We’re giving hope.
Dear Friends, Supporters, and Donors of FOCUS WEST CENTRAL PA:
Greetings in the Lord!
We have had very special and exciting days in FOCUS WEST CENTRAL PA. Our second annual dinner on October 26 was a great blessing with over six Orthodox parishes and six clergy represented. The food was excellent and we are grateful to Holy Trinity Church in Ambridge and its Parish Council for hosting us. I am grateful to Joanne Cain for coordinating this event and to many of our board members who helped prior to and during the evening. I was able to share that night how our vision will be realized in the coming year. Thanks to the help of Dimitri Pappan, we will be sharing a building where we will have our own room that is 30 feet high and has enough space to pack 1600 elementary student week-end food bags each week.
There are 4 foot deep shelves along the walls, a counter top, sink, refrigerator and freezer. Faith Restoration, with whom we will share the building, is the largest food pantry in the area serving 200 families per week. They will have two trucks and will pick up and deliver our back pack food to the site each week and place it on our shelves with a fork lift. With God’s help and some volunteers to paint our block walls, we will be distributing 600 back packs per week next fall. Our site for the packing is located within 2 minutes of Eat N Park at the Beaver Valley Mall area and is central to the four school districts we desire to serve. Work is currently being done to prepare our site to become operational. We are grateful to have received over $8,000 in gifts at our dinner.
I am very thankful to Peggy Rusnak who is coordinating our backpack program this year. Joni Volitich has been asked to coordinate a number of areas from our office that include computer work, setting up an electronic volunteer system, communicating between programs and with volunteers, and keeping myself and all of us organized. She will be in on Thursdays from 10-4. Amanda is our new clothing coordinator who came in one day for emergency food. When she learned that we provided back pack food and clothing, she seemed interested and offered to help. She was excited when asked if she would like to coordinate our clothing program. Amanda will be in about once a month to pack bags and sort and fold clothing. Her van is no longer running and she had to borrow her sister’s vehicle to get to our office from Morado Dwellings about three miles away in Beaver Falls. I almost cried when she said when she is called to come in, if the vehicle wasn’t available, she would walk!
The weather is changing and recently we received 5 blankets to offer for warmth. A young mother I had in our prayer journal for Sixth Hour Prayers at our office came in for food as she just had her fourth child. Her husband is a pastor without a church. The blankets had just been put out that day and she took four of them. The timing could not have been better!
Every week brings a new face of poverty. It reminds us that He became poor that we might become rich and we are! In this season of Thanksgiving and our coming Nativity, we can give thanks to the Lord for His Light and Love that guides our ministry and is shared with others that they would know the same. None of this could be done without you – our volunteers, donors, and supporters. Please know there is never a dollar or canned good that goes to waste in this work.
I ask your prayers for the coming months. We have to move our packing site but not our ministry site. Our national office and board will be working together for us to hire a full time director in the coming months as I will be finishing my work. We have a $5,000 matching gift available through the end of this year toward this salary and a $6,000 one next year. Please consider this year’s end gift to be designated to “Director Salary” and contribute at our website or mail a check made out to FOCUS WEST CENTRAL PA to be sent to: FOCUS, PO Box 645039, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-5039.
Thank you and God bless you in this coming Nativity Season.
Deacon Ron Seraphim Moslener, Director