Like most congregations, Trinity has been and is involved in a great many efforts to fulfill the important promises of our Baptismal Covenant like, “serving God in all persons, and respecting the dignity of every human being.” Two of these stand out, because of longevity and commitment of volunteers and financial resources, as “signature” efforts for which we are known. The other programs and activities we are involved in change over time, but these two have remained constant.
Trinity Church is alive with outreach, and Trinity Academic Achievement Program, a.k.a. TAAP, is but one example of that spirit. TAAP is a direct response to a need in the community to redirect the energies and aspirations of our youth. Although Trinity sits on the hill and is adjacent to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, members of the parish were concerned when, several years ago, negative behavior among teens resulted in several tragedies in downtown Geneva. In an effort to directly address a need in the community at large, TAAP was formed.
TAAP offers one-on-one tutoring to pupils in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, as well as to individuals in the 7th and 9th grades. Not a congregation to wring our hands when confronted with a societal problem, a group of parishioners saw a need, but saw also the hope of the future. If academic strengths could be reinforced and weaknesses addressed in the lower grades, the youth of the community would be more apt to finish high school, and go on to college or pursue a constructive vocation.
TAAP follows the local elementary school calendar. Boys and girls must be recommended by their respective principals. They are bused to the church where they are met four days each week by adult volunteers (retired teachers, nurses and current professors), as well as college students. Pupils remain on site, unless there is an excursion to cultural events downtown or onto campus, for two and one-half hours: 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. Parents retrieve their charges, or the girls and boys are bused home.
Occasionally, especially during physical activities, holy chaos is heard, or during study time, a beehive buzz can be discerned. Computers with updated material (and safety guards), a lending library, a cheerfully decorated environment, and a warm smile all make TAAP the place to be after school. TAAP welcomes new tutors. For the more tutors present, the greater number of students we can serve.
The Linden Exchange
Since its modest beginnings in 1958, Trinity Church’s Linden Exchange Shop has not lost its primary focus: to provide quality clothing at lower than bargain basement prices for the less fortunate. That was the thinking of a small group of concerned women in the parish who, moved by the question from the Gospel of Matthew: “And when did we see you naked…,” gathered, washed and ironed, and then made available “pre-owned” clothing to some of Geneva’s neediest. These latter were those who were being displaced by urban development on the lake front or who had lost their jobs as local military installations were being downsized or closed.
Today’s Linden Exchange serves not only the less fortunate. Over the years a thriving consignment shop that serves all strata of Geneva’s society, as well as customers as far away as Toronto has emerged. The shop’s inventory, manned at all levels–check-in, tagging, sales, accounting–totally by volunteers from Trinity, other local churches, as well as by a few non-churchgoers, ensures that the Linden Exchange is a place where some basic needs can be met. One regular consignee, in her role as a customer remarked recently, “It’s like Boston’s original Filene’s Basement in here.” She had found herself tugging on the same item as a non-consignee. Walking out, having purchased ca. $40 worth of clothing, she said, “one of these things alone would have cost me twice that new, and there’s not a single spot or tear anywhere!”
Further, the shop offers an opportunity to be green. Perfectly good, even often new items often can be had for a mere percentage of their original price. The original owner earns a commission, the new owner gets to buy often designer goods, and the items remain out of landfills. Moreover, Trinity itself benefits: the Linden Exchange makes a sizable contribution to the general annual parish budget. But that is only after contributions are made to other not-for-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, the Geneva Fire Company, and Police Benevolent Association. Clothing not sold is donated to the VA and children’s items are given to a local day care.
Location & Hours
Located at 430 Exchange St. in the heart of historic downtown Geneva, The Linden Exchange Shop is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers are always welcome.
Call 315-789-6162 to schedule a time to bring in your consignment items. Clean gently used clothing, jewelry, and small household items are available for resale at reasonable prices. Toys and stuffed animals are NOT accepted for resale.