Food pantry needs support
It’s that time of year when the Shepherd’s Pantry’s annual Holiday Fundraiser is again in full swing. For the past 13 years, volunteers at the Shepherd’s Pantry, located at the Long Plain United Methodist Church at 1215 Main Street in Acushnet, are asking the generous public for their continued financial support in keeping the pantry in business so they can continue helping out the less fortunate in our area. The volunteers’ main objective is to never turn away needy individuals who come looking for help each Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m.
As you know, hunger is a daily struggle for some families. Even though some of these families have two wage-earners, it is sometimes not enough for them to be self-sufficient in feeding themselves or their loved ones. This is where the Shepherd’s Pantry, and its many dedicated volunteers and donors, make a difference for families like these who are struggling to make ends meet.
This hand-out is a safety net that these families have come to rely on, appreciate and be thankful for.
To help you better understand what this pantry does, I’ve asked, Blanche Pepin, its administrator, to give me some statistics of what the pantry has provided for the area’s needy in 2015. More than 5,000 families have been served, (that’s 16,500 individuals) and $63,000 has been spent to purchase food. So far this year, 3,500 families have been helped with 177,000 items of food distributed for those in need.
So you see folks, the pantry’s very existence and success depends largely on all who can contribute any amount of monetary donations and/ or volunteerism to help the pantry run smoothly. For those who would like to donate non-perishable food items year round, the kind folks from the Millicent Library and Stop & Shop, both located in Fairhaven, are nice enough to have a donation bin.
You can send your tax-deductible contribution to the Shepherd’s Pantry at P.O. Box 760, Fairhaven, MA 02719.
And as always, together, we can a make a difference for the less fortunate. God bless.
Gerry Payette, fundraiser coordinator
Local Disabled Veterans chapter is all volunteer
Around the holiday season many organizations are reaching out for contributions since statistically, they have approximately a 62% chance of being successful.
Almost all of these organizations have administrative expenses that have to be satisfied before the dollars reach the people that they are trying to help.
The Disabled American Veterans is one of the few, non profit organizations that every penny that is collected is spent on their Chapter’s mission of helping veterans obtain health care and disability benefits. But what most folks don’t realize is the following:
1. All of us at the New Bedford Chapter volunteer our time without any form of compensation, not even mileage reimbursement.
2. The Federal Government (Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration) provides no financial assistance.
3. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, provides no financial assistance.
4. The City of New Bedford and all of the adjoining Cities and Towns, do not provide financial assistance. (The City does allow us to use the building because it was donated by a veteran for this purpose)
5. The only organization that does provide financial assistance is the National Disabled American Veterans. They provide approximately $100 per month.
Having said that, we sell hats and look for donations to help with our operating costs, i.e., electricity, gas, telephone, internet, security, building maintenance, etc.
Just to be perfectly clear, the Veterans Administration personnel, and the National Disabled American Veterans are paid staff.
Sad to say, some local DAVs have had to close their doors because they could not continue with their fiscal responsibilities, coupled with a decline in membership.
In closing, I have had veterans completely break down during the interview process when they reflect on their past service and even express their guilt for applying for help, because other veterans never made it home. I constantly remind them that when they were young men, they raised their right hand and swore to defend the constitution… then they gave their government a blank check that was payable up to, and including, their life.
Your local DAV is the Dr. C.E. Bert Chapter 7, 19 Willis St., New Bedford; 508-992-3766. We meet the first Saturday of the month at 9:30 a.m.
Rodney Hunt, Chapter Commander; David Pinto, Certified Service Officer; Roger A. Mello Certified Service Officer
Looking back on this Veterans Day
Veterans Day, 11/11/2016
As I sit back and look over my day there is one conclusion….I had a very nice day!
It began this morning at 8:00 a.m. at Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven. The North Fairhaven Improvement Association was having a memorial flag raising event in honor of Korean War Veteran Ernie Lewis, a long standing resident and member of the NFIA. It was Ernie who helped me get my first job in 1954. The ceremony was truly a memorable event.
At 9:00 a.m., I proudly marched behind the Fairhaven Lions Club Float honoring Vietnam Veterans from all branches of the service.
The parade concluded at the Fairhaven High School for a brief ceremony and the raising of the Big Flag. It is always a moving experience and especially today as it was raised in front of all those Veterans who served defending it.
At 11:00 a.m., I marched with the Fairhaven Lions Club in the New Bedford Veterans Day Parade down Union Street from Buttonwood Park to City Hall. Once again there was great pride in honoring our Veterans!
It was back to Fort Phoenix at 4:00 p.m. for the lowering of the Flag that was raised in Ernie Lewis’ memory. Boy Scout Troop 52 performed the moving ceremony as the sun was lowering in the sky. How can I forget Ernie and this great tribute?
The Big Flag was scheduled to be lowered at 4:30 p.m. A small crowd had gathered to help. The Flag was stored with ritual and the daily Flag hoisted into place. Yes, the ending of a great day.
Besides all these wonderful events, I met people throughout the day who had worked and joined together in a Veterans Day to cherish.
I had a very nice day! I hope you, too, were able to experience the pride of honoring our priceless Veterans.
John Medeiros, Member of Fairhaven Lions Club and North Fairhaven Improvement Association (NFIA)
Boston should not be a sanctuary city
Not long ago, I received a call from a Border Patrol Agent in San Diego who told me, on average, they were apprehending 20 illegals every day attempting to enter our country. The agent went on to tell me that many of these illegal immigrants were headed to Massachusetts, because the word in the illegal community is that, because of the number of Sanctuary Cities here, they would have a much better chance of avoiding detection and going about their business, whether it is lawful or unlawful.
That’s why it’s so surprising and shocking to hear the recent comments from a Boston City Councilor who wants the capital of Massachusetts to become a Sanctuary City. Or the recent remarks from the Mayor of Providence, who vowed to protect illegal immigrants in his city and in the Ocean State.
Those elected officials in our country who declare their communities sanctuaries for illegal immigrants are undermining law enforcement, violating Title 8 of the U.S. Code, and setting up the citizens of their communities and beyond to become victims of domestic crime or catastrophic terrorist events.
Under Sanctuary Cities, local law enforcement are “prohibited” from working with federal law enforcement, such as ICE, to identify and/or share information about someone who they know to be in the country illegally.
Title 8 of the U.S. Code clearly states that it is a violation of federal law for anyone to harbor or conceal someone they know to be in the United States illegally.
As elected officials, we are sworn to protect our citizens and legal residents, and to enforce our laws. Giving law enforcement less opportunities to cooperate with other agencies, effectively taking tools out of their toolboxes that could help to protect innocent victims from crime or victims of terrorist attacks, is unacceptable and in direct conflict with the duties and core values of public service.
Thomas M. Hodgson, Sheriff, Bristol County, Mass.
Click here to download the entire 11/17/16 issue: 11-17-16-vetsparade