St. Michael’s in Jermyn reaches out to the poor for Christmas - 12/25/2019
Archbishop Mark gave our Church a mandate to work from, by saying: “If you take from the community, you must also give back to the community.” For the seventh year in a row, St. Michael’s Orthodox Church, under the spiritual direction of their Pastor, Very Rev. John Kowalczyk, and the out-reach coordinator, Susan Schlasta, reached out a few weeks before Christmas to the poor and needy in the Jermyn area.
A collection was taken totaling $1,600 and was used to, in the name of the new-born Savior, bring joy to those who are suffering economically. In addition to this offering, Patricia Cadwalader, a member our Church and a teacher at the DePaul School, and another teacher Suzanne Rickard, provided approximately 200 pairs of socks and three large carloads of food that assisted many people, and Debbie Bernosky, also a parishioner, joined in donating outfits and toys.
What made this Christmas outreach special was that everyone who requested food or gifts were provided them, including a request from a parishioner to assist a single parent with medical issues raising a special needs child, single grandparents raising grandchildren, single parents raising children, and young adult children raising siblings after the loss of their parents.
Gifts and food was provided to many in a wide area surrounding our Church. Gas cards were provided for working parents to get to and from work. Sneakers, toys, clothes, cash, and food were provided to many.
Many families expressed gratitude for the kindness of the parishioners of St. Michael’s, saying they wouldn’t have had a Christmas without our generosity. With each family receiving gifts, a Christmas card was provided that was signed from the parishioners of St. Michael’s Orthodox Church.