12 October

Update: Supporting The Mansion Project, And Afghan Refugees On The Way. An Exciting Time

by Jon Katz

Thanks to Mansion aide and friend Tania Woodward, my Mansion work has continued even though I’ve been laid up. I’ll be mobile again in a week or so and able to continue my meditation and other work in person, both at the Mansion and Bishop Maginn High School.

In the meantime, we did a lot because Tania Woodward cares a lot.

I’m asking for support for the Mansion project again, we’re down to $300, lower than I like to go.

Over the last two weeks, we purchased three Amazon Fire tablets for Mansion residents that didn’t have them (they all have them now), funded the Mansion Halloween Festival, which is going to be spectacular (again, thanks to Tania, who is a Halloween fanatic).

We sent boxes of witches’ hats, scary door posters, ghouls and monsters that light up outside at night, LED lights for the Halloween/Christmas tree, already up, and art supplies for the residents to paint their own cards and Halloween paintings and posters.

We bought 50 pumpkins to decorate the Mansion entrance hall and the residents have already painted 20 of them. We’re working on Halloween gift kits. We bought mums for inside and outside.

In addition, we sent more than $100 worth of new clothes to new residents that had none, got Fred blades, brushes, and soap so he can shave in an old-fashioned way, and about five pairs of boots and shoes. We purchased a small screen TV for a new resident who came with nothing.

On my list are blankets and sweaters as the cold weather approaches. We also funded three outings, the first outings allowed since Covid-19.

The list is longer – I leave off the small things – but any support would be appreciated. Fall is always a busy and needy time at the Mansion as the weather shifts. You can contribute easily and swiftly via Paypal, [email protected] or Venmo, [email protected]

I’d also like to distribute some gift cards to some of the Mansion aides and one or two refugee families. A new activities director has been hired, she will want some fresh art supplies and games.

I’m afraid the simplest way to do this is to send me a donation (same places) and I can get the cards and avoid all the problems we are having with authentication. I had to see donations wasted. Wal-Mart’s security rules make it difficult for people to buy the cards and authenticate them.

You can contribute via Paypal, [email protected], same on Venmo.

We are expecting hundreds of Afghan refugees coming into the Albany area, some of their children will end up at Bishop Maginn. I am told they will need help, so I’m starting to salt some money away for them. Our help will be focused on the children, their school needs, and winter clothes.

I’ve learned what we can do and what we can’t do. We do small acts of great kindness. We may also throw up a wish list or two when the refugees needs are clear.

If you are able and wish to help, and don’t like going online, you can send your donation to Jon Katz, The Mansion Fund, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

And thank you. I’m proud that our work is continuing uninterrupted. One troubled foot can’t slow us down.


  1. I’ll try to send some money, but right now I’m thinking about a brand new
    unopened Amazon Fire tablet that I’d like to find a new home for. Maybe a future resident can use it.

    1. Natalie, I don’t think it’s a good idea to accept used electronics for the Mansion residents. We’ve had bad luck setting them up and keeping them running. There is no tech support there, so if there are any problems, the thing ends up being stuffed away somewhere, with the new ones, we can set them up and they last much longer. Thanks for the thought…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email SignupFree Email Signup