On Sunday, December 2nd, we started off at the 27th annual Spaghetti Dinner for St. Herman’s House of Hospitality, which took place in the church hall at St. Malachi Parish on Washington Avenue in Cleveland.
On its website, St. Herman house is described as “an Orthodox Christian house of hospitality. We are a non-profit charitable organization committed to serving the homeless and needy poor of Ohio City and Inner City Cleveland in a spirit of love and hospitality. We have been in operation since September of 1977. St. Herman’s is solely owned and operated by FOCUS North America which conducts outreach centers and programs in 30 cities around the country.”
Mr. H. Paul Finley, the local director of St. Herman House, FOCUS Cleveland, told us that in the course of 2018, St. Herman’s housed 99 men who, for the most part, moved on to find gainful employment and/or moved on to more advanced treatment. In addition, approximately 81,000 hot meals were served; 1,700 bags of groceries were distributed to 450 families; and clothing was given to some 700 needy men.
Last year in 2017, Mr. Finley shared with us some exciting news to tell us about a project involving the training of some of St. Herman’s residents to be bee keepers. At that time, there were only four hives at Spruce Farm (a ministry of St. Herman’s FOCUS Cleveland) near Middlefield, Ohio but they had produced enough honey to fill 168 small bottles.
This year we learned from Ms. Joann Romick, who coordinates the bee keeper enterprise, and Mr. Kirk Barratt who immigrated to the United States from Trinidad in 1999 and directly oversees the the maintenance of the hives that their number has now risen to 21 and that a grant has been obtained to purchase even more. In short, it is, so far, a fine success which is expected to expand and enable the training of even more individuals.
As usual, Mr. Dan Jenks and his wife, Ms. Debbie Jenks, did a terrific job organizing this annual event and we enjoyed being entertained by “Mud in Yer Eye” band which played Christmas carols and old favorites like “Bringing Home the Baby Bumblebee.”
As for ourselves, we brought with us a small contribution from “Margaret W. Wong and Associates” which was very much appreciated. In turn, we appreciated it very much when Mr. Roy McInerney, the House Manager at St. Herman’s, recognized us and walked across the large hall to just to say hello.