STARTING FALL, 2021 The Good Shepherds will continue to support the GSP food pantry and youth ministries. Recognizing the importance of financial stewardship in supporting parish ministries, The Good Shepherd Program began in August, 2018. With a goal of $200,000, several families have pledged $25,000 for 3 years to fund four programs under two categories:
BECAME THE FOOD BASKETS MV. The Children’s Food and Backpack Program where food was provided in backpacks to children on weekends who would otherwise go without.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT ENDED SPRING, 2020 WITH CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS for The Winter Warming Center which welcomed homeless Vineyarders to the renovated Parish Center basement in Oak Bluffs to have a meal, a shower, to change and wash clothes, to workout at the gym, use the internet, charge cell phones and relax in the lounging area. Meals to go were provided as well as toothbrushes/toothpaste. Availability began when the weather got colder: Thursdays in October, then Monday-Saturday from November through the end of March.
This also included the Overnight Shelter which additionally offered accommodations for an overnight stay on Wednesday evenings at the Parish Center during the rough winter months of January, February and March.
Youth Ministry by providing for a full-time youth minister to serve the students from 7th grade through high school, and beyond.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT ENDED SPRING, 2020 for Summer Music Ministry by supporting additional musicians, coming to the Island, sharing their talents at Mass and giving concerts to the parish community from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
It was determined that the annual cost for these four ministries is $200,000. These funds are clearly restricted and earmarked for these programs only and are monitored by both the Good Shepherd Parish Finance Council and the Diocese of Fall River. All Good Shepherds also receive quarterly updates from the Finance Council.
Current members invite others to become a Good Shepherd by matching their gifts, or by contributing any amount to support these parish programs that they feel comfortable giving with that 3-year commitment to keep it sustainable.
Please contact Deb and Steve Rusckowski at 978-758-9431.