HOLYOKE — Bank of America, a long-time annual investor in Providence Ministries’ Kate’s Kitchen, recently matched its monetary support with a day of service from a team of volunteers at Kate’s last week.
“I have been involved with community service since I was in high school. I feel it helps me stay connected to the community and that it is important to give back,” said Dwight Szarkowski, relationship manager, Sixteen Acres Financial Center, Bank of America. “Most of the morning, we did simple things to help prepare: restocking the food storage room, setting tables, and wrapping the utensils with a napkin so they could be easily distributed. When the doors opened, people came filing in. Most seemed to know the routine.”
But then something happened. Szarkowski sat down with a man and his two children and quickly found out that the gentleman was a single father of this boy and girl, around the ages of 9 and 10. “He shared with me the story of how they have been living in a shelter for over a year. He beamed with pride while telling me how they recently got their own apartment — how it has been hard work, but now that they are settling in to their new surroundings, he was going to be able to get his younger boy involved with sports and his older daughter in to art classes. He was happy to brag about how special each one of his kids are.”
Providence Ministries remains grateful for Bank of America as a partner and annual investor to continue its work meeting life’s basic needs of food, clothing, and housing for its most vulnerable neighbors. Given the rising numbers of those most vulnerable, including new neighbors from Puerto Rico, the organization notes, continued funding by Bank of America and other funders is even more critical in bringing daily meals to the people who need it most in the community.