BROC Community Action presented its 2019 Community Action Award to the Rutland-Wallingford Catholic Community in recognition for outstanding efforts to improve the lives of area people in need and the most vulnerable living in poverty.

Msgr. Bernard Bourgeois, pastor, accepted the award on behalf of the parishes of Christ the King and Immaculate Heart of Mary in Rutland and St. Patrick’s in Wallingford.

He said it was an honor to receive the award in the name of these three parishes. “We have made a concerted effort to be more involved in community efforts to alleviate some of the poverty of our area,” he added.

The award was presented Oct. 17 at BROC’s annual meeting in Rutland.

“We chose to recognize these parishes because of their outstanding efforts to address community need by helping our most vulnerable living in poverty,” said Thomas Donahue, CEO of BROC Community Action.

The Rutland-Wallingford Catholic Community made significant efforts to feed the hungry by raising thousands of pounds of food during the annual Stuff-A-Bus initiative, and the parishes lead the first-ever Pampers to Pre-school diaper drive that benefitted local low-income families in need at BROC Community

Action and the at the Rutland Community Cupboard. The parishes provided more than $3,000 worth of baby necessities.

In addition, this year Christ the King Church joined BROC’s Sponsor-A-Shelf Campaign that raised more than 1,000 items for the BROC Community Food Shelf.

The parishes already are organizing for food collection weekends for Stuff A Bus 2019 in November. The event benefits the BROC Community Food Shelf, The Rutland Community Cupboard and The Salvation Army.

“Jesus is clear that we are to give bread to the hungry. It is part of our mission as a Church and as a parish,” Msgr. Bourgeois said. “As BROC and the Community Cupboard are two of the key agencies in town leading this effort, we have partnered with them.”
The Community Action Award shows that such partnerships are needed in reaching out to the poor of the area, the pastor added.

“Our organization feels fortunate to have Father Bernie and the Rutland-Wallingford Catholic Community collaborating to solve the issues that come with poverty that are impacting our neighbors’ lives,” Donahue said.

BROC Community Action works to change conditions that either cause poverty or stand in the way of its elimination. It assists low-income Vermonters with basic needs and helps them develop skills and resources for self-sufficiency through employment opportunities. It works to provide comprehensive, non-bureaucratic family services and offers voluntary partnerships with families based on equality, respect and mutual learning. These partnerships build on families’ strengths and successes and seek to help people move out of poverty and into self-sufficiency.

The organization assists more than 12,000 Vermonters annually in Rutland and Bennington counties.

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