by Elizabeth Nutig
It seems as if every day a new tragedy makes its way front and center on the news. More conflict, more casualties, and an increasing misunderstanding between fellow citizens of the world. In light of all this hostility comes a man with a mission and an organization whose only goal is to help anyone who needs it.
The Gullotta House’s motto is “Helping Westchester residents facing hardship,” and what founder and President, Matthew Gullotta does is exactly that. He founded the organization on the basis that anyone in any situation who needs help should be eligible for it. In just over five months since the organization was founded, The Gullotta House has raised and provided more than $8,000 for 26 different people in situations ranging from a woman needing money for a crucial neck operation, to a man who ran out of gas in the middle of the road, to a prospective Olympian who couldn’t afford her training, to just providing food for a hungry family for a day. There are no requirements to be eligible for help from The Gullotta House; only a legitimate situation explained in an email will make any Westchester resident eligible for assistance.
The organization started as a tribute to Gullotta’s own experience in a time of need. In 1974, a fire swept away much of his family’s belongings, including their home. Gullotta’s parents went to organization after organization asking for help, but they were turned away each time. The reason they were turned away: even though the family had close to nothing at the time, their income was too high the year before, so they were deemed ineligible for aid. Completely discouraged, Gullotta became determined to help anyone and everyone who needs it, without placing any relevance on income, past or present.
The organization is based in Briarcliff Manor, but runs and operates in all corners of the county. No one who works for The Gullotta House is paid; it is a completely grassroots volunteer organization. Fundraising events are frequent and include everything from an Ugly Sweater Contest to a Masquerade Gala, and, in order to ensure everyone is welcome to come to these events, donations are always suggested and never mandatory.
According to Gullotta, these fundraising events are designed to hone in on an integral part of the overall theme of the organization: an incredible community coming together to support residents in need. Residents rallying behind their neighbors and seeing them as equals strengthens the love of community.
“I want Gullotta House to become a household name, and for people to know that there is an organization out there that is compassionate and here to help in any time of trouble,” Gullotta said.
If you want any type of assistance from The Gullotta House, or want to volunteer, please visit www.gullottahouse.org.