Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Appeal from Good Counsel Homes

A note from Chris Bell:

OK, this is what is keeping me up. I owe nearly $400,000 in bills this year to date and don't know how I'm going to get through the next two weeks. This happened last year and certainly it was the grace of God that helped and by the end of the year (actually the beginning of this year) Good Counsel www.goodcounselhomes.org was able to pay its bills.

Why do I owe so much? Running five homes, with a lot of volunteers and many, many tons of donated food items, mostly canned goods and spaghetti, rice and cereals, pampers, baby wipes, too but kids still need fresh milk, meats, vegetables and yes, I even brought them ice cream because they are really, really good kids. Also I need staff, paid staff, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Staff I can count on to be there for each and every mom who needs help.

No one is paid a lot at Good Counsel www.goodcounselhomes.org

But, if you saw a pregnant girl on the street in Manhattan tonight, wouldn't you want to help her find a safe home and help her go to a pre-natal appointment? Of course you would and that's partly how Good Counsel began. I saw a young mother in Times Square. I see them and know they are their today.

I also know they are in the N.Y. City shelter system and need a way out.

I need your help, today, to keep our doors open and put food on the table.

Here's what happened last year as I wrote a desperate appeal.

From the Dominican Republic a Father brought his daughter to Florida as a young teenager for reasons she really didn’t understand. At home and in her neighborhood all she heard wsa Spanish.

Now consider this: You’re now 18 and thinking of boys all the time. A nice boy takes you out. He buys you things, he treats you special. He says come to New York where he can work. Your father is too busy to care. You go, you become pregnant. The boy leaves you in an apartment with no forwarding address.

That’s when Marta, who just turned 19 while she was 7 months pregnant had someone tell her about Good Counsel. She lost the apartment, of course, and wound up in the horrid labyrinth run by New York City for emergency shelter.

Could you imagine that this young woman was sweet and full of life! Always wanting to please someone. You know the kind, when you look thirsty, she’ll pull out a soda and tell you to drink it.

She gave birth June 21st last year to a real cute little boy with curly dark hair and olive skin, Angel. His brown eyes were penetrating from his earliest gazes.

Marta wasn’t going to sit around. She started working at a car wash. Up at 6 a.m., preparing baby bottles. By 6:30 a.m. she was out the door when our young, overnight staff, Cortney, would get up to take Angel until Claudia, the House Manager, or someone else from the day-shift came in.

To get to her car wash in Brooklyn, she had to take a bus from our house in the Rosebank section of Staten Island to the Staten Island Ferry, hop a train to Brooklyn . Hey, she was making about minimum wage, $5.50 per hour with her residency card, plus tips. That did make a big difference overall.

Of course, that wasn’t enough for her though. She started going to a trade school and learned to do hair on weekends. Also, she picked up English very well, between living in our home and a few English as a Second Language courses we had her take.

Well, with all that, she was actually able to save more than a thousand dollars. Then she got her own apartment. All smiles, we helped her set up, donated furniture, kitchen ware and linens.

“She keeps in touch. We’re her family,” Claudia said.

“She lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn ,” Claudia added. “When Angel had his first birthday, we were invited to her house. It was wonderful.”

“I keep asking her if she is going to school and I stress the fact that it is very important for her to finish.” Claudia cares a lot about her and you can tell the feelings are mutual. “She told me that when she is finished with her program she will let us know so we can go to her graduation. I let her know that I would be there with bells on.”

Please send what you can today, go to www.goodcounselhomes.org because we have 100 mothers and babies in our four homes, we’ve got to feed them, try to keep everyone cool and more importantly pointed in the best direction we can find.

It’s up to you, today, to allow this to happen. Right now. I really am behind in our bills and with the summer vacations, people haven’t answered their mail or email like they usually do.

Please help. If you sent something in already this year, please consider another gift now. If you were planning to send something later this year, please consider sending it now. I can’t stress how hard, how difficult it is to pay bills right now today. www.goodcounselhomes.org

I won’t repeat our need again. I pray you understand. Thanks for all you do. Thanks for your prayers.

Know I’m praying for you and so is Fr. Benedict Groeschel, he and I began Good Counsel 23 years ago. We pray for you because you do put bread on our table.

Thank you for helping. Thank you for caring.

Christopher Bell +

Good Counsel homes
24/7 Helpline: 1.800.723.8331

P. 201-795-0637
Fax. 201-795-0809

P.O. Box 6068
Hoboken, NJ

Good Counsel's Lumina program
Lumina - Hope and Healing After Abortion
offers hope and healing after an abortion
1.877.LUMINA1 (1.877.586.4621)

Every mother and child deserves love and support
from the moment of conception.

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