RENEW Members of Manhattan Church Help Young Men of CREATE

Marie Harrington Around the Province

NEW YORK — At St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Manhattan, members of the RENEW Younger Retiree Program for Catholic retirees, age 55 and over, recently visited the CREATE Young Adult Center in Harlem to see how retires could help out at the Center.

A Franciscan ministry started by Benedict  Taylor, CREATE manages a residence for 50 formerly homeless men, ages 18 to 25 years, who participate in substance abuse recovery, GED preparation, computer training, job search, and housing assistance for six to nine months.

The RENEW Advisory Committee felt strongly that the organization’s members could become involved in community projects outside the parish, so the young men could see positive role models willing to come to their community and to make a difference in their lives.

St. Francis asked RENEW members to tutor the CREATE residents weekly, and five people have already volunteered to prepare the young men for their GED exams. CREATE represents Chance to Re-Evolve A Total Environment.

As a Lenten Project, RENEW members contributed $645 to purchase job interview clothes for the young men. CREATE Program Director Angleo Soto recently wrote a thank-you letter to the parish, saying, “your gift depicts that rare commodity of altruism in the true sense of the word, that is to say the least — received with much exhilaration and gratitude.”

RENEW will be reopening its membership in September to new members at its annual cost of $35. per person. Events planned for the fall include a luncheon cruise and tours of  Yankee Stadium, Wave Hill and The Museum of Modern Art.  Plans are being arranged for an October tour of the Steinway Piano Factory.

The photo here shows members of the RENEW group at a visit to Ellis Island last year.

—  Marie Harrington, director of outreach programs at St. Francis, can be reached at 212-736-8500 ext. 354 for information about the RENEW group.