On September 29th, Connecticut – SWN Area Co-Chair, Cece Donoghue, DM, received an urgent message from Rev. Joseph Cavoto, OFM, ChM, of our New York City Area. In his note. Fr. Joseph Cavoto detailed his encounter with six migrant families with small children who were waiting for assistance after his 7:30 AM Mass at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City.
Fr. Cavoto was able to provide them with the food, clothing, and backpacks that were available at St. Francis. He noted that one mother was wearing flip flops and the children were in shorts and t-shirts — a reminder that colder weather would soon be here before you know it.
“I could not help but think that many of our ancestors arrived on Ellis Island, with not much more than these families and the Church was there… God knows where they went after we gave them what we had. I wish we had more, especially for the children. While it might have made for an adorable photo, the image of a four year old wrapped in a man’s cardigan has haunted me all week. The poor little guy had summer clothes on and the cardigan was like a long robe on him.“
Fr. Cavoto urged the Connecticut Area to help him collect much needed items for the children. Area members were notified and immediately got to work. Members collected and filled 50 new backpacks with an abundance of new and warm children’s clothing, toiletries, and snacks. The backpacks were then delivered to Fr. Cavoto at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi.
Ken Craig, KM, American Association Hospitaller, and his wife Susie Craig, Assoc, also partnered with the Connecticut Area, filling 50 backpacks with new and warm clothing for adults. This effort was accomplished in partnership very quickly via email and text, as the need was urgent. Within days, 100 filled backpacks were in the hands of those in need– displaced men, women, and children who have nothing.
The Connecticut Area is teaming up with Ken Craig and continuing this ongoing effort of filling backpacks to support the migrants and refugees. This collection will also continue as this year’s Investiture Weekend Service Project.
We will be collecting donations in-person at the New Member and New Chaplain Orientation Meeting and the Annual Business Meeting, as well as accepting online orders through Amazon for those unable to participate in-person. You can click here to view for more information regarding this project and how you can help.