Paul Anderson-Winchell has served as the executive director of Lifting up Westchester for the past 11 years. As he nears retirement, the Cornwall-on-Hudson resident will be honored at the nonprofit’s annual Oasis of Hope spring gala on April 20.
Lifting up Westchester (formerly known as Grace Church Community Center) is a social services agency that provides homeless and poverty services for more than 4,000 men, women, and children each year. To keep the nonprofit in operation, Lifting up Westchester also runs a licensed home healthcare agency offering care to over 400 homebound seniors and disabled individuals annually.
Prior to being hired into his current position, Anderson-Winchell had dedicated 30 years to giving back to the community by working in a variety of other positions. He was founding director of the Orange County Boys and Girls Club in the Town of Wallkill, worked for United Cerebral Palsy running their residential program, and went into the healthcare field in Dutchess County where he ran a homecare agency and nursing home.
“I think it’s what I was hardwired to do,” Anderson-Winchell said of his career. “I can’t imagine having done anything else besides things that gave back to the community.”
Born to a father who eventually became a presbyterian minister, and a mother who worked as a school teacher, Anderson-Winchell was surrounded by people whose professions allowed them to give back every day.
“I don’t remember it being a family doctrine,” he said. “It was just living by example, watching the example of the two of them and other adults around me as I grew up. It just seemed like that’s what you do.”
Anderson-Winchell took the job at Lifting up Westchester because it offered “a unique blend of services” that put together all the pieces of his career.
Although he’ll be retiring, Anderson-Winchell hasn’t given up on his local community.
“Being in executive leadership, you tend to get far from hands on service and you have to keep reminding yourself that all this budget work you’re doing really is affecting the lives of a homeless man or woman on a Friday night trying to get out of the rain. I’ll be looking for something which uses some of the skills, but in a more grassroots way. There are plenty of needs in the nearby community. I’ll take my time figuring out the best way to give back.”
Until he finds the right fit, he plans to play “Grandaddy Daycare” to his granddaughter who was born in December.