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Sunnyside Community Services in Search of New Name

Nov. 16, 2011 By Christian Murray

Sunnyside Community Services is looking to change its name.

Executives at the non-profit believe that most people associate the current name with home care and activities for seniors—-when in reality it caters to people of all ages.

Furthermore, they argue, the “Sunnyside” name does not accurately reflect the fact that it provides services throughout the city.

“We offer a continuum of services,” said Monica Guzman, an associate executive director for the organization. “We offer afterschool programs, college prep, GED classes and even job readiness training,” she said. Furthermore the after-school programs are not just in Sunnyside.

The non-profit provides afterschool services for 200 students at PS 150 in Sunnyside and 250 students at PS 199 in Woodside. The organization also has a similar program in Elmhurst, known as the Beacon Program, that provides similar services for 1,300 children at IS 5.

“Most people think of us as a senior service provider when they think of our current name,” Guzman said. “We are more than that.”

However, the non-profit does run two healthcare agencies with 1,800 home health aides who operate across the city.

Additionally, while the Sunnyside identity has served the organization well over the years, it no longer reflects the non-profit’s citywide reach.

Executives argue that by having a broader name in terms of geography and scope, they will be able to appeal to more end-users as well as donors, such as foundations and corporations.

The group plans to introduce its new name in the fall of 2012. However, it is still working on a new name and is seeking ideas.

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I think the existing name is fine. It is known, it is recognizable, it doesn’t imply home care or seniors by the name. Did they survey people in their catchment area to see if this is really an issue? When you have that broad range of services, it’s difficult to find a suitable name that has meaning. Be that as it may, here are some suggestions:

Western Queens Community Services

or maybe SCS = just use the initials

Gotham Services – sounds too Batman-ish

Big Apple Community Services – too close to the circus

A Million Services (like a million trees)

tough one


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