The Ladies of Charity St. John’s University chapter joined with over 2,000 members of the University family for Service Day 2017. This is a service opportunity that has taken place in September for 16th years in honor of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul.
Seven members of our chapter were joined by five of our Junior Ladies from St. John’s Prep High School to serve at the Hour Children Thrift Shop located in Astoria, NY. There was plenty of work to be done that ranged from sorting clothes and transporting items to a second thrift shop a few blocks away, to organizing books and cleaning the show room. Some of the ladies created a display of items for a “sidewalk” sale that brought attention to foot traffic neighbors.
Most importantly, this gave our Ladies a chance to meet with Sr. Annelle Fitzpatrick, CSJ and Sr. Mary Echo Perry. They have been working with this organization for many years and they were pleased to give the history of the “Hour Children” organization providing practical, comprehensive services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their families. The women are welcomed at various neighborhood homes where they can live with their child or children while they readjust to society. Community-based programs include: transitional and permanent supportive housing; a comprehensive employment training and placement program; case management and therapeutic services; pre- and post-release adult mentoring; mentoring for children with incarcerated parents; child care that includes a fully-licensed daycare center and an after-school program that free women so that they can go to work or school, two thrift shops; and a community food pantry, transportation and visitation services; parenting education; mental health support for women, children and families; a Teen Program; advocacy; and a residential Nursery unit.
As we often find, this day was so rewarding to our ladies and we know that our assistance was appreciated because the welcome mat will always there for us.