Social Justice and Concerns

Giving Tree

Jean Baker(732) 446-4395

Thirty plus years ago one of the fifth grade Religious Education teachers invited someone associated with Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital to speak to her class on acceptance and tolerance of those persons with special needs, be they mental or physical.

The class was so impressed by the presentation they decided to pursue the topic. They decided to host a Christmas party for the residents of one of the cottages at the hospital. They purchased and wrapped gifts and hosted a party for residents at the hospital. Word of the plan spread to other classes and soon additional classes participated. In two years time the project grew and the entire Parish became involved. The Giving Tree was born! When Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital closed, nursing homes and rest homes were assisted, as well as the clients of ARC. Today we also assist clients of a soup kitchen in Freehold, Social Services Department, the Community YMCA, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

The St. Thomas More Giving Tree has survived and grown. The St. Vincent de Paul Society has taken over coordination, thereby ensuring the continuation as long as the needs are present.

A branch of the Giving Tree is the Holiday Collection for Birthright of Freehold, conducted by the Religious Formation classes and Bridges Nursery school. Each year the spirit of giving continues!

Samaritan Center

Anthony Morelli, President(732) 446-1142

A joint ministry of St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church & Old Tennent Presbyterian Church.

The Samaritan Center, Inc. is a non profit 501C(3) interfaith agency that provides food to the poor and disadvantaged in our area. Assistance is provided to people in need regardless of race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, mental or physical impairment, national origin or military status. Based upon objective criteria, applicants are pre-qualified and are assigned a specific day of the week to pick up food packages. The center is open for food pick up on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The center operates under the direction of an eleven member Board of Trustees. The daily tasks of the center are performed by an all volunteer staff. Volunteer tasks consist mainly of stocking shelves with food, rotating stock and packaging food for pick up by clients. A member of the board is usually on site to assist volunteers and supervise the daily operation.

Monetary and food donations are gratefully accepted to support the operation of the center. Food is also purchased on a regular basis from the Monmouth County Food Bank in Neptune. If you are interested in joining our volunteer staff, or, if you would like to make a donation, please call the center directly at the number listed above.