Helping the Needy
Each year a sizable portion of St. Anselm’s operating budget is set aside for charity. The agencies to be funded and the amount each is to receive is decided by a vote of the entire parish. The largest awards are made to the highest-rated charities. Since 2000, we have given ten percent of our budget to 18 to 20 agencies working mostly in Contra Costa County.
Here is an example of some of charitable outreach efforts:
We provide Christmas gifts for the children of some of Contra Costa County’s neediest families through the Vestia program. Parishioners buy gifts on an age-specific wish list provided by Vestia. The gifts are then delivered to Vestia, which distributes them to the families. The gifts range from practical (warm clothing) to fantastical (mountain bikes).
We provide farm animals, such as cows, pigs, and sheep, for impoverished families in developing nations through Heifer Project International (HPI). The families use the animals or animal products (meat, milk or wool) for their own needs or as a supplement to the family income. The family agrees to pass any offspring on to other needy families in the community. Like a stone dropped in still water, these gifts ripple out for years to come.
One week a year, members of the parish prepare and serve dinners at the North Concord Shelter for the homeless. The residents greatly appreciate the meals, and show their enthusiasm in a variety of ways such as compliments to the chefs, requests for seconds, and applause after dessert.