GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus recognized Susan Armistead as July’s Citizen of the Month for her continued commitment and generosity to the Goshen community.
“Sue is one of the kindest and most civic-minded individuals that you will ever meet,” Neuhaus said. “She has worked tirelessly for a variety of organizations and takes great pride in helping Goshen residents and her neighbors in need. Sue has a passion for what she does and performs her work with grace and humility. I’m proud to recognize Sue for all of her work.”
Armistead volunteers with several organizations in the community, including the Goshen Ecumenical Food Pantry, Friends of Recovery, and Hope Not Handcuffs and is also an active member of the Goshen United Methodist Church. Armistead’s passion has become championing the $5 Challenge, an initiative in which $5 is collected from family members, friends and the community for a variety of worthy causes.
Armistead said that she borrowed the idea from Rev. Susan Chupungco of the Goshen United Methodist Church in October of 2015. During a sermon, Chupungco told parishioners “that money buys happiness if it is spent the right way.” She then gave everyone in the congregation an envelope with $5 in it and told them to share the money creatively with someone in need.
Armistead wanted to make soup for a local family, but $5 would not cover the expenses. So she asked a few friends to donate $5 apiece to make a huge serving of corn chowder for the family. The Goshen $5 Challenge was born. Armistead continues to promote the initiative on Facebook. Since its inception, the “Goshen $5 Challenge” has raised more than $44,000 for charitable causes.
Armistead and the Goshen community regularly fundraise for organizations and families in need, whether they are battling cancer, dealing with a death in the family, or struggling with a financial issue. She attributes her kindness and compassion to her mother, Barbara Semonite, who worked several jobs while Susan was growing up in Wurtsboro. Hers was a modest family, and she recalls occasionally the family leaning on the kindness of others when times were tough.
Armistead has lived in Goshen with her husband, Kevin, and their three children for 25 years. Her philanthropy extends to giving out large candy bars on Halloween, and she is affectionately known as “the good witch of Murray Avenue.”
“I feel I’m doing what I’m supposed to do and I’m humbled to be able to help other people,” Armistead said. “To whom much is given, much is expected. I think every town should have a $5 Challenge and I appreciate that the County Executive is highlighting this initiative. When we know there is a need, we slip an envelope under the door, it’s a great feeling to be of assistance.”
To make a donation to the Goshen $5 Challenge, email Armistead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January of 2017. To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email email@example.com or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.