As the needs of the homeless population in California continue to grow, the Members of the Western Association continue to expand their efforts to meet those needs. Recently, Members of the San Jose Location partnered with volunteers at the John XXII Center to hand out 150 hygiene kits. Along with the hygiene kits, our Members also handed out specialty winter jackets to help the needy be comfortable during the winter months.

San Jose Members Andrea Thomas, DM and Joe Thomas, KM, worked with local Hospitaller Tony Mirenda, KM to coordinate the distribution of hygiene kits, jackets, with the inspiring work being done at the John XXIII Center. Art Wagner, KM, Mary Jean Wagner, DM, and Don Larson, KM were on hand to help with the distribution of the kits and jackets. However, part of being a Member of the Order is more than just the work. Members are called to see Jesus Christ in all those that they serve regardless of religion, race, gender, and ethnicity. The Members took the time to speak to all those who came up to them to receive a jacket and a hygiene kit to connect with them on a personal level.

The following day, another group of San Jose Members, led by Vic Giacalone, KM, and included Rick DiNapoli, KM, Mike Blach, KM and Art Wagner, KM, walked the Guadalupe River in the downtown San Jose area close to the Children’s Discovery Museum where many of those who were evicted from Columbus Park have relocated to, and distributed about 100 hygiene kits including knit gloves, and about thirty winter jackets.

Due to certain physical conditions, many of the poor in these areas are unable to walk to local centers for help, but most of them are engaged and are working and are trying to improve their lot. It is very gratifying to see that many of the homeless assimilate with their neighbors and look out for one another. They are very grateful for the help from the Western Association to make their lives just a little more comfortable. That is why Members of the San Jose Location go out to these areas to bring the needy and the sick jackets, hygiene kits, friendship, and hope.