SJC Long Island’s Director of Campus Ministry Cristian Murphy ’14 will be honored this month by Wyandanch Homes and Property Development Corporation (WHPDC) during their event “Celebrating Our Heroes: A Salute to Community Volunteers.”
WHPDC, a nonprofit organization providing affordable rental homes to low-income homeless families in Suffolk County, will host the fundraising event virtually Thursday, May 12, at 11 a.m., to honor and celebrate volunteers who have made a difference to the families they help support. Tickets cost $50, which includes a raffle entry, with the proceeds going to benefit WHPDC’s mission.
Helping the Homeless
Murphy has helped benefit the mission of WHPDC for nearly nine years, first in his role as a student at St. Joseph’s College and more recently during his nearly five years as director of Campus Ministry.
“Being honored in any capacity is exciting and wonderful, but to be honored by WHPDC is truly a high honor because the team over there holds a special place in my heart, and I have so much respect for them and what they do,” Murphy said. “To be recognized by them as someone who matters to them and to recognize not just my connection but our collective efforts means that the respect is mutual, and it’s wonderful.”
“The Thanksgiving turkey donations provide food to all the families helped by WHPDC, and the Christmas gift requests we send out each year are specific to each family in the WHPDC program,” explained Murphy, who was heavily involved in SJC’s Campus Ministry as a student.
The College’s connection to WHPDC dates back more than 20 years, thanks in part to Peter Barnett, a former professor of religious studies at SJC, who previously served as executive director of WHPDC.
“It’s so important that we have this connection because it has deep roots, and the work we do for and with them directly helps families in need,” Murphy said. “We see these families, we meet them, we can and have connected with them. It is with that energy and connection that I feel something special between our community and theirs.”