LOWER MAKEFIELD >> St. Ignatius Parish in Yardley has established a Community Emergency Fund to assist local families and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the support of Father Andrew Brownholtz, a committee from the church is overseeing the management of the fund, which is providing monetary grants for food, co-payment of medical bills, clothing, baby supplies and other basic day-to-day necessities.
“With everything that’s going on and the effects on our economy we had the idea that we might be able to help out,” said committee member Fred Wise, who is also a member of the local Knights of Columbus. “We’re now reaching out to the community in as many ways as possible to let people know that we are here to help as much as we can.”
Applying for grants is simple. Just visit the St. Ignatius website at www.stignatius.church. On the homepage click the Community Emergency Fund link, fill out the application form and submit it to the church.
All applications are filtered through one individual on the team who removes any names or contact information before forwarding it to the other four committee members for consideration.
“People are struggling right now and they have these additional worries, like how am I going to pay for food,” said Wise. “If we can alleviate that one worry it can only help and we will be serving a purpose.”
According to Wise, the fund is making a difference.
“We have already been able to help a good number of families and individuals,” said Wise, including purchasing food for a self-employed couple who are under quarantine after contracting the virus. “There’s another person who needed medications that we helped. Their income was limited as a result of everything that is going on.
“If there is one person we have helped, it is a success,” said committee member Ken Driver. “We have helped many families and individuals so far. We are not making up for all lost wages, but we have helped with food, diapers, clothing, household necessities. And working with other ministries we have helped even more.”
Those ministries include Catholic Social Services in Levittown, which runs “Mary’s Cupboard” and provides food for people in need of food, and Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need. They, too, feed the homeless as well as individuals who need food and clothing.
“We also donated funds to the Baptist Church on S. Canal Street,” said Driver. “We have worked with them in the past with food and clothing donations. They actively support 35 to 40 community families.”
The committee also took some time to recognize and thank the healthcare workers at St. Mary Medical Center by providing them with lunch.
“We purchased food items though Verelli’s Yardley Pizza. Jim Verelli has been very kind and has gone beyond in enabling us to help recognize community healthcare workers,” said Driver.
“We all work from the same point of view,” said Driver. “Jesus gave us his second commandment, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ Charity. St. Ignatius has always been a caring and giving parish and doing this is simply the right thing to do,” he said.
And Driver can’t say enough about the generosity shown by the local community in support of the fund.
“My family has lived in Yardley for 30 years. Two of my three daughters and grandchildren also have chosen to live in Yardley,” he said. “It is a wonderful, giving and loving place to live and worship. And these rough times bring out the best in all of us.
“It is a humbling experience for someone to ask for help,” added Driver. “But that is what Faith, Family and Friends is all about. To help each other. To love each other. To support each other. So if you or anyone you know needs helps, please reach out.”
“We’re doing God’s work,” added Wise. “We’re doing one of the things we were set here on Earth to do - to help each other, especially in times like this. It’s heartwarming, especially when you see the gratitude and the difference that you’re making.”
The parish is asking anyone who can to please contribute. Any amount will help, whether it’s $10, $100, $1,000, or more! You can send checks, made out to St. Ignatius with a memo notation for Community Emergency Fund to our rectory St. Ignatius, 999 Reading Avenue, Yardley, PA 19067. Also, you can go on the Parish website, click on Parish Giving and donate through the Community Emergency Fund site.
And if you need help or know of anyone in the local community in dire need, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include full contact information and a description of the specific financial need.