“Beautiful things are done first and thought about afterwards”: this phrase by Don Oreste Benzi, founder of the Pope John XXIII Community, welcomed everyone who, on October 4, 2021, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, had the joy of participating in the significant milestone of the San Giuseppe Parish of Castellammare del Golfo.
The Parish was a protagonist and beneficiary of the “Inclusive Restart” Grant from the Foundation, a program that supported initiatives aimed at reducing inequalities to foster inclusive and sustainable recovery of our communities following the Covid-19 emergency. The winning initiatives received funding from the Community Foundation, covering 70% of the project costs, once 30% had been reached through crowdfunding.
With “Inclusive Restart”, San Giuseppe Parish implemented the “Good Samaritan” project, which improved its service of social, economic, and human promotion for the most vulnerable people and families in Castellammare del Golfo. The project involved the renovation of spaces and enhancement of tools for the management and use of the parish support network.
On October 4, 2021, the new premises of the “Santa Teresa di Calcutta” Parish Caritas Center were inaugurated, and after several months of work, San Giuseppe Parish restarted with new rooms made more efficient, welcoming, and accessible, even for those with disabilities. However, even during the renovations, despite the inconvenience, the charitable service did not stop but temporarily used other spaces.
Through the completed works, they expanded and modernized the food warehouse and re-equipped the office and archives of the Caritas Center with new computer resources. This is allowing volunteers to work more agilely and safely, with a significant improvement in the service provided to the city’s vulnerable families.
In these spaces, volunteers also perform weekly listening and welcoming services for families who come to the Parish for food or clothing, sort and arrange food or clothing donations, and update archives and computer services.
However, the after-school service for families in difficulty is still in the planning phase due to the health situation, and the necessary equipment for this purpose (projector, whiteboard, tables, chairs) has already been purchased. The Parish is initiating the possibility of offering children in the parish oratory an environment conducive to their growth through social interaction and free help from those who can support them in their difficulties. This activity will soon become a reality, helping and supporting families even in the challenging task of educating the new generations.
It is a great joy to share the restart of the charitable heart of the volunteers of San Giuseppe Parish, with the certainty that the contribution of many who supported the crowdfunding campaign for the “Good Samaritan” project was valuable. Thanks also to their donations, the Parish has been able, can, and will continue to offer many people and families the assurance of a helping hand ready to support them in difficulties.
Best wishes for continued work to San Giuseppe Parish and its volunteers.