This week, we celebrate National Volunteer Week and our amazing Pernet volunteers. While we believe that every week should be Volunteer Appreciation Week, this celebratory week allows us to formally honor our volunteers for their efforts and express our gratitude for everything they do.
Reflecting on this past year, especially, we realize how critical our volunteers are to supporting the Worcester community. To put it simply - we wouldn’t be able to do our work without the individuals and teams of volunteers who are so incredibly generous with their support during the most challenging of times.
Oh the joy of holding a new born baby! Mothers and fathers to be take time to prepare for the new addition to the family. It is an exciting time for the whole family. To families in need, it is a time of constant worry.
Where will we get the clothes? Where will the baby sleep? What about diapers? Will we have enough food?
These and many more questions are what parents-to-be and parents with newborns are faced with every day in our community. These are families in need of your help.
The Little Sisters of the Assumption recognize the month of May as the month of Mary mother of Jesus in their faith. Many of us celebrate Mothers' Day on the second Sunday of May. So you see, the month of May has special significance for each of us. At Pernet, we would like to appeal to you to consider donating the following items to help mothers-to-be or families with an infant in need during our Virtual Baby Shower.
We will be looking for items such as diapers, baby clothes, baby blankets, infant formula, baby cereal, baby food, baby toys, and laundry soap.
We will be sending you an Amazon Wish List in April.
We look forward to partnering with you for the Virtual Baby Shower.
I am excited to share with you that the Worcester Together Fund awarded us a grant to start the first Universal Newborn Home Visiting program here in Worcester. For many years, Pernet Family Health Service has been known for our expert and highly effective home visiting practices, and for skillful identification of health and developmental risk factors. With this new program, we will provide new parents in Worcester with every opportunity to succeed and to raise a healthy, safe child. We will do this as a collaboration with Family Health Center of Worcester, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, and Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative.
At the visit, the mother and child will be assessed as to their welfare, living conditions, support systems, general health and risk factors. Some new mothers will simply need reassurance and best wishes. Others will require supportive services. Appropriate referrals will be made, resulting in an at-risk parent beginning to receive support and services before reaching the point of crisis.
Our focus will be on the prevention of abuse, neglect and developmental delays in a newborn. We also seek to improve maternal health by reducing postpartum depression, connecting at-risk or struggling mothers with supportive resources, and reinforcing the importance of postpartum visits.
In the new few weeks, we will be working on the final details of this program. We wish to give families a healthier start.
High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.
Suggested Points to Emphasize When Talking to Children
December 18, 2020
By Bill Doyle | CFP Correspondent
Attendance has plummeted at churches in the Diocese of Worcester due to the pandemic, but parishes have managed to collect just as many, or nearly as many, Christmas presents for those in need.
The state has limited attendance at places of worship to 40 percent of capacity to avoid spreading COVID-19 and many parishioners don’t feel comfortable attending Mass yet, people in the parishes said.
Attendance at Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Brigid parishes in Millbury, St. Columba Parish in Paxton, St. Matthew Parish in Southborough and St. Mark Parish in Sutton, has fallen off by as much as two-thirds from a year ago, but those churches have still collected the same number of Christmas presents as usual.
Deacon Ronald B. Buron oversees the Giving Tree program at Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Brigid with pastoral associate Deborah Blicharz. Deacon Buron and Father Daniel R. Mulcahy, the pastor, spoke about the need to give during their homilies, and the parishioners responded.
Deacon Buron estimated that attendance is only 35 percent of what it was before the pandemic, but all 340 gift tags – the same number as last year – were given out during the first weekend they were available. Parishioners indicated how many tags they wanted as masked staffers distributed them in ziplock sandwich bags.
“I was flabbergasted in a way that all the tags went,” Deacon Buron said. “Normally, when we have them hanging on the tree, it might take a couple of weeks for them all to go. But there were people taking multiple tags when we gave them out. It just warms your heart to know that there are still people out there who care.”
The toys and clothing were donated to the Urban Missionaries of Our Lady of Hope in Worcester and the parish’s St. Vincent de Paul Society chapter. Both organizations received more gifts than they had requested because people donated gifts even if they hadn’t picked up tags.
After the parish ran out of gift tags, parishioners purchased gift cards for Pernet Family Health Service of Worcester, Why Me & Sherry’s House of Worcester and the Bethany House Ministries of Millis.
When Deacon Buron arrived at Sherry’s House, the sign out front read: “Desperate Need of Gift Cards.” He said that people at Sherry’s House and Pernet cried when he delivered the gift cards.
Mrs. Blicharz admitted she was concerned that the churches wouldn’t collect as many gifts as needed, but she is glad she was mistaken.
“It was very inspiring to have the response be so generous,” she said.
Because of the pandemic, St. Columba accepted only Kohl’s, Walmart and Target gift cards, not gifts, for Pernet, St. Peter Church and St. Andrew the Apostle Mission in Worcester.
Last year, St. Columba collected more than 250 gifts. Father David W. Cotter, parish administrator, estimated that Mass attendance was only about a third of last year, but Susan Stone, who oversees the Giving Tree program, said the parish still managed to collect 216 gift cards. Mrs. Stone said the gift cards were worth a total of $5,400, almost what the 250 gifts cost.
St. Columba promoted the giving program not only to those attending Mass, but to those watching the live-streamed Mass each Sunday, as well as via Flocknote and the church’s online bulletin.
“It makes me realize that even though there’s only a third of people in the church,” Father Cotter said, “the parish is still very lively and people are still very much aware of what’s going on in the parish and still participating. It also reminds me of the generosity of people.”
St. Matthew pastor Father James B. Flynn estimated that attendance has fallen to 30 to 40 percent of what it was before the pandemic, but parishioners continue to give. Karen Fournier has coordinated the church’s Giving Tree with Suzi McGourty for more than 20 years. Mrs. Fournier said the parish collected 175 gifts and 30 gift cards this year, the same as in past years.
St. Matthew collects gifts for families served by Pernet and Father Flynn said the church has also received more than $4,000 in gift cards for St. Jude Thaddeus Church in Waldron, Arkansas.
“I think people are more sensitive to the needs during COVID-19 because of the experience of seeing so many local people enduring hunger and homelessness,” Father Flynn said.
“I just think that people still want to give,” Mrs. Fournier said. “This time of year just naturally has people thinking about other people.”
Father Michael A. DiGeronimo, pastor at St. Mark’s, said attendance is about half of what it was before the pandemic, but parishioners will donate more than 300 gifts, the same as in past years.
“Especially in times of difficulty and stress,” Father DiGeronimo said, “we need to do charity more than ever. My approach was, ‘We’re going to do it. Now we’re going to figure out how and keep people safe.’”
Gift tags were spread out on tables at the church and hand sanitizer was available. Parishioners could pick them up after Mass or whenever the church was open.
St. Mark distributes gifts to local families and the Urban Missionaries. Father DiGeronimo said parishioners have continued to support not only the Giving Tree, but the church’s other ministries, including a nursing home in Haiti and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
96.1 WSRS for the 28th Annual “Feed Worcester County” Food Drive
Hosts: Christopher Zito “Zito” and Suzanne Lewis
The Holidays are hereIt's a tradition that most families look forward to every year. That moment that the family is gathered together eating a meal. Some families have pre-meal and post-meal traditions. 2020 brings a challenge to most traditions. It may be that some of them are cancelled, or the number of people at the dinner table will be greatly reduced. But the one thing that should stay is the tradition of being thankful for what we have.
Here at Pernet, one tradition that will stay is providing Thanksgiving meals for families and holiday gifts for children. The Little Sisters of the Assumption who started the work we do at Pernet 65 years ago sought to support the disadvantaged families and to revitalize the spirit of those degraded by poverty. Today that work continues and the pandemic makes it even more urgent. We are pleased o be able to provide 250 families in our community with holiday meals this year.
Pernet Holiday Gift List
This Holiday Season, please consider donating a gift for a child. These gifts go to children 0-17 years of age.
Below is a list for Pernet Holiday Gifts Program
You can also purchase items on the Amazon Gift Registry at https://amzn.to/31XMJPq Please drop off gifts by Wednesday 12/09/2020.
For more information please contact Yildiz Laza at 508-755-1228 or email@example.com
MASSACHUSETTS BANKERS ASSOCIATION CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
ANNOUNCES RECORD 2020 COMMUNITY GRANTS
BOSTON, Nov. 10, 2020 – The Massachusetts Bankers Association (MBA) announced today that the MBA Charitable Foundation has set a new record in its annual year-end community grant season.
In keeping with the Charitable Foundation’s annual community grants, MBA is announcing today that the Foundation will be granting an additional 49 grants, totaling $157,500. The Foundation, supported by MBA’s 130 member banks in Massachusetts and New England, is distributing the grants over eight geographic regions across the Commonwealth. Of the many well-deserving social service agencies, this year’s awards are given to organizations that are aiding in the battle of hunger; promoting academic, social and emotional growth and equality; alleviating homelessness, promoting skill development to close the opportunity divide; addressing domestic violence, women’s shelters and empowerment, and more.
Earlier this year, with the rise of the pandemic and in recognition of heightened focus on lifting communities through economic and social equality initiatives, MBA made special donations to the Mass COVID Relief Fund, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), and the 10point Coalition. Additionally, MBA launched a three-month social media campaign to acknowledge and highlight the hard work and dedication of many organizations that are committed in providing aid and relief to their community.
“On behalf of the entire Massachusetts banking community, we are thrilled to bring our collective strength to supporting organizations that are doing immense good in local communities across the Commonwealth,” said Peter G. Brown, Chairman of the MBA Charitable Foundation, and President and CEO of Dedham Savings, “As we see the impact of the Foundation’s support as well as the broader support from banks’ individual efforts, we are reminded that every gift-giving season amplifies the needs. As we recognize 49 organizations this year with the 2020 gifts, we do so with the knowledge and renewed focus that our work continues.”
Since its founding in 1996, the Foundation has provided gifts totaling approximately $2.8 million, which is symbolic of the more than $106 million in individual donations banks make on an annual basis to charitable non-profits and social agencies in communities throughout the Commonwealth.
Pernet Family Health is grateful for the $5,000 grant awarded.
The Massachusetts Bankers Association represents approximately 130 commercial, savings and co-operative FDIC-insured banks and savings and loan associations with 72,000 employees located in Massachusetts and elsewhere in New England.
Many families in our community are facing food insecurity for the first time. We have discovered that the struggle to feed their loved ones will only intensify during the upcoming holidays. Due to the pandemic, many grocery stores are not able to hold their usual holiday food drives, which will inevitably reduce food donations for holiday meals at our local non-profits. The United Way of Central Massachusetts is partnering with Friendly House and Pernet Family Health to provide festive holiday meals for those in need.
Here’s How You Can Help Those In Need
Donate Via Credit Card Or Venmo
Donate Non-Perishable Food Items
Sign Up For Our Virtual Road Race!
Visit the event website for more details and link to register.
You know your child better than anyone. But even you have a few questions.COVID-19 is putting incredible pressure on families. You might be noticing your child is struggling in new ways, or that old problems are getting worse. Should you worry about your child’s behavioral health? HandHoldMA is here to help you figure that out.
Visit HandHoldMA.org for information and resources on:
Should I worry?Is your kid just being a kid, or is their behavior something to worry about? Learn about signs to look for and get suggestions on what to do next.
What can I do?Tips, tools, and strategies that have worked for other families, sorted by topic, and picked by Handhold. These are things you can learn about or do from home.
Who can help?Our top picks for community organizations and government resources that can help you locate the right mental health service for your child and family.
Pernet Family Health Service, Inc.