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Hebrew Congregation Donates Items to Homeless Shelter

Oct. 7, 2007 – Members of the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas have donated more than 40 bags of food, clothing, toiletries and bedding to the Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless.
Congregants donated the items as part of their annual High Holy Days drive to assist the needy in our community.
"On our High Holy Days we are reminded of our obligations, so easy to forget as we live our lives each day, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and unlock the shackles of injustice," Rabbi Arthur Starr said. "This drive marks the beginning of a commitment to continue, throughout the year, to live up to our responsibilities as beings created in the image of God."
Traditionally, the congregation's High Holy Days drive has focused on non-perishable food for the island's soup kitchens and shelters. This year the congregation's Social Action Committee expanded the campaign to include items that Bethlehem House's managers desperately need: toiletries, bedding, towels and clothing and shoes for men, women and children.
Bethlehem House provides temporary shelter for 20 men and 20 women, though fewer beds are available when mothers arrive with children. The shelter is a refuge where the homeless can get off the streets, shower, eat, sleep and get clean clothes.
Alvin A. Henley Sr., district manager for Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, which oversees Bethlehem House, soup kitchens and other programs, thanked Social Action Co-Chairs Agnes Rampino and Alexandra Laing for the "generous donation put together by you and the Hebrew Congregation. "
Laing thanked her fellow congregants "for taking the time to clean out their pantries and closets, asking for donations from friends and neighbors and then hauling the heavy bags up to the Synagogue."
That kind of generosity "demonstrates that helping hands in our community can make a significant impact in the lives of those in need," she added.

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Oct. 7, 2007 - Members of the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas have donated more than 40 bags of food, clothing, toiletries and bedding to the Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless.
Congregants donated the items as part of their annual High Holy Days drive to assist the needy in our community.
"On our High Holy Days we are reminded of our obligations, so easy to forget as we live our lives each day, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and unlock the shackles of injustice," Rabbi Arthur Starr said. "This drive marks the beginning of a commitment to continue, throughout the year, to live up to our responsibilities as beings created in the image of God."
Traditionally, the congregation's High Holy Days drive has focused on non-perishable food for the island's soup kitchens and shelters. This year the congregation's Social Action Committee expanded the campaign to include items that Bethlehem House's managers desperately need: toiletries, bedding, towels and clothing and shoes for men, women and children.
Bethlehem House provides temporary shelter for 20 men and 20 women, though fewer beds are available when mothers arrive with children. The shelter is a refuge where the homeless can get off the streets, shower, eat, sleep and get clean clothes.
Alvin A. Henley Sr., district manager for Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, which oversees Bethlehem House, soup kitchens and other programs, thanked Social Action Co-Chairs Agnes Rampino and Alexandra Laing for the "generous donation put together by you and the Hebrew Congregation. "
Laing thanked her fellow congregants "for taking the time to clean out their pantries and closets, asking for donations from friends and neighbors and then hauling the heavy bags up to the Synagogue."
That kind of generosity "demonstrates that helping hands in our community can make a significant impact in the lives of those in need," she added.