For more than 20 years Good Shepherd has been providing birthday gifts to residents of Holley Center, a residential support program for children and youth in Hackensack, sponsored by Youth Consultation Services. Parishioners donate $25, Holley Center sends a list of birthdays and requests for gifts, and Anna Byrne purchases, wraps, and delivers much appreciated presents (see some of the thank you notes on the narthx bulletin board. Contributions are always welcome.
The Center for Food Action distributes food and offers support for Bergen County residents in need. Bergen County is one of the richest counties in New Jersey and the nation, yet as of 2011 more than one in four residents were living in poverty. It takes one household 2.5 fulltime minimum wage jobs to feed, house and clothe a family of four. When that family consists of one adult and three small children, it's clearly impossible.
Good Shepherd collects food from parishioners, neighbors, and even some local businesses. Volunteers deliver a trunkload of food (about 20 bags) about once every two months. Here are their most needed items; for more information visit the website at cfanj.org.
Canned Meat, Tuna, and Chicken, etc, Canned Hearty Soup, Canned Vegetables, Macaroni & Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cereal (low sugar kids cereal welcome), Dry Milk (e.g., boxed Parmalat), Canned Fruit, Instant Potatoes, 100% Juice, Baby Formula & Diapers sizes 4, 5 & 6, Soap, Dental Hygiene Products, Supermarket Gift Cards for CFA to purchase what is not donated.
Pentecost, when the gift of the Holy Spirit spilled out from the Temple in Jerusalem to the ends of the earth, is usually the time Good Shepherd begins "Mission and Ministry Month." We choose four or five organizations which directly help people (and animals) in need. We invite speakers to talk about the ways they help children of the working poor (Summer Campership Fund), seafarers (Seamen's Church Institute), Bergen Protect and Rescue, families in need (Family Promise), and/or Episcopal Relief and Development or Province II work in Haiti, the Englewood Hospital Chaplaincy, among others. We ask parishioners for donations for the organizations they choose.