A Farewell To Mike O’Neill

December 2008

Mike O’Neill, Hope for New York’s Executive Director since September 2001, will be leaving HFNY and Redeemer in December. Events such as these are always bittersweet. On the one hand, we are so sorry Mike and his family will be leaving, but we are encouraged to know the Lord is calling them to new things.
Mike, his wife, Donna and their three children, Caitlin; 6, Gemma; 4 and Declan; 2, will be moving to England at the end of December. Mike will be working with Stewardship, a Christian organization based in London. Stewardship’s mission is to support churches, missionaries and Christian organizations throughout the world. Mike will be their Director of Philanthropy and Human Resources and will be overseeing the distribution of almost $100 million a year. 
HFNY recruited Mike while he was the Executive Director of Kids With a Promise, an affiliate of HFNY. Mike started at HFNY days after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and spent much of his first six months mobilizing HFNY resources in the area of disaster relief.
In the last five years, HFNY’s donations have grown by approximately 300% and the grants they distribute have grown by approximately 425%! In 2008 alone, in the face of a significant economic downturn, HFNY increased its overall grant distribution by 30%. Mike commented, “The support of HFNY donors has made it possible to not just maintain our giving levels, but increase our giving to help offset the declining donations and increased demand for services among our affiliates. And, of course, the faithful service of thousands of HFNY volunteers maximizes the impact every dollar. Our volunteers are the face of HFNY.”
HFNY recently launched a program called, Professionals in Action (PIA). PIA seeks to mobilize volunteers with specialized skill sets to work on short-term consulting projects designed to add value to our affiliates. Volunteers have participated in marketing, IT, strategic development and other areas. This new initiative is an exciting development.
In addition to PIA, HFNY also branched out to support mercy and justice work at three other local churches. Redeemer has been encouraged to see the vision for mercy and justice flourish throughout the city—our goal has always been not to build a great church, but a great city. 
Mike also served as a member of Redeemer’s Executive Leadership Team and his participation at that level will also be missed. When asked about HFNY after his departure, Mike responded, “There are thousands of volunteers and donors with a passion for serving their neighbors, and the staff of HFNY is an extremely talented and dedicated group who will continue our amazing work. The support of Redeemer and HFNY’s board has never been stronger. As the economic situation in NYC seems headed for difficulty, I am confident that all these groups will come together with an even greater focus on caring for our city and for the city’s poor and marginalized.”

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