If one was looking for some joyous holiday experience which lifts the spirits to heavenly heights, it was found at the WFWP Satellite Paterson Chapter event headed by Ms. Claire Haider on December 2, 2017. Claire Haider and Elizabeth Yamada hosted their first “Living for the Sake of Others: A Legacy of Love” Awards Ceremony, held in the newly built Fellowship Hall of the Korean Evangelical Association in North Haledon, New Jersey.
The program captured the warmth of family holiday giving traditions, in an award ceremony for community programs which serve the less fortunate in Paterson, NJ. This award ceremony conveyed love that only comes from God, our Heavenly Parent. The service organizations honored included Bergen County Board of Social Services which donates coats and more to the community annually; Christian Fellowship Church- Food Pantry; the Outreach Ministry of Christian Fellowship Church; Eva’s Village; First Seventh Day Adventist Church of Paterson; Grandparents’ Relatives Senior Care Center of Paterson; Islamic Center of Passaic and Paterson; Oasis; and Passaic County African American Women’s Inc. Ms. Haider and Ms. Yamada also volunteer at these organizations and understand the tremendous work which goes into serving others.
Not only was the event hailed with a beautiful Joint Legislative Resolution from the State of New Jersey Senate and General Assembly (a resolution that acknowledged WFWP’s work and founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, as “praiseworthy”), but also provided citations to each of the organizations being honored. Councilwoman Ruby Cotton also provided citations from the City of Paterson for the honorees. The priceless speeches of the honorees (who included a 98-year-old-volunteer) were most moving and brought many in the audience to tears. Their speeches included acknowledgement of the support they receive from Ms. Haider and Ms. Yamada; their unending quest to continue their work until the scourge of poverty and misery ends in their community; and their desire to continue their service to Heavenly Parent by loving their neighbors.
The event was smoothly orchestrated by MC Meadow Haider, daughter and partner in service to Ms. Haider. Reverend Ki Yeal Lee, the Pastor of North Haledon Family Church and KEA (Korean Evangelical Association), a long-standing partner to WFWP and co-sponsor to this event, gave a warm welcome to all the honorees and participants. Reverend Dairo Ferrabolli, representing the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), read scripture from different faith backgrounds, sharing insight about the founder’s work of living for the sake of others in Brazil and other developing countries by building schools because knowledge is the key to the end of the sickness of poverty. WFWP Hackensack, NJ Chairwoman, Cynthia Nakai, explained the vision of WFWP by giving an example of the spirit of true service in the life of Mother Teresa.
Councilwoman Ruby Cotton, a strong supporter of the WFWP Paterson and NJ chapter in general, gave a very deep and personal speech about her young life before public service and how caring for others prepared her for public office. The Councilwoman praised the work of her constituents in serving and upholding the community despite the diversity. WFWP NJ State Chairwoman Denneze Nelson toasted the honorees and in her closing remarks, connected the work of the honorees to the work of our founders encouraging the honorees to remain in sisterhood with WFWP and together carry out the works for peace. Artistic young Korean traditional drummers rendered an energizing performance capturing the spirit of the holiday cheer while everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch primarily comprised of Korean dishes.
About Ms. Haider and Ms Yamada
Over 15 years, Ms. Haider, chairwoman of Paterson, NJ and Ms. Yamada have worked on many levels in the City of Paterson, New Jersey. They reached out to organizations serving the very needy and often forgotten populations of Paterson. From their own purses, they strategically shopped for items during sale time, bought in bulk, and donated to organizations serving those populations.
Ms. Haider met the late Jessie Dixon, a powerful and deep community-loving Councilwoman, and engaged her in many WFWP activities. Mrs. Dixon became a part of the WFWP family and introduced Ms. Haider to many community organizations. Ms. Haider’s involvement ranges from supporting the various events of Mrs. Dixon and other leaders in Paterson to extensive efforts of outreach to the Muslim and Jewish community. Ms. Haider’s level of service continues and includes her family, and she has often shared that her passion and love comes from the teachings and training she has received from Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and her late husband, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. She publicly shared about this in the summer as a keynote speaker at one of the African American Women’s Inc., an organization she serves. Moreover, as a wife, mother, and grandmother, in this age of women, she often talks about the heart of the mother changing livings and changing the world through love and service.