more than $20 million in donated goods per year to over 350,000 individuals through mattress giveaways, furniture, school supplies, snacks and much more.
For 18 years, Compassion Coalition has been considered one of the top non-profit agencies in Utica and Central NY. Every political and social influencer has praised Compassion Coalition for its innovative approach to help those most vulnerable in the community. Since 1999 Compassion Coalition has donated well over $20 Million in products on a yearly basis. Additionally, in 2016 it served over 300,000 individuals all doing this with one of the lowest donation to expense ratio. Currently, Compassion Coalition can boast that .96 cents out of every $1 will go back to the community. Today, Compassion Coalition is an international organization headquartered in Utica NY and although their services can be seen in different nations its main priority is still serving its community.
The beginnings of Compassion Coalition can be broken down into three segments that are foundations for its incredible progress.
In 1997 as the city began to recover from 10 years of financial recession brought about by the closure of the military base in Rome NY, it began to see new life in the city. However, even as there were signs of recovery in the city there was still an unease that was felt. The years of recession had left scars on the once vibrant city. Many were still struggling to subsist. It was during this time that the founder Mike Servello Sr really began to see. As a pastor of a large congregation, he understood the biblical mandate of providing for the needy but it was during this time that he really began to embrace the city and in embracing the city he was able to clearly see the need.
Accurately Assess The Need.
As eyes were opened it was evident that the city needed a new approach to helping those in need. Even though the city was on the road to recovery from recession there were many who were still without the basic necessities. Many in the community were still going hungry at night. Compassion Coalition discovered that many children in our city were subsisting on one meal a day. At first, this seemed incredible that in our society with the welfare programs that are available in the US that there were children and seniors who were hungry. Assessment led to seeing that government programs could only provide a certain amount however it could not completely cover the needs.
Provision For The Vision.
In 1999, Compassion Coalition formally organized into a non-profit and created an organizational vision. One of the components of that vision was to have a central warehouse facility that could receive and then send goods and food products to those that were in need. Although the vision was clear it still had a long way to go in terms of finding resources for the vision. Providentially, a local businessman hearing of the vision decided to donate a fully functioning 30,000 sq ft warehouse facility at 509 Lafayette St in Utica NY. Upon receiving this incredible gift Compassion was challenged again because now that a building was received it needed products to distribute. Compassion and its board and other associated business leaders began to reach out to corporations and businesses in the area. One of the first corporate sponsors was Walmart and they began to send tractor-trailers full of products and goods. What was once an empty warehouse has become a hub of products and goods that have been distributing locally, regionally and internationally.
What seemed like an immense space in 1999 has now been outgrown as the operations of Compassion Coalition have grown exponentially. Compassion is currently in the process of expanding, acquiring and moving operations to a larger facility. This will facilitate a better flow of products and the addition of new innovative services to reach the community locally and abroad.
MISSION AND VISION
At Compassion Coalition, it is our mission to serve the underprivileged, the needy, the poor, the afflicted and those lacking opportunity and basic life necessities such as affordable food, clothing, housing, transportation, employment and finances. We will work locally, regionally,
nationally and globally as needed to accomplish our mission with partners in the public, private, and faith-based organizational communities.
We envision a world without poverty, without need, and without injustice. We will strive to promote and create a world of abundance, prosperity, full-life, opportunity, equality, justice and safety for all that we have the privilege of serving.