Supporting Communities through the Diocesan Poverty Relief Fund

The annual Poverty Relief Fund Second Collection, which took place at every parish in the Diocese of Allentown on November 18 and 19, 2023, secured more than $100,000 in contributions to support individuals and families in Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill Counties.

As a result, nearly two dozen community service programs and organizations will receive grants to address needs including hospice and medical care, food for the hungry, education to prevent elder abuse, clothing, shelter, counseling, and aid for disadvantaged families.

All applicants adhere to a clearly defined application and reporting process to qualify for a grant. Once the committee, consisting of pastors, laity, and staff, receives applications, they carefully review them and determine the distribution.

Thanks to the remarkable generosity of parishioners through our Diocese, the following twenty-three grants will enable local non-profit agencies and parish charitable groups to provide vital services and support for the needy:

  1. Central City Project, Allentown Central Catholic High School, Allentown -- $1,000 for providing groceries from the food pantry to low-income families, and to support the student run urban garden.
  2. Kids Clothing Closet at Holy Family Parish, Nazareth -- $1,000 to offer gently used children's clothing, baby gear, and diapers to families in need.
  3. Good Samaritan Society at Cathedral Church of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown -- $1,500 for aiding needy families with emergency rent and utilities.
  4. St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Paul Parish, Allentown -- $2,000 to provide weekly groceries for needy people in the community.
  5. Family Support, Slater Family Network Foundation Inc., Bangor -- $2,000 to assist in the stabilization of a family that may otherwise not qualify for a mainstream grant.
  6. St. Vincent de Paul Society at Saint John XXIII Parish, Tamaqua -- $2,000 to purchase and distribute baby food to needy families in their parish and community.
  7. Helping the Homeless, Servants to All, Pottsville - $2,500 for general operating support of the program, which is an access site for the local homeless population serving Schuylkill and surrounding counties.
  8. Food Pantry, Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative, Whitehall -- $3,000 to feed 1,000+ guests, and provide them with resource materials.
  9. Charitable Care Program, Holy Family Senior Living, Bethlehem -- $4,000 to ensure that all residents on Medicaid will participate in field trips regardless of their ability to pay, and to cover the cost of replacement eyeglasses, dentures, and hearing aids for any residents in need.
  10. St. Vincent de Paul Society at Notre Dame of Bethlehem -- $4,000 to provide funding to assist families in danger of being evicted.
  11. St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Joseph Parish, Coopersburg -- $4,500 to assist with emergency housing needs and utility bills.
  12. Elder Abuse Prevention, Schuylkill Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance, Pottsville -- $5,000 to provide services to older adults who are at risk of elder abuse and training for workers/volunteers on recognizing and reporting elder abuse.
  13. Operation Support, Clare of Assis House, Reading -- $5,000 for operation support of the program which provides transitional housing, essential services, and homelessness prevention to low-income women.
  14. St. Vincent de Paul Society at Saint Simon & Jude Parish, Bethlehem -- $6,000 to provide food for needy families through the food pantry, and to address requests for rental and utility assistance.
  15. St. Vincent de Paul Society at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Bethlehem -- $6,000 to aid with rent, utilities, groceries, medications, and transportation for families and individuals in need.
  16. St. Vincent de Paul Society at Saint Anne Parish, Bethlehem -- $6,000 to provide support with rent and basic utilities for families in need.
  17. Good Samaritan Society at Saint Theresa Parish, Hellertown -- $6,000 to help clients maintain housing and provide for utilities such as electric, fuel, water, phone, and internet.
  18. St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Peter and Paul Parish, Lehighton -- $6,000 to offer financial assistance to families in need, and to provide outreach and support to the homeless.
  19. St. Vincent de Paul Society at Holy Guardian Angels Parish, Reading -- $6,000 to provide at least three daily lunches, serving 300 people, to New Journey; to offer immediate and direct housing assistance for families; to support transitional housing for veterans; and to help children avoid removal from their homes by providing bedding.
  20. St. Vincent de Paul Society at Saint Benedict Parish, Mohnton -- $7,000 to provide basic necessities of food, utility, heating fuel, rent, and life-skills education services for the poor in Reading and the surrounding Berks County areas.
  21. Saint Francis Home Hospice Care, Saint Francis Home, Shillington -- $7,000 to provide financial support for 24/7 care for the terminally ill.
  22. St. Vincent de Paul Society at Saint Joseph Panther Valley Parish, Summit Hill -- $7,000 to aid with housing, heating, water, electricity, and auto-repair of families in need.
  23. Padua Program, Catholic Charities, Allentown -- $8,000 to provide mobile case management and social services, as well as a food truck that will deploy hot, nutritious meals and ancillary items to individuals and families in need in the areas of north Schuylkill.

The annual Poverty Relief Collection, which takes place in all churches during the weekend before Thanksgiving, is a special opportunity for all of us to share the Light of Christ with our neighbors.


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