Saint Martn’s re­ceives Help­ing Peo­ple Award

Times-Record - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

— Comptroller Peter Fran­chot pre­sented the Wil­liam Don­ald Schae­fer Help­ing Peo­ple Award to Saint Martin’s Min­istries in Ridgely for its ser­vice to those in need on the Mid-Shore.

For 34 years, St. Martin’s Min­istries of Rid­g­ley has helped com­mu­nity members liv­ing in poverty by pro­vid­ing them with their most ba­sic needs of food, shel­ter and cloth­ing. The Saint Martin’s Barn also is a thrift shop, which sup­ports the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Each month, Saint Martin’s serves about 300 fam­i­lies in Caro­line, Queen Anne’s, Tal­bot and Kent coun­ties with food sup­plies and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for rent and util­i­ties. The Saint Martin’s Barn dis­trib­utes about 10,000 pounds of food each month, which equals about 9,000 meals a month. The or­ga­ni­za­tions also pro­vides about $100,000 in sub­si­dies to help lo­cal fam­i­lies avoid homelessness.

“What you are do­ing here is prob­a­bly the most ef­fi­cient pro­gram pos­si­ble in elim­i­nat­ing some of the rav­ages of poverty,” Fran­chot said dur­ing a cer­e­mony in Ridgely Mon­day, March 12. “I am per­son­ally and tremen­dously grate­ful to each of you. You have a won­der­ful staff.

“This min­istry ex­em­pli­fies the prin­ci­ples that Wil­liams Don­ald Schae­fer had for help­ing peo­ple dur­ing his 50 years of ser­vice as the four-term mayor of Bal­ti­more, the twoterm gover­nor of the state of Mary­land and two-term comptroller,” he said. “He is leg­endary for his ad­her­ence to the maxim that govern­ment must act swiftly in re­sponse to the needs of its ci­ti­zens.”

Fran­chot said on Schae­fer’s tomb­stone, there is no men­tion of be­ing gover­nor or comptroller. He said there are only two words, “He cared.”

“He cared, and you care,” he said. “It is re­mark­able what you have been able to cre­ate here in Caro­line County.”

Join­ing Fran­chot for the cer­e­mony were St. Martin’s Min­istries Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Deb­o­rah Hud­son Vorn­brock, board chair­per­son Mark Freestate and em­ploy­ees and vol­un­teers for the or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“I am in­deed hum­bled to ac­cept this award on be­half of Saint Martin’s,” Vorn­brock said. “I as­sure you that all of us here will work dili­gently to pay re­spect to the his­tory and her­itage that this award rep­re­sents in honor of Wil­liam Don­ald Schae­fer’s life­long com­mit­ment to help­ing peo­ple.

“This award re­ally be­longs to ev­ery­one who makes our work pos­si­ble — our gen­er­ous donors, foun­da­tions and govern­ment agen­cies who fund our work, but es­pe­cially to our staff and vol­un­teers on the front lines of our ef­forts to help our friends and neigh­bors here on the Eastern Shore,” she said. “To our staff and vol­un­teers here to­day, I of­fer my heart-felt thanks.

“Odette Boyce-Galvez is the su­per­vi­sor of The Barn,” she said. “She and her staff and vol­un­teers work dili­gently with the up­most com­pas­sion ev­ery day.”

Freestate thanked the agri­cul­ture com­mu­nity and lo­cal res­i­dents for sup­port­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“Area farm­ers and members of our agri­cul­ture com­mu­nity have worked to­gether to come up with a pro­gram called Project Pro­tein, which pro­vides 2,000 pounds of chicken per month, which we then dis­trib­ute to our food pantry,” he said. “Through­out the year we re­ceive food do­na­tions from schools, churches, ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­di­vid­u­als and lo­cal busi­nesses.”

Saint Martin’s Min­istries is lo­cated 14374 Bene­dic­tine Lane in Ridgely. Saint Martin’s House is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Barn is open from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Tues­days, Thurs­days and Fri­days, along with from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wed­nes­day.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Saint Martin’s Min­istries, visit www.stmartins­min­istries.org or call, 410634-2537.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Comptroller Peter Fran­chot presents Saint Martin’s Min­istries with the Wil­liam Don­ald Schae­fer Help­ing Peo­ple Award on Mon­day, March 12.

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