Just Thinking

October 5, 2012

My wife and I were watching TV


Last week



And she made a very


Astute observation



“How come all we hear about




In the Presidential election




Is the middle class





Did everyone stop talking…..





About the Poor?”






We hear about the top 2%








The middle class




What are we doing about the poor?





Are they now the middle class…




Want to hear some sobering facts?




There have been


48 murders…..




In Camden, NJ



So far this year




Camden has gained the title of….




America’s most dangerous city




Camden is about 7 miles


From where I am sitting




Let’s look at some of the facts:


  • 13 homicides in July – the most deadly month since a shooting spree in 1949
  • Murder rate was ten times New York City in 2011 — and on pace to be even higher this year
  • More than half of children live below the poverty line as the city is ravaged by drugs
  • Police department forced to cut one third of officers in 2011 and arrests dropped to less than half of what they were in 2009




I am using Camden



As an example



Because it is



Close to home




There are many families hurting



Not only in Camden….




But in all across…



The United States




In cities







In small towns





There are independent programs



Set up



To help these people…..




Mostly non profits



With Church affiliations




Providing food



Temporary Shelter





Working with youth



Helping them to



Believe in their abilities





Teaching them



You can make a difference









Don’t settle





But there is no grand effort





No coordinated







To make a difference






To lift these people up








There is unemployment






Food Stamps






Other Government assistance programs





But what are we doing



As a whole….




To lift the poor in spirit





Give them the opportunity



To live



To Share





The American dream





Whatsoever you do



To the least of my brethren




That you do unto me





I think we are all familiar with that line






What are we doing to help…..



The poor?





We all take our lives for granted





What we fail to realize is that…..




Every Day is a Gift






I am a product of Catholic Schools




They taught the….






The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy



  • Feed the Hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Cloth the naked
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Comfort the imprisoned
  • Visit the sick
  • Bury the dead




What have we been doing….




With the gifts that we have been given?





Many years ago



As man evolved



They realized



The only way



They could sustain



Continue to grow



And Survive



Would be by



Helping each other




There was no….














They all worked together



They Realized that they….




All needed each other





The world calls us to be engaged




We are all one





“For I was hungry and you gave me food



I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink



I was a stranger and you welcomed me



I was naked and you gave me clothing



I was sick and you took care of me



I was in prison and you visited me.”



Mathew 25:34-36

Giving Hope

April 13, 2012

For the last 8 years I have shared an affiliation


With Hopeworks in Camden



4 of those years I was on the Board;



And for 2 years I served as the


President of the Board





Hopeworks is the vision of Fr Jeff Putthoff



A Jesuit



Gotta love the Jesuits




Fr Jeff  has committed himself to making a difference



In Camden




Thru hard work and patience



His vision is becoming a reality




Camden is recognized as one of



America’s poorest cities




There has been constant wrangling


Whether it is #1 or #2




It is also is ranked #2



As one of America’s




Dangerous cities





Over 40% of the youth never even graduate



From High School




Hopeworks vision:




Empowering the youth to identify



And develop their D.R.E.A.M.S.




(Dynamic, Realizable Efforts to Attain and Maintain Success)



And own their future.





Hopeworks provides the youth an opportunity to



Stay in school



Or to



Get their GED




Learn a skill




Giving them an opportunity to




Go to college





Education is the Key




The environment that The Camden youth



Are exposed to



Is frightening



Just within the last month


Over 3 people were shot and killed


Within a 2 block radius of Hopeworks


At 5th and State St




Drugs are dealt opening



One youth when asked what he hoped to do


When he got older



Stated that before coming to Hopeworks



He never really thought about it




For he never expected to live past 17




When he was 10 years old


His brother died in his arms


A victim of the streets



By 12 years old he was running drugs


And arrested on gun charges



After he shot at the police





Hopeworks is making a difference




While I was on the Board


Fr Jeff introduced the




Fun in the Sun Calendar



Each summer;  Hopework uses


The Fun in the Sun Calendar


To help fund summer jobs


For Camden youth




This summer we are hoping to raise


Enough funds to support


25 summer jobs at Hopeworks





This is where you can help




I have agreed to be a Captain


For the Fun in the Sun program




I am looking for you to help me sell


60 tickets



Which will help us to partially fund the



Hopeworks summer work program




There are many options available



1 subscription cost $20



You may also choose to support a youth for 1 week



That only cost $160



Each day in June a name will be pulled


From those you have bought a subscription




You will have a chance to win a


Specific dollar amount assigned to that day



One lucky subscribe stands to win





That could be you



Click on the link below to get more information about the



Fun in the Sun Subscription


And take a minute to look at the other tabs on the website



These tabs provide more information


About Hopeworks



Their Vision and Mission statements



The programs available



To the Camden youth




Hopeworks is all about



Giving back……



Providing Hope…..



Opening Doors……



Fulfilling Dreams……




Let’s take time to Pay it Forward








It is my hope that you will help us



Give 25 youth in Camden



A job at Hopeworks



This summer




Note: Should you choose to buy a subscription


There is a space that ask for the captain name


Please enter my name



And God Bless You



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