The Friends Of Coler are a group of Roosevelt Island residents that came together in 2020 to help the patients and staff of NYC Health & Hospitals Corp (HHC) Coler Long Term Care Facility who had been under a lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Friends Of Coler are continuing to provide friendship and support to our neighbors at Coler. According to Friends Of Coler, they are:

… a network of neighbors, friends and family who care deeply about the people who live and work in Coler Rehabilitation & Nursing Care Center and who support connections between the Roosevelt Island community and Coler residents/staff.

                                                                        Image From Friends Of Coler You Tube Video Screenshot

 Friends Of Coler volunteers Julia Ferguson and Nicole Izsak report:

Dear friends in support of Coler,  

Happy February 2022! Roosevelt Island children’s groups spread lots of kindness this month! Youth of all ages created over 200 beautiful handmade Valentines cards that were given to Coler Recreational Therapy for 2/14 distribution on Sunday afternoon 2/13 while also visiting a few friends.  

Roosevelt Island Youth Center cards were filled with full page drawings as well as wishes for both residents and staff. RI Girl Scout Troops made creative pop-up cards with handwritten messages of hope and the “Daisy” troop made special hearts that became a banner. Island Kids cheered everyone with hand signed and decorated posters, and Roosevelt Island Navigators brought in beautiful cards as well.  

Save the date for March 10th 7:00 p.m. when Angelica Patient Assistance Program will present a zoom to talk about resuming programming and volunteer opportunities at Coler moving forward in 2022.  

Pre-pandemic traditions at Coler included a Sweetheart Ball sponsored by Angelica Patient Assistance Program. With the Omicron variant still present and group gatherings still restricted in January/February this year, Angelica found a work around with Coler Recreational Therapy! They distribute Popeye’s meals and Valentine’s treats this year on Monday February 14th. One resident mentioned that the combination of the Super Bowl and the Valentine’s event made for a very good February weekend! Coler residents and staff have also welcomed a new CEO this month: Stephen Catullo, MBA.  

May more good news continue for all,

Ms Ferguson adds:

The work that RI Youth Center children and staff, Island Kids children and staff, RI Girl Scout troops and leaders, and RI Navigators put in was careful and so heartwarming. It is so in line with the kindness and generosity that does exist in our community. And we even had a small troop of Girl Scouts from Staten Island who heard and sent in greetings!

 I asked Friends of Coler:

How have the Coler folks been doing recently with COVID issues? Any problems?

Coler resident Peter Yearwood says:

We are doing pretty good at Coler. No major issues to report. There was an outbreak of Omnicron but we are over that and all is well.

Meet Mr Yearwood who is a member of the Coler Open Doors Reality Poets.

The Open Doors Poets have teamed with documentary filmmaker Alexis Neophytidis to show what it was like at the Coler facility during the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic. Take a look at the trailer for their upcoming documentary, Fire Through Dry Grass to see for yourself.

Fire Through Dry Grass – Trailer from The Big Chair on Vimeo.

Also, meet Momo, a canine Friend Of Coler. 

Here’s Friends of Coler bringing some cheer and helping to celebrate 2021 Valentine’s Day outside Coler during the lockdown.


Please contact Friends Of Coler if you wish to join, meet and help our neighbors at Coler.


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