Pneuma-Winds of Hope, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 charitable non-profit formed in 1997.
We incorporated and received our tax-exempt status in 1999 New York, New York. At the time we served in Brooklyn, NY offering existing churches and outreach our time, talents, and treasures. From After School programs with Living Waters Fellowship, to street ministry feeding the homeless warm nutritious meals and clean socks to lots of love and prayer!
In 2005 we turned the work of Pneuma over to the indigenous people in the neighborhood where even today the outreach continues. In August of 2005 after some huge fingerprints from God, we joined hands with thousands of others to provide relief following Hurricane Katrina. Again we served alongside other organizations helping hands and hearts.
In 2012 it was time to give birth to Starfish Café. The concepts we use were conceived in Brooklyn in 1999, sometimes miracles take time! Today we have been operating as a learning center since June 5th 2013. We continue to “make a difference” in the lives of others one at a time! Over 80 students have started the program and each one has experienced a bit of love on their journey!
Kathy Averill- Chairman of the Board since 2010
I am Kathy Averill from Pennsylvania and have served on this ministry’s board for 20 years. I have joyfully served with this team because bringing people to freedom, truth, and healing thru ridiculous acts of love is this ministry’s constant. With childlike faith their practices give evidence to Paul’s message in Corinthians that “my life is not my own.”
Long time ago…..in 1997 after my first trip to NYC I sensed that God was going to rearrange life as it was known to me! Since that time I have traveled and always focused that the calling was to share LOVE to everyone God chose to cross my path. From 9/11 to Katrina and all the days between and after there is a daily opportunity to care, love, and encourage another.
In 2013 Starfish Café was birthed in response to Katrina to provide job and life skills for adults. Since that time the café has become a gathering place for fellowship over a meal, a place to come when your heart is broken, a place for celebrations of life and passing, a transformation center and each day God directs our steps!
Be the change you want to see in this world is my daily quest. Always looking for opportunity to be a nobody, telling somebody about the greatest Love story of all! Thank you for all your prayers and support over the past 20 years and through the eternity to come.
Love ya BIG,
Jamie Skladzien- Secretary
I met Di 13 years ago at a hair salon I worked at. Her enthusiastic personality and generous spirit was an inspiration to me. She asked me to be on the board of Pneuma about 6 years ago. I truly believe in what she has done through Starfish Cafe for this community and so many individuals . Starfish Cafe is more than a job training program, it is a life changing experience…. I want to be a part of the change and inspiration Di brings to this community.
In 2006 we took a group of kids from our church on a mission trip to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi as part of City Team’s Katrina disaster response team. It was there that I met Di Fillhart and God’s plan for my recent retirement. Fast forward to 2019, I have had the pleasure, over the past 13-years, of walking with Di and Pneuma Winds of Hope throughout their seasons of disaster relief, mission trips, community service and Starfish Cafe. God’s timing and sense of humor never cease to amaze me as His plans for this ministry have evolved into a lighthouse for the community.
Kenny was vice-president of Business Development for Nokia Internet Communications, where he helped the company expand into emerging markets and technologies. He also headed Nokia’s VPN Products Group as general manager. Kenny originally joined Nokia as a result of Nokia’s acquisition of Network Alchemy in 2000, where he was the president and CEO. From 2001-2003, he also served on the board of directors of F5 Networks, Inc.
Over his career he held senior-level management positions at Oracle Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc. and TGV Software, Inc., which was acquired by Cisco Systems, Inc. in 1996. Kenny began his career at XEROX Corporation in 1982 after receiving a bachelor of computer science degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
It all began with me being an almost weekly customer of Starfish Cafe. I then began spreading the word and bringing in people that had never heard the mission of the cafe. I found ways to support starfish by providing supplies and helping Di locate resources when ever they asked. Now I have moved on to the new challenge and privilege of serving in a greater capacity as a board member beginning in September of 2019. I’ve always been encouraged and impressed with Starfish Cafe’s willingness to not only serve their own, but also to find ways to support other organizations in the community.
I am Jennifer Joseph from Janice, MS. I joined this organization, because of their desire and will to show the love of God to all with no restraint. I adamantly share how PNEUMA willingly help others who are unable to help themselves AND how they provide direction and guidance founded and sustained in love.
I met Di years ago when a friend took me to lunch at Starfish. I smiled at Di as soon as I walked in and knew instantly that she was an angel on earth. Little did I know at that time what an angel she truly was. Edie and I had a fantastic lunch and said goodbye on the way out to my new friend. We pulled out of the parking lot and were not even a half block away when Edie said, “I knew you’d like her. She does so much for the community. She knows the power of love and faith and healing people with addiction.” So, I pretty much started to cry at that point. You see, driving in from New Orleans, I was talking about my days as a prosecutor in New Orleans – how those days made such an impact on my life and how very much I missed it. Don’t misunderstand here – I put people away – and, away for life. But, I always knew that an equal role as a prosecutor was to help those who were stuck. Stuck in addiction, hopelessness and despair. Those people who felt alone and lost. Through the Diversionary Program and a number of other programs through the courthouse, people got help. I LOVED seeing family in the courtroom who cared. And cried for those who had no one. More than one time, I instituted “Erin’s Diversionary Program”. Mom’s, Aunties, sisters, husbands, wives and girlfriends and boyfriends got my beeper number [yes, I am old] and they could hit me on my beeper when their loved one got out of line. So … now I have my own firm with awesome people and I’m a civil litigator representing businesses large and small. And, I love it. But, my heart needed something more. My heart needed Di and her work with wonderful, gifted and talented people who needed a shoulder to cry on and someone to believe in them. So, here I am and, here, I will forever be. God is good indeed. Love you my dear friend!
P.S. My daddy created this lunatic, rabid Saints fan in this picture. We were at Tulane Stadium when Tom Dempsey put it through the uprights!