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Nonprofit Report: Mercy Bridges

A Weekly Profile of a Local Nonprofit Organization

Mercy Bridges, a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, provides adults, including immigrants and refugees regardless of religious affiliation, basic literacy education and English as a second language, with compassion and acceptance, in collaboration with the Greater Rochester community.

Mercy Bridges started in August 2006 as a Jubilee ministry in celebration of 150 years of service of the Sisters of Mercy in Rochester. The ministry was the brainchild of Sister Nancy Whitley who was deeply moved by the great need for literacy in Rochester, where the illiteracy rate in some parts of the city is as high as 37 percent. 

Since 2006, Mercy Bridges has tutored more than 569 learners representing a wide array of occupations, from 56 different countries and representing 49 languages. Currently there are 53 learners and 51 trained tutors. Training of new tutors continues, to accommodate the many learners in search of a new chapter in their lives.

Among the many successes for learners are several people who earned their U.S. citizenship, a Mercy Center employee who received a promotion through her great proficiency in English and many learners reading to their children for the first time. Mercy Bridges provides a bridge to a new chapter in the lives of adult learners and offers new opportunities for the lives of those it serves.

One of Mercy Bridges’ substantial undertakings in the past two years has been the Field of Honor, which is an annual tribute to members of the military, first responders and emergency personnel. The most recent ceremony, in September 2016, in which 220 flags flew on the grounds of Mercy Center, resulted in social and financial capital for Mercy Bridges in addition to honoring those who serve.

Mercy Bridges is located at 1437 Blossom Road in Brighton, on the campus of Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women and Mercy Center. Co-directors are Sister Dolores Ann Stein and Sister Katherine Ann Rappl, and there is one paid employee. Mercy Bridges’ website is mercybridges.org.

Financial record    Year ended June 30, 2016
Revenue        %
Sisters of Mercy subsidy    $71,500    65
Donations    20,196    18
Field of Honor donations    17,285    16
Other restricted donations    1,185    1
Grants     500    less than 1
Total revenue    $110,666     

Expenses        %
Contributed services    $61,500    58
Salaries (lay)    37,035    35
Field of Honor    5,147    5
Programs    1,865    2
Office supplies    633    less than 1
Total expenses    $106,180     
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses    $4,486

Advisory Board
Sister Connie Derby, chairperson
Rev. Robert Bourcy
Jack Clarcq
Vilma Goetting
Diane Kannel
Dorothy Pecoraro
Sister Katherine Ann Rappl
Sister Dolores Ann Stein
Bharate Verma

If you are interested in having your group featured in the
Nonprofit Report, please contact Rochester Business Journal
at (585) 546-8303, ext. 114, or email walden@rbj.net.

1/20/2017 (c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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