MMVS of Staten Island & New Jersey serves local community
The members of Marth Mariam Vanitha Samajam (MMVS) of the seven
parishes in Staten Island and New Jersey, as part of their charitable
activities in 2014, decided to volunteer their services at The
Community Food Bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ).
The Community Food Bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) is the State's largest
food bank that distributes about 40 million pounds of food, helping to
feed nearly 1 million people each year throughout New Jersey. The
Community Food Bank of New Jersey had its humble beginning when its
founder, Kathleen DiChiara, began distributing groceries out of her
car in 1975. Later it became a part of the Archdiocese of Newark. The
current CFBNJ was founded in 1982.
Approximately, forty five members of MMVS and MGOCSM of the various
parishes of Staten Island and New Jersey took part in this initiative.
The participants assembled at the warehouse of CFBNJ at 31 Evans
Terminal, Hillside, NJ on May 31, 2014. We donated a large amount of
non-perishable food to the food bank. After the initial orientation by
the ware house personnel, we proceeded to the packing area where all
the foods that have been donated were stored. The food items were to
be packed according to the category it belonged to. For example, rice
and pasta would be categorized as starch, lentils, shelf stable meat
like spam as protein and similarly dairy, oils, cereals, baby needs
Each and every food item had to be checked for the expiry date prior
to packing them in the respective boxes. Those of us who packed worked
in pairs. As boxes were filled they were closed and taken away. All of
us, though worked nonstop for more than two hours, felt very happy and
satisfied. Everyone felt that the team work and the spirit of unity
paid their efforts off for a worthy cause.
When the work at the food bank was over, some of us proceeded to South
Beach Psychiatric center in Staten Island, New York. The Center
provides mental health services including inpatient services to
persons living in western Brooklyn, southern Staten Island, and
Manhattan. The administrative authorities of the facility had informed
us earlier about the need for recreational items for the patients
since music therapy is proven to bring in effective changes in the
mental wellbeing. With great pride and immense satisfaction, we
presented a group of patients with a Karaoke machine and two I-Pads
which will be used for recreational therapy for them. Those donations
were gratefully received by the Center and its personnel, conveying
their heartfelt thanks to the Northeast American Diocese and the MMVS.
It may not have been very significant in terms of effort and the
money, but those MMVS members who got involved in both projects were
indeed very happy and highly satisfied at whatever little they could
do to reach out to the poor and the needy.
Report submitted by Dr. Ammu Paulose, Charity Coordinator, MMVS of the
Northeast American Diocese
Click here to view pictures from the day
Marth Mariam Samajam
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