Groups of volunteers connected with the service activities of the Figueira Light-Nucleus in SãoCarlos – Immaculate House for the Relief of Suffering, an affiliate of Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), distributes baskets of basic food items once a month to 50 families in low-income neighborhoods in the region.
In this period of extreme challenges brought about by the pandemic, members of the Monastery ofTransfiguration Light-Nucleus, as well as volunteers of the São Carlos Light-Network, and members of the Youth Campaign for Peace continue to carry out activities of selfless service with the intent of collaborating with the families being cared for in the Antenor Garcia/Aracy neighborhood, and to mitigate the impact of the loss of jobs and social distancing.
In addition to providing support through food donations, they are also distribute furniture, clothing, shoes, household items, medicines and other essential items, always respecting the health standards.
The aim of the assistance to socially vulnerable families in the Antenor Garcia/Aracy neighborhood is to help awaken a life based on ethical and service values and to collaborate in the dissemination of goodness and harmony among beings.
The survey of families to be benefited, the attraction of physical donors, businessmen, wholesalers, and the assembly and distribution of the baskets are done by members of the Youth Campaign for Peace, members of the Light-Network and monks of the Grace Mercy Order.
The reality for families
Socioeconomic indications show that the Antenor Garcia neighborhood has a high index of illiteracy, violence, unemployment, very low income, and a high incidence of adolescent pregnancy, a scene of social vulnerability that was accentuated by the pandemic.
Fraternal to Serve
The Fraternal to Serve Project reinvents itself through such simple actions as the distribution of basic baskets, where children, adolescents, adults and the elderly gain relief from their suffering.
Kelly, one of the oldest participants in the Fraternal to Serve Project, shared the extreme need some families were in. On receiving the basic baskets, she describes the relief given to mothers, the elderly, fathers of families currently unemployed. “Each time the kits of food are given out, we hear heart-wrenching stories,” says Kelly.
“Dignity has returned to my life;” these are the words of Dona Maria, a resident of the neighborhood, on receiving the donation. Mr. José Antonio, who recently had his leg amputated, gives thanks with tears in his eyes each time he receives clothing, food.
When we asked Kelly what causes her to always be joyful in spite of the obstacles, and the difficulties she faces in life, she responds that: “I receive so much from God, from my neighbors, from my family, from the [Fraternal to Serve] Project, that my life has changed a lot in the last few years, and to each person who comes to my door asking to be put on the basket list, I can only say yes, we will find a way.”
In light of the gratitude coming from dozens of residents assisted by the Project, the team concludes that small actions, when coming from the heart, can bring hope, trust, raise self-esteem, rescue human and cultural values. It’s only necessary to begin!
The volunteer team leaves a message: “If you want to serve through community experience, social assistance, education, spirituality and selfless service, fostering the development of the wholeness of the Being, join us.”
A story of Love and Service
Since 2014, the Figueira Light-Nucleus in São Carlos has carried out various activities of service in nursing homes, animal shelters, kennels, and through the Fraternal to Serve Project; it also promotes co-existence and the strengthening of ties with various families from the Antenor Garcia/Aracy neighborhood.
Until workshops on handicrafts, music, recreational moments and games, artistic activities and the care of nature can be resumed, the group continues in their task of serving with love and selflessness, and in a creative way, they reinvent themselves and adapt to the new planetary conditions imposed by the pandemic.