On July 8, 2009, the Pope John Paul Charity Center opened its doors to those in need. During those four years we have fed and clothed over 1,200 households. Our mission from the beginning has been to serve those in need with a smile, but most importantly, with compassion and love for our brothers and sisters. We believe that we have done that and we will continue to do so.
During these past four years, we have learned much about people in need. They often think of others before themselves and they are very humble when asking for help and shining through it all are their grateful hearts. In the midst of all of this are those who come to help.
On Wednesday, Aug. 28, our center was visited by the MCLA women's soccer team. They arrived with huge smiles. Some of these women had visited us before, but most were unfamiliar with the workings of our center.
These women left no stone unturned. They greeted people with dignity and respect. They filled grocery bags with food from the pantry. They helped distribute school backpacks. They sorted and folded clothes, and washed dishes that had been donated for clients. In the midst of all of this, they sang up a storm.
Their visit to our center was a powerful example of the good that is done by our young people today. They are truly a reflection of their parents and their coach, Deb Raber, and their mentor, Josh Mendel, all who strive to make them be the best that they can be.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive," so says the Dalai Lama. These young women showed us from their hearts that they understand the meaning of this. These women came to us with open arms and left, just as our clients do, with grateful hearts.
MCLA and the city of North Adams should be proud of these young ladies. We know that we are.
Board of Directors of the Pope John Paul Charity Center
Larry Clairmont, Bernie Bassi, Jim Dynes, Sue Mendel, Beverly Favreau