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Social Justice and Outreach

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      Our July service projects at St. Vincent de Paul were a huge success, thanks to our ever-generous members and friends.  One project was for the Sweet Dreams Shelter for Women and Children, which provides a safe haven and life-training skills for entry into the work force for women and enrichment activities for their children.  Occasional lunch-time meals are provided at the Shelter by volunteers from the community, and our volunteers were the generous providers on July 21.  Thanks to Jane Webb's organizational expertise, a small brigade of at-home cooks and other donors provided the sides for the entree for fifty she prepared, which was served by our volunteers.  For our second project generous donors of bags of chips and cash for purchases helped us exceed our goal of 500 single servings of chips and snacks for  "Bags of Hope," a brown bag evening meal distributed daily to diners at the lunch time meal in the St. Vincent de Paul dining room.  Our volunteers joined another  team to prepare  "Bags" on July 28.  Boundless thanks to the generous donors to both projects: Suzanne Besse, Susan Beversluis, Debby Calmes, Chris Cavell, Becky Cureau, Marguerite Davis, Lois Elisar, Nava Estefania, Gloria Gladman, Connie Holmes, Sandy Hubbard, Rachael Hunter, Ron Juneau, Dottie Kelly, Sylvia Martinez, Judy Nielson, Sarah Rountree, Carol and David Steiner, Ani Sullivan, Janet Sullivan, Sarah Traylor, Jane Webb, Helen Williams, Vernon Wright, Donna Yelverton, and several "anonymous" donors who helped fill the Food Cart.  Again, our members through their contributions of resources and time have made good on our hope to make this a better world for those in need in our community.

      And our service continues: signup will begin August 7 for our third service of the year at the Holy Grill, from August 29 through September 2.  The now-empty Food Cart again stands ready for donations to the Baton Rouge Food Bank, of which the Holy Grill is a recipient.    Becky Cureau, Outreach Director August 1, 2016

 Together Baton Rouge response to recent tragedies and what we can do:

 Our congregation is a proud dues paying member of Together Baton Rouge, a citizens’ organization with a broad base of churches and other organizations from all over the parish and an impressive list of successes during its 7 years of existence.  Working together, we are well positioned to help solve the problems our community faces right now. 

 The TBR Executive Committee has adopted these 3 proposed strategies for the next 6 months.

 * Community policing strategy: 

 *City-Parish-wide Strategy: Development of a reform agenda, including tax exemption reform

 *Local Metro Council Districts strategy:   “We the People”  Local house meetings in each metro council district, leading to assemblies in each district.

 Some of us have wondered what we can do.  Here’s an answer: Wear a Together Baton Rouge lapel pin as a small symbol of our commitment to face this time of crisis TOGETHER as a community. The pins are free and available at the church, but if you take one, please commit to wearing it everywhere you go for at least a month.

 We would also like to send four members to the TBR three day training, September 8 – 10, in Woodworth, La. It’s not just for leaders.Learn how to be more effective in all aspects of community organizing. For more information contact Bobby Thompson a numbernine@cox.net or see me at the Social Justice table in the Fellowship Hall on Sundays.

 Mark this date on your calendar: TBR is having a Delegates Assembly, September 22nd. Location to be announced. We would like as many of our member to attend as possible. A big part of what can be done is being present.

Our Shared Offering for August 21 will go to Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless (153 North 17th Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802). CAAH members provide Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, and Permanent Supportive Housing for chronically homeless individuals, persons with a range of disabilities, and families experiencing homelessness for the first time. In addition to housing, our members offer a range of services that include outreach to the homeless, behavioral health referrals, substance abuse treatment, veterans services, life skills training, job training/placement, youth shelters, and literacy/GED classes.   Bobby Thompson, Social Justice Director, August 1, 2016