Human Concerns Committee
Around 1973, a group of parishioners at Our Lady of the Rosary
Church in Palo Alto, formed a group to get together, enjoy a
simple meal of soup, and raise money to feed the undernourished.
Thus, S.O.U.P. (Sharing Ourselves with Undernourished People)
began. The group continues, now part of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish,
meeting twice a month, except during Lent, when they meet weekly.
Parishioners come with a bowl, a spoon, and perhaps some bread
or crackers. Three people bring a large pot of soup to share,
and a few bring a bottle of wine or juice. After the meal, there
is an opportunity for announcements, often a joke is told, and
one of those attending leads us in reciting grace. Each family
puts a check or cash into a box, representing the money they
would have spent at the market or dining out that night. Meeting
from mid-September to mid-May, the group deposits the funds with
the parish, and at the last soup of the year, votes on how to
distribute the funds raised that year. In recent years, the money
contributed during Lent has been sent to the Jesuit Missionaries
in San Francisco, for the use of Father Jack Donald, S.J., who
grew up, and whose family still lives, in our parish. Father
Jack has been working as a missionary in Honduras for the last
10 years. The balance of the fund was divided last spring among
the following: Urban Ministry (Palo Alto), St. Anthony of Padua
Dining Room (Redwood City), Ecumenical Hunger Program (East Palo
Alto), L.O.V.E./ Fr. Ed Figueroa (Brazil), and the St. Joseph
the Worker Day Worker Center (Mountain View).
Hotel de Zink
This is a joint effort of the churches in Palo Alto to provide
shelter for the homeless during the winter months.
Our contributions to our struggling brothers and sisters.
YOU DID IT AGAIN WITH ST. VINCENT DE PAUL You
have "Fed the hungry-clothed the naked-sheltered the homeless"
with your contributions to your parish St. Vincent de Paul Conference.
With the donations you gave last year, you saved several families
from being evicted from their homes; you gave shelter to many
families (and individuals) that have no homes. You have paid
all or part of many utility bills. You also provided families
with clothing and with layettes for new babies. You provided
food from our Parish Pantry and from the market. You filled prescriptions
for the sick and other medications. You have helped people get
to work, or a job interview, with gas or critical repairs for
their cars. Your conference helped many, many people with the
funds that you provided. And we're back each time there's a fifth
Sunday in the month asking you to do it again! Please be generous
in the fifth Sunday collection. The needs are great.
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