St. Mary Parish sponsors Easter for children in shelters

Kent Weeklies

This Easter, St. Vincent de Paul Conference here at St. Mary Parish is sponsoring Easter for the children who are staying in the Safer Futures Domestic Violence Shelter, The Miller Community House Homeless Shelter, and Safe Path / Domestic Violence Transitional Housing Program in Portage County. All three of these shelters are under the Portage County Family & Community Services Agency.

According to organizers, Portage County is one of the poorest counties in the state of Ohio and resources for these shelters (bedding, cleaning supplies, pots & pans, cutlery, refrigerators, microwaves, school supplies, toys, towels, laundry detergent, etc.) are extremely scarce. Additionally, this year these institutions have seen a substantial cut in federal, state, and county budgets to run their shelters. The consequence of these budget cuts is that many families are being turned away and being denied assistance.

This Easter every child staying in one of these shelters will receive, on Easter morning, a basket filled with Easter candies (colorful bedding, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, etc.). Additionally, each of the shelters will receive the items needed (plastic eggs and candy) to sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt at their location.

According to organizers, holidays are not always happy for everyone and it can be extremely challenging for those who have left abusive / violent partners or for people who are homeless to be waking up Easter morning in a shelter.

"That is why your support of our St. Vincent de Paul Conference is so important. It allows us to bring a little bit of 'normalcy' and joy to these children. More importantly, it brings hope and a sense of “family” to these people. This sense of family is something that many of them haven’t experienced for years as many are estranged from their own families due to violence and abuse. Your support helps these families as they rebuild their lives."