By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK, September 28- The Bronx Clergy Task Force, spearheaded by Bishop Angelo Rosario, is teaming up with Rev. Joel Olstein, one of the nation's most widely known ministers, to support the nationwide Feed the Children initiative.
Ray Fraticelli, a chaplain who has been working with Bishop Rosario at the Church of God's Children, said the Clergy Task Force has, in recent months, been responsible for the delivery of much-needed food to impoverished families in the west Bronx and the delivery of food and toiletries to the Town and Country Shelter for Battered Women.
“One of the Clergy Task Force's main goals is to assure that children don't go to bed hungry,” Fraticelli stressed. “I get a tremendous sense of personal satisfaction by knowing that I am doing God's work.”
In recent months, the Bronx Clergy Coalition held a coat drive in which thousands of Bronxites received much-needed clothing during the winter months.
“We have pictures of people going into the coat drive with clothing that was barely in one piece and leaving with ski jackets and other winter coats to keep them warm,” Fraticelli stressed. We are not about glorifying ourselves; we're about meeting the real needs of real people.”
Bishop Rosario, for his part, pointed with pride to the fact that the Bronx Clergy Task Force played a key role in preventing the illegal eviction of the Futa Islamic Center from its mosque at Third Avenue and 166th Street.
Fraticelli said that he will be outside of the Einstein Loop Community Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday as part of the city-wide Pray New York initiative.
“We will be there to offer comfort to those who need it,” Fraticelli said. “We will be there to try to address the spiritual and physical needs of those who seek us out.”
Fraticelli noted that the Bronx Clergy Task Force has an ongoing coat-collection effort. Coats are kept at the Church of God's Children in the lower level of the Dreiser Loop Shopping Center.
In recent weeks, the Dress Barn store in Pelham Manor has donated coats to the Bronx Clergy Task Force for future coat drives and for the task force's upcoming Dress for Success initiative among those seeking employment or those seeking better jobs.
To donate coats or to assist the Clergy Task Force in other ways, call (718) 790-9120.
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