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Pittsburgh Steelers two-time Super Bowl champion Troy Polamalu and wife Theodora “Tackle Poverty” with FOCUS North America

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polamaluFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (Oct. 3, 2011) Troy and Theodora Polamalu, faithful Orthodox Christians, have joined FOCUS North America to “tackle” poverty.

 

The online and texting TacklePoverty.org campaign, which runs from Sept. 26, 2011 to Feb. 5, 2012, hopes to inspire 10,000 people to take action and help those in need.

 

“We’ve kicked off to a solid start in an effort to reach 10,000 now let’s go further,” Troy Polamalu said. “Together we can tackle poverty!”

 

Here’s how it works: Visit TacklePoverty.org to learn about the many ways FOCUS NA is working to help the poor nationwide. Watch Troy and Theodora’s video messages, make a donation, and put together a team of friends to tackle poverty. Tacklers will win cool prizes while creating much needed awareness about the plight of the working poor. Get 25 friends to donate and win a Tackle Poverty T-shirt. Inspire 43 friends to donate and get a signed Polamalu poster. With 100 friends donating, you get a signed Polamalu jersey (#43) and have your name put in the drawing to win Steelers home game tickets! You can also text “Troy” to 52000 to make a $10 donation.

 

You can see the Tackle Poverty campaign on Troy’s Facebook and Twitter sites. Check in with Troy each week as he reminds fans of the importance of this worthwhile effort to help the poor. With over 1.8 million Facebook fans and 275,000 Twitter followers, the response could make a huge difference in the lives of working poor individuals!

 

"This is a great opportunity to inspire friends, coworkers, and others you know to join with you in helping the poor at a time when 15% of our neighbors in America are below the poverty line,” FOCUS NA Executive Director Fr. Justin Mathews said. “If you have a heart to help the poor, you can inspire others too.”

 

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Visit TacklePoverty.org to start making a difference!

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Everyday Icons 4: Nick volunteers with FOCUS

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Nick

Volunteers are impacted as much if not more than those they serve. This week Everyday Icons talks to a volunteer and how he has been touched by serving through FOCUS North America.

 

   

Suits Donated to ReEngage!

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On ThursdIMG_0554-2ay September 1st, FOCUS ReEngage was donated 500 pieces of business attire from Men’s Warehouse. “We received over 150 suits, 72 sport jackets and 90 plus pairs of slacks. We also received dress shirts and ties,” ReEngage director Rodney Knott said.

 

 The amount of articles came as a shock to Knott as he was originally only expecting 75 pieces. But in the final week leading up to the donation date, articles just started flowing in, “over the week folks just started donating,” Knott said. And just like that, God provided, and 75 pieces turned into 500 pieces.

           

The purpose of the suits is to be a gift given to men who graduate from Knott’s Man Class. “[It’s] to provide interview clothes for men who graduate and go on to pursue employment,” Knott said.

           

The goal of the class is to take men off the streets and out of hopelessness, leadingphoto2 them to have hope for their future. The suits are one more step of the process to help the men do that. 

           

Though 500 pieces came in, Knott explained that more is still needed, especially in the way of dress shirts and ties. The class is growing and with that growth there are more graduates and a greater need for suits.

           

Currently, with the help of three volunteers, Knott is in the process of sorting, separating, and sizing the items from Men’s Warehouse in anticipation for the next class. 

           

   

Everyday Icons 3: Sarah and Bart gain computer skills and employment!

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Picture_3 Sarah and Bart came to the FOCUS center in St. Louis without jobs. Through having access to the computer and technical help, they both gained employment and computer skills. Bart even went on to enroll in online school for computer technology!










   

The Man Class

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Picture_3FOCUS North America’s ReEngage program is fighting for hopeless and hurting men who have lost a vision for their lives. The Man Class is a component of ReEngage that is laying the foundation to begin that fight. Get an explanation for what the Man Class is and what it is seeking to do. ReEngage Director Rodney Knott gives his insight into the beginnings of the class and outlines its goals. With your support this class can expand to several FOCUS centers and take the fight nationwide, instilling hope and a future for the men of America’s urban core.

 

   

The Man Class

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Picture_5FOCUS North America’s ReEngage program is fighting for hopeless and hurting men who have lost a vision for their lives. The Man Class is a component of ReEngage that is laying the foundation to begin that fight. Get an explanation for what the Man Class is and what it is seeking to do. ReEngage Director Rodney Knott gives his insight into the beginnings of the class and outlines its goals. With your support this class can expand to several FOCUS centers and take the fight nationwide, instilling hope and a future for the men of America’s urban core.

 

   

The Repose of His Eminence, Archbishop

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2011-0829-abp-dmitri-writingDALLAS, TX [OCA]
The Repose of His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri
Metropolitan Jonah with Archbishop Dmitri in late August

His Eminence, the Most Reverend Dmitri, 87, retired Archbishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South, fell asleep in the Lord at his home here at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, August 28, 2011.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, and many priests and faithful had kept vigil in Dallas during Archbishop Dmitri’s final days.  The Metropolitan was to have traveled to the Czech Republic with a delegation from the Orthodox Church in America, but remained in Dallas to be with the Archbishop.

Funeral services will be celebrated at Dallas’ Saint Seraphim Cathedral—the parish Archbishop Dmitri founded as a mission shortly after his ordination in 1954.  Days and times will be posted at oca.org as they are received.

May His Memory Be Eternal!

Read more on www.OCA.org

   

Everyday Icons 2: Chris and Triana find refuge

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Chris and Triana tell their story of job loss, having a baby while living in their car, and finding FOCUS Orange County. Through you generous support, Chris and Triana have found a safe place to start over. Please pray for this young family as they seek out employment and stability.


   

Eight-year-old Girl Inspires Others to Give

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Tegan1Often it is our young people who inspire us to be better at welcoming a stranger, give more freely of our belongings, and take more time for those in need.

 

Tegan Salaris, an eight-year-old girl from St. Louis, is just such a person.

 

When Tegan approached her parents with the idea to do a collection of items for FOCUS Gateway City in St. Louis, they were interested in her idea and excited by her enthusiasm. Tegan called FOCUS Gateway City Director Eric Shanburn and asked what supplies he might need for the many homeless and working poor individuals who frequent the weekly community meal at the Center.

 

"Tegan wanted to do a collection for FOCUS," Fr. Steven Salaris, Tegan's father, said. "Her mother and I just let her go for it."

 

And Tegan did. She decided she would enlist the help of her school summer camp at Chesterfield Montessori School. She worked out the collection details with her school and with Shanburn.

 

Fr. Salaris said Tegan did most of the work herself, including making and distributing flyers and arranging for notes to be sent home to parents explaining her project. At the end of the two-week drive, Tegan had motivated her fellow students to overload two large bins with socks, toiletries, underwear and other necessities.

 

Tegan2"We are so proud of her," Fr. Salaris said. "This project came out of her own desire to help others and it is a testimony also to our mission and their support of FOCUS." All Saints of North America Antiochian Orthodox Mission in St. Louis is Tegan's home church and they have been very supportive of FOCUS Gateway City.

 

The best part of the whole project, Fr. Salaris said, was when Tegan got to deliver the items to the FOCUS Center.

 

"People lined up to receive the items and they were very grateful," Fr. Salaris said. "Tegan got to see that the stuff she had collected was really needed and would be put to use. It was a great experience for her."

Tegan3

   

Everyday Icons, Story 1: Ed Gets a Job!

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Stay up to date on how your generous gifts to FOCUS North America are helping those in need every day.
Follow our new series entitled "Everyday Icons" telling their story of life transformation on our website or Facebook.




   

Railroad Randy Remembered

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RandyDear Friends and Supporters,

Yesterday I learned the very sad news that one of our regular guests at the Sunday FOCUS Minnesota meal, known to us as Railroad Randy, was killed by a car while riding his bike.

Randy was on his way from the Twin Cities, by bicycle, to attend the Hobo Convention in Britt Iowa. Randy lived the life of a bona fide hobo for many years and for months shared with us his plans to go to the upcoming event and run for Hobo King.

 

On July 24th, his last dinner with us, we talked and he told me he was leaving that Tuesday morning to allow him enough time to get to Iowa, set up camp and begin campaigning before the convention commenced on August 12th. He was very excited that the time was finally here to make the trip and he had a fierce desire to be elected Hobo King, a title he would hold for the coming year.

 

This past winter Randy was especially proud of a photo display he was invited to display at the Walker Public Library on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, which chronicled a brief history--really Randy's history--of life as a hobo for the past 30 years. I asked him if he would bring the display to the center for all to see and he agreed. He was very protective of it and had to pick a good, clear day as he had to ride to the center with the display strapped to his bike.

 

He was quite the character, with his long white beard and a taste for bad jokes and silly puns. He rarely missed a Sunday with us. I think he was drawn to the fellowship and the connection he felt to our little village on Lake Street. I asked if I could take his picture the last time I saw him and he was happy to oblige.

 

Following the very short news item in the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper, a later news item reported he was hit by a drunk driver. This is especially sad and ironic because Randy was an alcoholic for 30 years but was clean and sober now for another 15+. The newspaper lists his age as 60 though he told me he was 67. It doesn't matter. He was killed just north of Britt Iowa--he almost made it.

 

May his memory be eternal.

 

In Christ,

 

Vera Proctor, Local Director FOCUS Minneso


   

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