"I needed clothes and you clothed me..."
Bob and Joan Powilatis strive to give credit where credit is due. “Let me pass the phone to Bob because he was really the one who organized the event,” Joan said during a phone interview. After I was finished speaking with Bob, he passed the phone to Joan, saying his wife snapped some great photos from the event.
These members are very involved with St. Vincent 1411, South Boston, Mass., and Feeding God’s Children (FGC). When they started to plan events, they realized the importance of keeping the beneficiary local since parts of their community are in need of help.
In May, 80 people gathered outside the Church of the Good Shepherd in Wareham, the starting point for the Walk for Hunger 5K walk. Walkers were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to benefit the food pantries at St. Patrick Church and St. Anthony Church in Wareham. They could ask for “sponsors”, and the money collected from the sponsors went to the food banks. In addition to the walkers’ efforts, the churches held collections for food two weeks prior. The event raised $9,000, and multiple boxes of food were headed to the food pantries at the end of the day. Once the participants completed the walk, they were greeted with pizza and water. “People who didn’t even know each other were socializing,” Joan explained.
A similar walk was held in June. For this event, Bob and Joan put Matthew 25:36 to action, making it the focus. The 5K walk benefited a women’s shelter in Fall River County. This time, participants were asked to donate infant and toddler clothing. Bob said, “There were countless volunteer hours, and everyone was so willing to help.”
Partnering with St. Vincent 1411, Bob also sponsored a golf tournament that raised $6,000. One third of the funds will go to World Youth Day participants, one third went to the Southcoast Cancer Treatment Center for an infusion chair, and the last third went towards an event called “Cape Cod Bus for Life”. Since this year was the 45th anniversary of the March for Life, there was a big turnout for “Cape Cod Bus for Life”, which includes transportation to Washington, D.C., and accommodations and meals in our nation’s capital. People from all different organizations in the Boston area are welcome to participate. “We had men, women, clergy, nuns and youth on three buses, which totaled about 200 people,” Joan shared excitedly.
“The most fulfilling part of giving back is the pleasure you get in your heart knowing that you are helping people,” Joan explained. “It makes you feel good and it is inspiring to see everyone come together to give back.”
Article by Audrey Thomas.