Your help is going a long way!
In the United States, we’ve delivered your gifts to our André House in Phoenix, Arizona which before the pandemic was serving 700 meals each day, providing laundry, shower and social services to the homeless, largely through the commitment of volunteers and a handful of paid staff. When the pandemic hit, all services were halted or modified to protect both the volunteers and the homeless guests. Meals continued but instead of all meals prepared at André House, three times each week, meals were catered provided by local restaurants, a rather significant expense. When meals were prepared at André House, the core staff took responsibility of cooking, packaging meals for carry-out and clean-up – a demanding task in any circumstance but intensified because of the pandemic. Funding through the COV-AID appeal is helping André House with the expense of providing nutritious meals in conjunction with local restaurants, a win-win-win. Additionally, the U.S. Province has been sending priests, seminarians, scholastics and professed members to André House to support day-to-day operations in caring for the homeless.
Outside of the United States, funds you provided are supplying food and basic necessities for families served by Holy Cross in Bangladesh, India, Ghana, Mexico, Haiti, East Africa, Chile and Peru. The Covid crisis has led to a shutdown of the economy in these regions forcing the poor, who live in a hand-to-mouth economy, with few options. Many adults are faced with the choice of leaving their homes to find work which may expose their families to the virus or they are trying to live in isolation, relying on the kindness of others to survive. Both come with significant risk.
The men of Holy Cross and their lay associates, who are on the front-lines serving the poor and those suffering from the virus and its affects, are directly involved in identifying the greatest needs, organizing and distributing food and supplies. Holy Cross has been able to respond to the unique needs of each region because of your quick and generous response to our appeal for help. In every case, the Holy Cross family shares in our gratitude for your generosity and life-saving investment. In many cases, our front-line community have indicated that without your assistance they would not have received any other outside help.
You are helping our brothers and sisters the world over make it through this time of crisis. Families are fed, clean water provided, basic necessities such as medications, diapers, personal hygiene items, soap and toothpaste given and most importantly, hope restored, because of you.
Where your gifts are going by location:
- Food is being distributed at our tribal parishes feeding thousands for two weeks at a time.
In the tribal regions, some children are staying in the hostels for the sake of their well-being, necessitating additional food and resources.
Small repairs in a school building in a hostel where the children live was done by the local parishioners. They received payment, thanks to you, for these few projects, enabling them to provide for their families.
Families from some of the Holy Cross schools administered by the Saint Joseph Province of Brothers, serving very poor regions, were allotted food rations along with food for teachers to help them survive.
- Supplemental funds for food were provided to the families of children under the protection of Fundamor, our long-standing foundation caring for abandoned, abused or orphaned children. St. George’s College has a strong tradition of supporting Fundamor but since it has been closed, no funds have come from the families in the grade school.
A group of women are making masks which are now required in metropolitan Santiago. These women received the materials for sewing and purchased one more machine. The masks can be then distributed and sold for income to provide for their needs, or those of their families during this time.
Food supplies were made available to the families of the three parishes served by Holy Cross in Santiago and in Calle Larga. Many people were laid off from their jobs and have no income. Also, packages of food were assembled and made available to the homeless who would otherwise have a daily meal at the parish dining rooms.
- Food and personal items are being distributed in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, in our parishes and school communities.
Salary supplements for the teachers at St. James School in Nairobi are being offered.
Some students who live quite a distance from our two residential schools in Uganda needed a place to stay. You assisted us in caring for them (meals, personal needs) until there were able to return home.
- Distribution of food and personal supplies to families served by Holy Cross schools and social ministries.
- Food was distributed to the poor. Holy Cross religious personally took food to some of the poorest, most vulnerable and isolated people.
You provided materials and oil for the automation of sewing machines for the Women’s Sewing Project, a woman’s group that started making masks for distribution. They provided a business plan, petitioned for an investment, and indicated how many masks could be produced (masks are now required in Port au Prince) and sold. These women now have some self-sustaining income and the ability to get food for their family.
In two of our more rural parishes, radio communications were established in order to broadcast the Mass, the Rosary, and other prayers to the people in their region.
An orphan assistance program was established to ensure that orphans of the 2010 earthquake, now in late adolescence, have food and personal items provided to them.
- Distribution of food in each of the four Holy Cross provinces/vicariates.
Attention to the needs of orphaned children which two of the vicariates serve extensively.
In Northeast India, funds were used to transform spaces in five schools, in the five states of Northeast India where Holy Cross serves, to be used as isolation centers for those who have contracted the virus. Our funds went to construction and supplies to get this set up to accommodate people.
- Food baskets and supplements were provided for the families of our La Luz parish, enough to last each family two weeks to one month.
Protective masks were purchased and delivered to some of the poorest in the parish.
- Food baskets and items for personal hygiene have been distributed to 400 families of the parish in Canto Grande.
Supplemental needs and outreach with food has been extended to the families and children who would normally come to Yancana Huasy ministry.
Canto Grande is a place of significant and profound poverty. This food supplement, along with bottled water and personal items have reached many families and individuals in need who would otherwise be quite isolated.
- Funds are being channeled to André House in Phoenix to support its mission of caring for the homeless through meals, hygiene, social services and love.