Culture can become accustomed to catch phrases and slang such as Pay it Forward, An Act of Kindness or even Random Acts of Kindness. Indeed they are cute phrases that we have all heard, but have you acted on it lately? In Upper Darby a group of people have decided to act on the popular phrases by reaching out and feeding those in need in a program called Connect by Night. Connect by Night is a Delaware County outreach program that works with area churches to ensure those in need a place to sleep and a meal to eat.
The Life Center which helps area homeless people by having bed space for those in need is limited in size to accommodate 50 individuals. Connect by Night program, coordinates with area churches, to provide a safe place to sleep at area churches. Every month a different church takes in 50 persons who would not have any other place to go. Connect by Night is a program not a handout. Those who are eligible must participate with social workers to find the best solution to their homelessness problem. The other feature of Connect by Night is that area volunteers and businesses help to ensure that these people, many of them senior citizens and veterans of our armed services, have at least a meal a day. The goal is to have three meals a day served but that goal hasn’t been completely arranged.
There are those who would say that the program is simply enabling those in it not to succeed. They would be wrong. Success is not measured at Connect by Night simply by the amount of your paycheck. No, it is measured by helping those in need get a leg up and a chance at success. Just giving those in need a chance.
There are businesses who have donated to the Connect by Night program and they go unnoticed. One, Brown’s Shoprite at 6700 Haverford Ave, Philadelphia has been a generous donor. Over the past several weeks, their donations have ensured meals to 50 people each day. Deli manager, Roe Tagliaferri Schrader, helped in the development of the donation to Connect by Night as did the human resource department. There aren’t words enough to explain how much their generosity has meant to those who may not have had to go without any meals. Brown’s Shoprite is an all-star in their generosity.
Other businesses that have donated food for those in need include, Acme of Upper Darby, Kripsy Kreme Donuts of Manoa Shopping Center, Swiss Farms on Eagle Road in Havertown and members of Llanerch Hills Chapel for volunteering to create then serve meals. There are other area churches involved in meals preparation and serving but their names are not known at this time.
Whether you believe in pay it forward or in an act of kindness a day or if you just want to find a way to help your fellow man, there are opportunities all around you. Connect by Night is just one program in Delaware County where help is always needed. Not sure where to start, contact your area church, or your state representative office or members of the county council. Call the Veterans Administration or even your local center for aging.