News From St. Joseph’s Welfare Center
Our beloved Administrator, Rose had died on July 23, 2019. Fortunately, Rose has had a capable assistant in Irin Mary Seelan for the past 9 years, as Rose had withdrawn from many of the operational aspects of the Center. We were aware of the gradual transition and are happy that Irin will be able to continue the work started by Fr. Joseph so many years ago. Irin Mary is 49 years old and started on January 10, 2010. She is assisted by Adrin, her son, with the IT work. She had been the Manager who took care of all St Joseph’s projects like orphanage, elders, lepers, widows, self help groups. She takes care of banking and all administrative jobs. She is now in-charge and is the liaison to the government officials. She works round the clock for the welfare of the orphanage. She is proud to carry forward the legacy handed over to her with the blessings of Fr Joseph.
Also our Board Member and Grants Coordinator, Robert Kelly, died suddenly on August 2, 2019. He was such a generous force in obtaining donors, and spreading the word about our mission. We will miss him terribly. We also will be seeking new Board members as we continue the work started by Fr. Joseph.
The Center in Vellamadam always sends a monthly report to let our donors know how their donation are being used. Below are the latest Monthly Reports:
Saint Joseph’s Mission Fund Provides $3135 Grant to Start New Tailoring School
SJMF recently provided a $3135 grant to open a tailoring school for Adivasi young women. Under the tutelage of the Franciscan sisters, the young women learn tailoring so that they may return to their local village to open their own shop. This program encourages these young women to remain in their villages to earn an income, rather than be seduced by the rather dubious “employments” offered
SJMF Provides $5235 in COVID-19 Relief to Starving Adivasi
From Father Caesar July 2021:
Thanks to all the friends of SJMF. Your concern and generous hands made our people to live in spite of suffering which they had to undergo due to the Corona virus. You really came to our people’s help. Whenever I request your help, SJMF always came to our help. Due to the new laws about the foreign contribution no charitable institution nor any diocese could get fund from abroad without going through a lengthy process. Our diocese is struggling to get the documents cleared so that they can receive fund from abroad which is very essential for the development of our diocese and people. Thank you for the trouble which you all took to reach the fund on time to help our people.
Our situation was so bad that people in many villages were badly affected by the virus and were not willing to go to hospital as it had been always a tragic end. Our people remained at home and took home remedies and got better except few lost their life. First of all, our hospitals were not well equipped and private hospitals were very expensive and no ordinary person can afford to pay. Secondly the government hospitals were overcrowded and no beds for the sick and most of them had to sleep on the corridors of the hospital under poor hygienic atmosphere.
Our approach was:
- Provide food to the poor who suffer due to the loose of work
- Provide medicine and food supplements to those who suffered Covid.
- Provide baby food to those kids up to 3 years of age.
- Create awareness among our people to protect themselves through sessions in the villages.
- Inform the people about the need to take vaccination as many of our people afraid to take the vaccination. So, we had to convince them and even take them to receive the vaccination in some centers.
- Help the villages to get sanitized so that there is safety in living . Thus we were fully involved.
In spite of all the help and assistance, we lost six people among them 4 are women and two men lost their lives.
Fr. Robert’s native village- Milanpur, with 29 families were badly affected by Covid and they had to suffer for one full month without work and food. We supported them with your money and father is ever grateful and expresses his gratitude to you for this great charity to save his village people including his own family members.
Oating is an Adivasi pagan village with 78 families. After hearing that every one was affected by Covid and are quarantined inside, with the help of the government officers I entered the village and saw with my own eyes, women and children literally starving with hardly a square meal per day. No one cared for them. They were socially ostracized and kept away from others. With your support we could feed 78 families with rice and food materials for three weeks. We also gave them some help for medicines. Four persons died and no one to cremate them body too, we had to arrange with payment to do the cremation as per the pagan rituals. Today they are Ok but do not have the strength to work. Other day I went and gave them little rice for their food for the second time.
Benedictpathar is another village where 59 families were without food as they work as daily wage earners but due to the lockdown, no one gave them job and as the result they had been selling their land which is their security and also managing with one meal per day and with the roots from the forest. We provided food for two weeks with your money.
Kacharikuri is another Adivasi village who suffered starvation as they could not go to the forest to collect firewood to sell and feed the families as they do always. Due to lockdown, they could not cut fire wood and could not go to the town to sell. Thus their only livelihood is denied. There were 54 families. We gave them food for two weeks with your help.
We also extend our relief to the transgender people who were living in the railway station of our place. They had been living in utter poverty and no one cared for them. When we came to know about their plight, we met the group and extend our help to them. They were about 17 members living from begging in the trains. As the trains were cancelled for months, they had no income for their livelihood. They accepted the help with a grateful heart . This is the first time the church has approached them with generosity.
God bless you with good health. Pray for me.
SJMF Officers and Annual Meeting
Minutes for the Annual Board Meeting- March 11, 2021
Zoom attendees: Peter Kilcullen, Michelle Czernia, Ann Mundell, Holley Kilcullen, and John Ferman
2020 Donations increased from $120,000 to $138,000. The number of donors decreased from 161 in 2019, to 102 in 2020, due primarily to the one time donors who remembered Bob Kelly in 2019. 27 donors gave more than $1,000. The income gifts that Bob Kelly secured are called third party grants. There were income third party grants received in 2020.
2020 SJMF Grants: The outgoing money grants given by SJMF decreased to $134,000, down from $146,000 in 2019. Irin has kept the monthly requests to $10,000, except for special events like Christmas gifts and stipends and school uniforms.
Michelle said she would put a notice in the Holy Spirit bulletin to ask if someone might be interested in seeking grants for SJMF. She will wait until people have returned to Church after the pandemic.
Tax returns: John asked at what financial point would SJMF no longer be able to use the Form 990 EZ for a tax return. Michelle said when the gross receipts are over $200,000 and the assets are over $500,000.
A donor, Janet Heithaus, wrote a note with her donation recently. Here is an excerpt: “Having met him (Fr. Joseph) and Rose several times, they had an impact on my 5 children as they were growing up.” Fr. Joseph and Rose’s influence reached beyond the needy of Tamil Nadu!
Holley brought up the possible situation of health problems which would prevent them from doing the Board work for SJMF. It was mentioned that possible replacements might be found. If that is unsuccessful, the funds in the Vanguard Account, $180,000, could be given to the Mission. The Mission there has a Board of Directors so that the work there would continue.
Michelle closed with a prayer, the Memorare of St. Joseph.
IRS Form 990 for the last 3 years and our 501(c)(3) ruling are linked below.