Women of Calvary 2011 Grant Recipients

The WoC Holiday Bazaar is over and packed away, awaiting 2012's rush of excitement. The many days and weeks of preparation resulted in another successful venture for Calvary Church. The myriad of volunteers have contributed another job well done, and have moved on to other projects, or are taking a well-deserved rest from the hubbub of the holidays. In a few months, the WoC Grant Committee will begin to deliberate on the many worthy organizations who will be recipients of the proceeds. But, for those organizations who received grants in 2011 resulting from the Bazaar of 2010, the service to the community goes on.

The 2010 Bazaar provided the WoC with $16,000 to award as grants to twelve organizations. These organizations were listed in an Agape newsletter last year. Each organization that received a grant was asked to explain how the award monies would be used. In the following weeks, the Sunday bulletin will highlight a different recipient, to give members of Calvary a sense of how our support of the WoC Bazaar really supports our community as a whole.


Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
Melissa Protzek, Esq., Executive Director

In Allegheny County, there are thousands of children who are active with the Children’s Court system because they have been abused or neglected. Unfortunately, child victims of abuse and neglect often suffer from a myriad of complex problems and circumstances that, without personalized attention, will sabotage their ability to find safe, nurturing and permanent homes.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers, through collaboration with Children’s Court judges, are assigned to the cases that are most complex and where the abuse and neglect is most severe. The CASA volunteers, with their staff case manager, meet with all those involved with the children (including parents, caregivers, relatives, neighbors, teachers, therapists, doctors, daycare providers, etc.) to gather information. They visit the children once a month, wherever the child is living, to ensure their safety. These interactions, conversations, meetings and observations form the basis for CASA reports and recommendations that are presented to the court both through a written report and in court testimony. Funding supports the court costs associated with staff case managers who supervise the volunteers and ensure quality advocacy for all children.

On behalf of all of us at CASA, we thank the Women of Calvary for their generous grant of $1,000 to CASA of Allegheny County to help support the costs of advocacy for one child for one year. We are grateful to the Women of Calvary for taking the time to remember every child in this community who suffers the horrors of abuse and neglect.


East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM)
Myrna Zelenitz, Executive Director

East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM) has been an active member of the East End community for more than forty years, serving as an important safety net to vulnerable men, women, and children in our neighborhoods. EECM is grateful for the generous support from the Women of Calvary who donated $1,000 towards our ExtraOrdinary Tutoring (ET) program. ET is a one-on-one tutoring/mentoring program that provides free, personalized academic support to children who reside in Pittsburgh’s East End. Caring volunteers are paired with local elementary, middle, and high school students to tutor them for an hour or more on a weekly basis. The tutors / mentors help students with schoolwork in subjects with which they are having difficulty, as well as talking with them about their everyday lives. Students are tutored on a wide variety of subjects, from reading to calculus. Mentors can discuss students’ issues and successes with program coordinators, who are in frequent contact with the students’ parents/ guardians. Thanks to generous supporters such as the Women of Calvary, each year, more than 100 students receive essential academic and social support through ExtraOrdinary Tutoring.


The Good Grief Center
Cynthia Oliver, Division Director

The mission of the Good Grief Center (GGC) is to be a comprehensive bereavement resource and referral center that builds a more compassionate community through grief awareness, education, support and hope; creating a safe place where all who have experienced the pain of death may come to work through loss and learn to manage grief.

The GGC wishes to thank the Women of Calvary for their generous donation of $500. This support will enable us to provide grief support and educational services to local nonprofits free of charge.

Already the Good Grief Center has scheduled a support program for Bethany Hospice using some of the proceeds of your donation. This program will help hospice workers to understand the fundamentals of grief and the mourning process so that caregivers can recognize and implement actions to support their clients. Similar services are scheduled for the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh Lemieux Family Center and Seaton Center Adult Enrichment Facility.

The remainder of the donation will be used to provide similar grief support and educational services to local schools, nonprofits, and community agencies. The Good Grief Center is uniquely positioned to provide these services and designed to respond quickly to sudden, multiple, or anticipated grief events. Through our partnership, the Women of Calvary and the Good Grief Center can maximize the impact of your donation to support many other nonprofits. GGC will be able to provide one on one mentoring, group meetings, and education to agencies who experience the loss of staff members, death or crises of a participant or student, have a member who is ill and dying, or a need for grief education for their staff and clients. Loss not only affects families, it affects our co-workers, and friends whose grief can often be marginalized and extended if they do not get the compassionate care they need. The GCC thanks you again for your support and assistance in helping grieving families.


Gwen’s Girls
Lynn Knezevich, Executive Director

Gwen’s Girls is one of the few agencies in the nation that offers a unique, gender-specific comprehensive continuum of care for girls and young women, being pioneers in this emerging field. The issues associated with girls are complex - even in the best of situations. However, most of the girls currently served live in neighborhoods that are marred with poverty, drugs, and violence. This population is at risk for poor outcomes due to abuse, neglect, involvement with the justice system, out-of-home placement, pregnancy, and poor academic performance. Gwen’s Girls programs and services are designed to give girls the skills and supports they need to succeed and become self-sufficient and productive members of society.

On behalf of the girls we serve, we are deeply grateful for your grant award of $500. This funding will be used to help cover the costs of stipends for the Activity Instructors for our new “Move and Get Healthy” curriculum for our girls. This prevention-oriented
intervention program is a 12-week nutrition and physical fitness/activity program designed for the girls we serve, who are from high-needs, high-poverty neighborhoods. The program will provide a community-based setting that allows for a safe environment for physical activity. We are passionate about our mission, and we are extremely grateful for your support and generosity.

We commend you for your commitment to the young women and girls in the East End and pray that God blesses you for your generosity.


Holy Cross Church
The Reverend Dr. Moni McIntyre, Rector

The Church of the Holy Cross is an Episcopal Church located in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh. Holy Cross enthusiastically supports diocesan outreach efforts, East End food banks, and the Homewood Brushton Community Ministries activities, among many others. Holy Cross has approximately 150 members, many of whom are elderly with access needs. Several active groups in the church hold frequent meetings in the church’s lounge. The current furniture is old and difficult for many members to use. The lounge is the primary meeting area, because it can be reached without the use of stairs, and there is no elevator.

The generous check of $1,500 from the Women of Calvary will provide the church with new meeting room furniture – new chairs and a couch – that will accommodate the needs of the parish members. The relationship between Calvary and Holy Cross is a long and
treasured one. You never forget us, and we are so grateful!


Homeless Children’s Education Fund
Bill Wolfe, Executive Director

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.” So wrote Emily Dickinson. Through its partnering with homeless residential agencies in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and its innovative educational programming, the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) works to ensure that for “our” children hope is nourished daily, hope is deeply rooted in their very being, hope never falters.

With the $1,000 gift toward the expansion of the Volunteer Program, the Women of Calvary are in the long run helping to instill hope in the hearts of hundreds of children caught up in homelessness.

You are contributing to the sustaining of that hope by supporting the training and hands-on-work of the volunteers who mentor children in the HCEF Learning Centers After- School programming within the homeless housing agencies that are their temporary homes.
From all of us at HCEF and from the agency staffs and the children we serve: Thank You! As one housing director has written: “We are doing all we can to help our children. How grateful we are for generous people like you who make it all possible.” Together we DO make a difference!


Jubilee Association Inc.
Sister Liguori Rossner, Executive Director

In the 32 years since Jubilee began its ministry, the economy has never been as bad as it is today. Requests are received daily for payments of rent, utilities, prescriptions, burials, etc. We are truly blessed to be able to fulfill most of these needs, thanks to a devoted staff, faithful volunteers, an involved Board of Directors, and benefactors like you.

Jubilee Kitchen continues to serve a wholesome meal daily to 150-200 guests. Our Pantry on Polish Hill provides take home food for over 110 families weekly. The outreach ministries of our Janice Joyce Health Clinic and Job Corner are busy. At present we have 40 children in our John Heinz Family Child Development Center, and some on the waiting list.

We are most grateful to the Women of Calvary for your generous gift of $500. Your support of our ministries helps us to continue our service to those who come to us in need. You are welcome to visit us at any time, or see the various ways your donation is used by Jubilee by visiting our web site at jubileesoupkitchen.org. May God bless you for showing concern for our less fortunate brothers and sisters.


Off the Floor Pittsburgh
Chris C. Cooke, Acting President

Off the Floor Pittsburgh (OFP) is a Christian ministry responding to a call to demonstrate the boundless love of God and to provide hope to families who are living without beds for sleeping and tables and chairs for eating. OFP is a furniture bank for families in great need. Teams of volunteers from local churches of various denominations pick up and deliver furniture on a rotating schedule. The families receiving OFP services have been referred by one of 35 social services agencies, who provide appropriate services to these families, but are not able to provide them with needed furniture. Basic household items are delivered free of charge along with a copy of the New Testament and the opportunity to pray together. To date, OFP has delivered furniture to more than 600 families, including more than 1,200 children.

The $750 grant from the Women of Calvary will be used to purchase discount twin mattresses for some of the 32 bed frames donated by Duquesne University. (All mattresses provided to families are new.) Nearly every family referred to OFP needs beds, and it is the furniture they most appreciate receiving. In 2010, OFP delivered 174 beds, 90 of which were twin beds. This grant will help ensure that we can do the same in 2011. Thank you for your generous support.


Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute
Randall Hoedemann, Executive Director

Serving southwest Pennsylvania since 1964, the Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute (PPI) is the area’s oldest and largest interfaith counseling and psychotherapy center that integrates the behavioral sciences and the resources of a client’s particular religious faith. PPI’s services are varied and include individual, couple, and family counseling and psychotherapy, psychiatric consultation, and community education. The “Silent Samaritan Fund” provides direct financial aid to motivated and deserving women who come to PPI for counseling, but cannot afford the minimum fee.

Numbered among the “working poor,” many of these women are single parents who are working overtime trying to make ends meet.

The Women of Calvary’s contribution of $1,000 is benefiting the Silent Samaritan Fund’s “Women in Strength Helping Women in Need.” The donation will directly subsidize the increasing number of uninsured or underinsured women who come to PPI for help with the many difficult and challenging concerns in their lives. Please accept our heartfelt gratitude on behalf of those who will benefit from your donation. Your generosity will provide help, hope, and healing to these women, and to their families.


Renewal, Inc. / Lydia’s Place
Douglas C. Williams, President and CEO

Renewal, Inc. believes in the positive integration and rebuilding of lives of offenders by offering education, job readiness, counseling, community service, and opportunities for drug and alcohol/mental health treatment. Lydia’s Place, now an affiliate of Renewal, Inc., focuses on the needs of incarcerated women especially focusing on providing family strengthening services to the caregivers and children of incarcerated women.

The generous grant of $1,000 from the Women of Calvary will be used by Lydia’s Place for the Basic Needs for New Beginnings program. This program supports some of the costs incurred when women are released from the Allegheny County Jail. These funds include some basic human needs such as: identification, transportation, and personal care items. While these are basic essentials for us, they mean so much to a woman who literally has nothing but the clothes on her back. These items can help her to rebuild her life; and many times it makes the difference between a woman who successfully moves on to a productive life, and one who continues a cycle of incarceration.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, the staff and especially our residents, we want to thank you for supporting our organization. Your support enables us to assist offenders in putting their lives and families back together to become
stable, productive members of our communities.


Shepherd Wellness Community
Scott Peterman, Executive Director

The Shepherd Wellness Community (SWC) is the only AIDS community center in Western Pennsylvania, and the only provider of group meals for people affected by HIV/AIDS. Wellness Dinners are served every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at our Center, and we also provide take-home meals to help our HIV positive members improve their nutrition. Our Wellness Dinners also enable SWC to offer other programs and services such as support groups, wellness education presentations, social events, alternative and holistic therapies, peer counseling, spiritual life speakers and worship services.

Many of our members experience loneliness and isolation as a part of living with HIV/AIDS. In the safe and supportive atmosphere at our Wellness Dinners, men, women and children are able to form a support network of friends, SWC staff and volunteers who provide them with information, encouragement and referrals to other agencies. This environment serves as a gateway enabling persons to connect with other AIDS Service Organizations and medical care providers.
The members of Shepherd Wellness Community are grateful to the Women of Calvary for the grant of $500 to help us continue our HIV/AIDS Wellness Dinners. Your support touches the lives of our members living with HIV/AIDS and we are thankful for your many years of support.


Over the past several weeks, the wonderful non-profit organizations who are recipients of WoC grants have been introduced to you in the Sunday service bulletins. Many are organizations that some of us were never aware of, while others are familiar. One program, however, is a home-grown initiative that we all have heard about. However, some of us do not know or remember the beginnings of the program, and what it actually does. The program is the Calvary Lincoln After School Program or simply, CLASP. As our last narrative of grant recipients, we would like to re-introduce you to an exceptional program, thriving right here at Calvary and including our neighbors in the East End. Thank you for all the interest shown in these organizations, and in your support of all of them through the Women of Calvary Holiday Bazaar.

Calvary Lincoln After School Program
Kitsy McNulty, Calvary Program Manager
Deonne Arrington, Principal, Lincoln Elementary Technical Academy
The Reverend Leslie Reimer, Spiritual Mentor

During the course of every school year, some 20 students from Lincoln Elementary Technical Academy board a bus and spend their after-school Tuesdays exploring another “country” in the world of the arts, courtesy in large part to a Calvary outreach grant to the Calvary-Lincoln After School Program or CLASP. Begun through a collaboration between Lincoln School and Calvary, the program provides the means for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders to experience the transformative power of the fine and performing arts first hand at a variety of the outstanding arts venues which make up Pittsburgh’s rich cultural landscape—the Carnegie Museum of Art, CAPA, Dance Alloy, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and Calvary, too. In these settings they are exposed to museum masterworks and also create products out of their own visual imagination; they work together to make theater; they shape dance out of raw energy and movement; and they listen to and practice musical improvisation.

Simply speaking, CLASP is no ordinary outreach enrichment program. It began as the result of Calvary’s Strategic Plan through which parishioners voiced interest in an Outreach program which was initiated by Calvary. Members, originally led by Phil Parr and Audrey Hilliard, visited Lincoln’s Parent and Teacher group which asked that their children be exposed to the fine arts. From its inception an extraordinary relationship has developed between Calvary and Lincoln School, involving the ongoing participation of the church’s congregants in its process. Calvary’s generous grant not only helps facilitate its weekly operations—buses, staff remuneration, and contributions to arts organizations—but ensures that every CLASP student is eligible for a week’s full scholarship to Sheldon Calvary Camp. In addition, the program is administered by a parish committee chaired by Kitsy McNulty. What’s more, parish members lead its musical component with Debby Sailsbery conducting the group in rhythm and percussion at Calvary, and Stan Nevola inspiring the students to swing along with his student jazz ensemble at Shadyside Academy. Not least of all, every week throughout the school year, Calvary parishioners supply juice and snacks to treat and energize the CLASPers after their regular school day and before their arts activities.

Every fall, for their first session, the students come to Calvary to meet the CLASP committee and enjoy special apple, cheese, and brownie snacks, and a terrific “ooh and ah” tour of the church by their own spiritual mentor, the Rev. Leslie Reimer, who plays a key role on the committee.

Our Rector, Dr. Harold Lewis has also cited Dr. Regina Holley, former Lincoln School Principal and a founder of CLASP, as praising the benefits the children have derived from the program, and singling out especially the scholarships provided by the church for the students to attend Calvary Camp each summer. Last year, 2011, and for the past several years, the Women of Calvary have supported these camp scholarships with a $3,750 grant. All in all, for about a decade and a half, Calvary Church parish members, along with Lincoln School staff, have built more than an after-school arts enrichment program. They have extended the Calvary family to include the CLASP children and their East End school.