Friends of the Poor Fundraiser Surpasses Goal

Meghan Loftus, president and CEO of Friends of the Poor, recently announced that the 35th anniversary Stay at Home Ball fundraiser exceeded its $350,000 goal. The event was created to establish the Sister Ann Walsh, IHM Endowment Fund.

The fund will be used to underwrite the agency’s increased efforts in the fight against poverty, hunger and injustice and to honor the decades long service to the agency by Sister Ann Walsh.

Included within the Stay at Home Ball fundraiser was a raffle for anyone who contributed $100 or more. The grand prize, won by The Giovagnoli Family, is four tickets to an October 2021 Notre Dame Football game in South Bend, Ind., and a two-night stay at a hotel; Albert and Marie Karam took home the second prize of two tickets to a Philadelphia Eagles game, and Darlene and Cataldo Medico won an LG-65” Class UN7000 Series LED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV.

Committee members included Atty. Pat Brier, Phil Condron, Patti Lynett, Maggie Mariotti, Au.D., Sister Liz McGill, IHM, Peter Moylan, Sister Terry O’Rourke, IHM, and Sister Ann Walsh, IHM.” 

Condron Media created a video showcasing the impact Sister Ann Walsh has made in the community. The video can be viewed on the Friends of the Poor Facebook.

Founded in 1986 by the late Sister Adrian Barrett, IHM and sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), the agency provides emergency relief for over 15,000 unduplicated individuals each year.

Friends of the Poor operates 12 food pantries in Lackawanna County. Clothing, furniture, household items, and financial assistance for water utilities are available through the pantries as well. 

The agency also supports a men’s clothing program, after-school programs, summer camps, summer activities, seasonal giveaways (toys, food, clothing), and a transportation program for medical appointments for residents of Carbondale.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Friends of the Poor and its Family to Family program began additional drive-through food distributions weekly, and then biweekly, which have served over 100,000 individuals throughout the 30+ events.

UNICO’s COVID-19 Relief Initiative Helps Friends of the Poor

Dunmore’s Keystone Chapter UNICO National recently presented its fifth Covid-19 Relief Initiative donation this year.  In recognition of Friends of the Poor’s continued good works during this pandemic, Keystone UNICO donated $1,000 to assist in their efforts. 

Anyone wishing to make a donation can send their tax-free donation payable to “Friends of the Poor” at 2300 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA 18509.

Pictured at the Keystone UNICO check presentation to Friends of the Poor are, from left: Keystone Chapter UNICO Board Members Toni DiVizio and Michele McDade, Board Chairman Frank Coviello, Mark McDade, Chapter President Mary Ann Coviello, Louise Ligi and Friends of the Poor President and CEO Meghan E. Loftus. 

Coat Collection Underway to Benefit Friends of the Poor

In the New Year, UNICO National Scranton Chapter will continue to collect slightly used coats as well as donations and gift cards to help the Friends of the Poor. 

The drive recommenced on January 2, as members collect coats, clothing for all , and household items including dishes, silverware, small appliances (slightly used), lamps, etc. 

UNICO’s motto is Service Above Self, and so many members rallied to help many in the community, especially in these trying times. Gail Cicerini is president, UNICO National Scranton Chapter. Friends of the Poor is sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The agency offers food, clothing and shelter to those in need. 

Shown from left: Brian Williams of Friends of the Poor, picking up clothing from UNICO Scranton Chapter member Linda Stefursky at her home.