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 etc.

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

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Tags: Marth Mariam Samajam

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