Feeding Hunger in West Virginia

Written by Guy Vaccaro, Executive Director of Development, Province Center/Divine Word College


The food pantry is open every Thursday at St. Thomas Catholic Church in West Virginia and on this particular day, there is a long line. The need is especially acute. 

More than 20% of the people here in Braxton County live below the federal poverty level. 

Father_Thien_at_Foot_Pantry.jpgThe parish provides food to all who come, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. On this day, Father Thien greets Elden Pullin who is in his fifties and accompanied by his granddaughter, Elizabeth, eight years old. He is raising three of his grandchildren and, earlier this morning, there has been a horrible accident in the family. His daughter, Elizabeth’s mother, was in a head on collision that totaled her vehicle. Somehow, she managed to walk away without a scratch.

While volunteers fill a large container with food for her grandfather, Divine Word Father Thien Duc Nguyen gives Elizabeth a backpack that he has filled with school supplies. And to the delight of Elizabeth, he also invites her to select a few toys donated by parishioners.

Looking over the shoulder of our SVD priests and brothers as they serve the poor shows a deep sense of care, compassion and understanding.

Such works would not be possible without you.

A portion of your last gift was used to purchase the breakfast cereal that will be on Elizabeth’s table in the morning. Another part was used to buy the backpack that Father Thien filled with school supplies. And, last, but not least, another portion bought the toy that she will enjoy when her homework is done and Grandpa Elden tells her it is time for play.

On behalf of Elden and Elizabeth, we thank you! 


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