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Sheehan Family Companies Gift Will Support Youth Services

By Henry Street Settlement

Kymani Morrison(left) & Toddrick Brockington

The Youth Opportunity Hub—a beneficiary of the Sheehan Family Companies gift—helped Kymani Morrison, left, develop a more hopeful outlook toward the future, with guidance from his Mentoring and Nurturing (M.A.N.) mentor, Toddrick Brockington.


Henry Street Settlement has received a transformative gift—one of the largest in its history—a combined donation from Union Beer Distributors, a division of The Sheehan Family Companies, matched by a generous donor, for a total of $4.8 million over three years.

These extraordinary donations will enable Henry Street to strengthen its programming for young people ages zero to 24 at a time when the agency’s low-income, vulnerable youth participants have faced disproportionate and devastating mental health, educational, and economic effects from the pandemic.

The Sheehan Family Companies have donated more than $25 million to nonprofits over the past 10 years, largely focused on nurturing childhood development and environmental conservation. Henry Street’s wraparound services to address the complex academic and family needs of our youth participants was a perfect fit.

“In the academic realm,” explains David Garza, Henry Street president & CEO, “low-income children have suffered profoundly from limited access to technology and school-based supports during the pandemic and from a multitude of psychological stressors stemming from social isolation, precarious housing situations, abuse or proximity to violence, and family unemployment.”

“Our continuum of programming addresses the effects of poverty, limited educational opportunity, racial disparities, violence, mental health challenges, and environmental stressors—all of which have been deeply exacerbated by COVID-19,” Garza says. “The Sheehan Family Companies have a rare understanding of the resources needed to bring out the best in what it means to be a settlement house—to provide integrated services to young people across multiple dimensions of their lives.”

Funds from these grants are supporting a wide range of youth and family programs, including early childhood education, the Expanded Horizons College Success program, mental health care, youth services in three family shelters, athletics, a parent support center, free arts classes for New York City public housing residents, and afterschool and summer camp, all in the context of economic and emotional recovery from the COVID crisis.

Among the key programs that will be touched by this funding is the Lower East Side Youth Opportunity Hub, a program for young people ages 14-24 who have struggled with education, employment, or mental health issues.

“There are few better ways to invest in our future than that of supporting the children of our communities,”’ said Gerald Sheehan, chairman of The Sheehan Family Companies.

One participant, Kymani Morrison, 18, says that his involvement in the Hub, and specifically its Mentoring and Nurturing program for young men, helped him overcome his negative thoughts about the future and avoid the arduous effects of peer pressure. One of eight children raised by a single mother, Kymani was at considerable risk of dropping out of high school. With continual guidance from his Henry Street mentor, he graduated in spring 2021 and is working two jobs, seeking financial stability before enrolling in college.

This funding has provided core support for key initiatives and specific COVID-related programming, funding social workers and mental health professionals throughout Henry Street’s youth development programs; activity and enrichment specialists and teaching artists in our afterschool and arts programs; safety equipment and technology for our youth community centers; and college preparation and support.

“There are few better ways to invest in our future than that of supporting the children of our communities,”’ said Gerald Sheehan, chairman of The Sheehan Family Companies. “We are proud to assist Henry Street Settlement as they provide exceptional support services and opportunities that empower youths to realize their full potential.”

About The Sheehan Family Companies (SFC)

The Sheehan Family Companies are a diversified network of beverage sales and distribution organizations with expertise in brand development, marketing, logistics, and customer service. They represent a wide array of the world’s finest breweries, wineries, distilleries, and non-alcoholic beverages. Through five generations of family ownership and over 120 years in business, SFC has grown to be one of America’s largest beverage wholesalers, providing dynamic leadership and innovation to the marketplace. Since their founding in 1898–five years after Henry Street Settlement, SFC has prioritized civic responsibility and giving back to their local communities. With this in mind, SFC is honored to support their communities through charitable giving and sustainability efforts, believing they are leading by example while helping set important foundations that will provide tremendous benefits for generations to come.

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