Many of us have a relative or good friend to turn to when we are in a tough spot; we know we can rely on them for help, no matter what. Others of us do not have anyone we feel confident we can depend on when we are in dire need. To these people, our ACA ministries are often a lifeline. During the recent heat wave, with temperatures nearing 100 degrees and the actual heat index even higher, people took refuge in cooling areas provided by St. Vincent de Paul Place, in Norwich and Middletown.
“Summer is wonderful time of year, but the excessive heat can wreak havoc with our bodies,” Jillian Corbin, Executive Director, St. Vincent de Paul Place, said. “For people who do not have access to a cool place during a heat wave it can cause a rise in body temperature which can result in an array of heat illnesses. Thanks to Monsignor Tony Rosaforte for giving us a big air conditioner and Barber Electric for installing it. We were able to offer a nice refreshing room for people to cool down during these last heat waves. We are also grateful to our community neighbors who donated 12 gently-used air conditioners for people to use in their homes.”
Ron Krom, acting executive director at St. Vincent de Paul, Middletown, echoes Jillian’s concern for the heat and the effect it has on peoples’ bodies, adding, “At St. Vincent de Paul, our dining room is air conditioned and folks know that they can sit and relax, play chess, visit with friends, eat and drink in a comfortable setting. We also made sure to share information about the cooling centers that were opened in the City of Middletown.”
In addition to the air-conditioned spaces, the St. Vincent de Paul locations in Norwich and Middletown, provide many other life-sustaining supports such as housing assistance, referrals for health screenings, dental clinics, veteran services, substance abuse and behavior concerns. Together, both offer a food pantry in addition to community meals.
Our diocesan-supported soup kitchens, as well as our other ACA ministries, are truly working “Hand in Hand with All God’s Children” to help people in tangible ways. Whether you find yourself in need of a meal, food or other household necessities, or guidance in navigating the social service or healthcare systems, St. Vincent de Paul Place Norwich and St. Vincent de Paul, Middletown is here for you. You can be confident that just like a relative or close friend, they will not let you down. The tradition of the community soup kitchens came to our country from Ireland following the Great Famine. Soup kitchens began to appear in the 1870s, becoming much more commonplace during the Great Depression. When the economy improved after World War II, soup kitchens declined slightly but increased in the 1980s due to changes in the welfare laws. Many Americans continue to depend on the support provided by our soup kitchens, and they in turn rely on your generous donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Thank you to all who have donated to the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal, “Hand in Hand with All God’s Children.” As of August 9, we have received $2,368,735 in pledges and gifts, which is 84.6 percent of our overall goal, with 20.72 percent of our parishioners donating. We hope to have as close to 100 percent of our parishioners donate this year to help our ministries continue to do the work of Christ. If you haven’t given to this year’s ACA or would like to make an additional gift, there is still time. All donations are very much appreciated. To watch the ACA video and make a donation, please go to norwichdiocesedevelopment.org or call the Development Office at 860-886-1928. The office can also assist you with matching gifts.