Category Archives: Fashion

🌷New from 💐Edith: “Purim is a sort of Jewish Mardi Gras …”

Purim: Fun and Games

By Edith Morgan

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Edith🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

We all need a time to “let our hair down,” relax and maybe temporarily obliterate the present. For millennia our various cultures have recognized that people want a sanctioned time to drink and be merry all together. So Christians have just celebrated Mardi Gras– this year a very subdued version – but usually a wild bacchanalia centered in New Orleans.

At about the same time, following the lunar calendar, Jews celebrate Purim.

I always loved the story of Esther, which, though not part of the five books of Moses, nevertheless captured our imagination: Sometime between 500 B.C. and 800 B.C. in ancient Persia, where many Jews lived scattered about the Kingdom, King Ahasuerus took as his second wife the young and beautiful Esther as his queen.

Apparently, he did not know she was Jewish. The King’s evil grand vizier, Haman, compelled the Jews to bow before him. Mordechai, Esther’s uncle, refused, and Haman set about having all Jews killed. When Mordechai heard of this, he pleaded with his niece Esther, the Queen, to get the king to rescind the order. Which he did – and had Haman executed instead.

That, without frills, is the basic story. It always appealed to me, as it is just one of the times a woman
saved her people (I grew up in France and knew all about Joan of Ark.)

Purim is a sort of Jewish Mardi Gras: It is a time when we are exhorted to free ourselves, just for that time, of our inhibitions … to drink and eat a lot, wear face masks, make noise and just “let go.”

Over the centuries the celebration has grown and resembles more and more the bacchanalias of other cultures. Naturally, there is a festive meal, and one of the favorite pastries is the famous “Hamantaschen,” the three-cornered cookie, originally containing poppy seed filling or prune filling. But now it is often available all year round, with various fruit jam fillings, such as apricot. The shape is said to originate from the three-cornered hat worn by Haman, or in another version, said to be Haman’s ears.

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Hamantaschen!💙 So tasty! photos submitted.

It is a relatively easy pastry to make – basically starting with a round pastry, putting the filling in the center, and pinching up the three sides. You can Google innumerable variations and try your hand at it, using whatever filling catches your fancy.

There are also many ideas for crafts for the children, teaching them to make a variety of noise makers or to create their own masks or costumes. The idea is to have costumes and masks and noisemakers for the evening festivities. There is also a tradition of booing and noisemaking during the service when the story of Esther is read. Whenever the name of Haman appears in the reading, everyone boos and rattles their noisemakers as loudly as possible.

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Noisemaker …

Just for that one eve, all decorum is thrown to the winds, and everyone behaves in a way opposite of the usual decorum! So, celebrate, drink some wine, make a joyful noise … and relax.

💙New Edith🌷 column💙 – for the children!🌸🌸

Homelesss Children – They Need a Roof over their Heads … and more!

By Edith Morgan

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Edith and Guy❤

The global pandemic has forced most of us to stay home – and we have been grateful that we have a home to stay in. But the loss of jobs, the economic devastation that has been visited on so many has been especially hard on families and children. As rents and mortgages become due, more and more families are finding themselves evicted or just one payment away from homelessness. Living in your car, or seeking shelter under a bridge, visiting soup kitchens and various charitable institutions for food and clothing, pitching a tent in some park or other open space – and not knowing what the next day will bring – those things are scarcely designed to help our children grow up safely and healthfully.

St. John's Saturday Morning Food for the Poor
Families struggling to put food on the table can STILL SEE BILL RILEY AT ST. JOHN’S EVERY SATURDAY MORNING FOR FREE FOOD BOXES: get veggies, bread, fruit and more!

Our Worcester Public Schools, before the pandemic closed them down, were supplying free breakfasts and lunches for needy children. Some of our Worcester Public Schools also had free clothing and outerwear and shoes for kids – like Andy’s Attic Gently Used Clothing Shop at South High School on Apricot Street.

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Homeless youth and children need boots and warm socks this winter. They used to be able to choose free boots and more at Andy’s Attic at South High School.

Recently, I have heard of somewhere in our schools where washing machines and dryers were installed, since a number of our students’ parents had no facilities for washing their clothes. This is so important – especially in the upper grades where appearance counts so much!!

But as the pandemic continues, and our children are still not back in our school physically – Worcester Public Schools special needs students return in mid-March: the rest of the kids at the end of March – for at least two days of in-school learning.

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Worcester activists have tried for years to get the City to create more affordable housing units for poor kids and their families …ICT file photo.

But for kids who are homeless the struggles are multiplied. Of course they cannot participate in virtual learning via Internet and hooked up computers and laptops: they have none of the equipment required, nor the power outlets to plug them into.

Our schools have made attempts to find and help these homeless children, to create individual help programs, but the numbers are overwhelming, and the delays in the arrival of vaccines are making the problems even greater.

I fully understand the desire of teachers to be vaccinated before re-entering the classroom, and they should be up there with the first responders – but then we should prioritize bringing homeless children into a 24-hour situation, out of the streets, with a regular address.

If you have never been homeless, you cannot appreciate how vital it is to have a legitimate address. Our whole society functions on the assumption that you have a permanent place to call home – a P.O. BOX IS NOT ENOUGH. And, while we are at it, we need to work out a reliable system for:

🌸1) preventing evictions and foreclosures

🌸2) having a real “wrap-around system” for making certain that homeless families can get out of the hole and stay out

🌸… and 3) that those formerly homeless children are followed through their years in our schools – social workers etc. Who knows, some day they may become the helpers and role models for the future, because unfortunately, our economic systems pretty much guarantees homelessness for many … occasions when many people will need help …

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Many families can’t afford the food at supermarkets after paying rent, utilities and more …

🌷Edith – always in style! Her column on Trump impeachment …

I Shudder to Think

By Edith Morgan

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Edith🌷🌸🌷🌸

For two days now I have watched as the horror of the January 6th events at the US Capitol are laid out before us. I was warm and safe here in my home as I watched, but an occasional wave of fear swept over me, as I recalled my parents’ discussions about our escape from Nazi Germany in 1933 and the behavior of the youth gangs and others as Hitler made his way up to the top and became chancellor in January (we got out in March 1933 with just our lives).

We in America have had it pretty easy: we have not been invaded, and we have managed to survive several economic upheavals because there were always humane, decent leaders who helped get us through the worst.

But this time, we are in the grip of something that most Americans have not experienced before: we had been led for four years by a President who all his life has gotten what he wanted, when he wanted, and who has never learned anything from his frequent failures and bankruptcies –because he has always been bailed out or been allowed, even encouraged, to believe that he has always won.

While I was growing up, Freud was in vogue, and I was particularly interested in his ideas about the three aspects of our psychological make-up: the ego, the id and the superego. A normal, decent human being should have a balance of all three, and if the superego was perhaps a bit stronger than the other two that was good, because it made for a human being with a lot of conscience. At the time I had not really seen anyone who was totally lacking in any one of those parts – although some of Buddhist philosophy seemed to say we should strive to be totally selfless, and some Western religions were emphasizing empathy.

But most of us had had no experience with anyone completely lacking a “superego”-conscience-less and totally unable to feel remorse or empathy. But it has become very obvious that this is what is wrong with Donald Trump. A lot of those close to him eventually realize there is something terribly lacking, but usually they see only behaviors that puzzle them and are not really able to understand what motivates them.

Persons liberated from the restrictions of the “still, small voice” that is our conscience feel entitled to do whatever they wish, without responsibility – and that is what we have seen in Donald Trump, not only in the last four years, but always.

Unfortunately, that behavior is contagious – and the cunning that the conscienceless use to convince their victims works very well – and there are too many people with weak super egos, who are too easily taken in, and who then imitate the behaviors, and excuse them. We have seen that in action all over America, and its evil flower bloomed on January 6th.

But even if the US Senate convicts Trump, the root of this evil are still alive and thriving …

We were warned during the first Trump impeachment hearings that if we let Trump’s odious behavior go unchecked, it would encourage even worse behavior. How right that prediction was! If we make that error again, what worse fate awaits America? I shudder to think …

REMEMBER: Chef Joey says, ENJOY VEGGIE SNACKS THIS SUPER BOWL!🍏🍓🍎🍐🍅

POET AMANDA GORMAN WILL READ ONE OF HER BEAUTIFUL POEMS AT THE SUPER BOWL!!!:

Amanda Gorman photographed in LA on January 29, 2020.
Amanda Gorman photographed in LA on January 29, 2020.

🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

It’s Super Bowl Sunday!

By Chef Joey

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Chef Joey enjoys vegan treats and sauces this Super Bowl!

It’s Super Bowl mayhem this Sunday! What better thing to do than make snacks that we can watch throughout the game? Your snacks can range from anything that comes in a bag to homemade. The best snacks, of course, are the ones you make at home. For example, skewers are a great way to get protein, and they look so pretty! And they last a little while…

You can take a cube of feta cheese, a black olive … dress it all up in tomato and dressing with a little olive oil …
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😀

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… or you can take a piece of salami and add a cherry tomato and a small mozzarella … Ovalini … sprinkle with some Italian salad dressing. Voila! Italian skewers!

You can take pumpernickel bread, spread it with spreadable cream cheese … top off with sliced cucumbers. These munchies last all day!

Here’s a so-easy Mexican dip! My friend shared it with me:

Take one Greek yogurt container and one jar of pre-made salsa …

Combine the two!

Now you have a healthy protein snack that goes well with vegetables or tortilla chips! All of the above snacks are inexpensive and healthy – for your Super Bowl Sunday or anytime get-togethers!

🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈

If you’re planning on making your very own Homemade Salsa…From 💙PETA.ORG:

Festive Salsa🍅🍸

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🌸

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. roasted hot oriental peppers, chopped

1 cup fresh or frozen green or red mild to medium chili peppers

1 cup tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

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1 cup white onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2-3 tsp. vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Mix the ingredients together in a blender for a few seconds.

You should get a thick juice, with some chunkier pieces.

Makes approximately 6 servings.

🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅

Salsa Fresca!🏈🐨

You may know salsa fresca by another name — pico de gallo. Both are a chunky salsa that is light on liquid but heavy on fresh ingredients.

Like many salsas, tomatoes are used as a base, but with salsa fresca, you leave your tomatoes diced but chunky.

Other common salsa ingredients are included — onion, garlic, salt, and cilantro — as well as small jalapeño pieces for a little kick.

Many salsa fresca recipes don’t require the use of a blender or food processor, but we like to use ours for a pulse or two so that the ingredients are combined – but just barely.

Enjoy!

Simple Salsa Fresca

Ingredients:

6 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 jalapeño, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

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Veggies!

1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cilantro

Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients, except the pepper, in a blender or food processor.

Pulse once or twice only.

Season with pepper.

Makes about 1 1/2cups

🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

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Vegan Nachos

💐💐💐💐💐🌷🌷🌷🌷

So stylish and talented – Chef Joey! New recipe!

Quick Winter Soup!

By Chef Joey

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Joey!

There is no mystery to soups! Generally, no matter what you add to them, they taste great and can be very nourishing.

You do not have to have many ingredients – dried lentils, barley, even beans – just soak them and for less than $2, you can make a meal for four or five people. Add onions, carrots, potatoes and some bouillon … and lots of garlic to make your blood happy!

The trick to any flavorful soup is ONIONS …
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😊

– 2 or 3 sauteed first – then add your veggies and broth and cook until the veggies and beans are tender.

It is that easy!

When it’s cold, the last thing you want to do is cook after shoveling. Here is a quick recipe for chicken egg lemon soup that’s a real crowd pleaser.

You need:

1 large onion diced small

1 chicken breast cubes small

2 chicken bouillon cubes

4 cups water

1 cup rice

2 carrots peeled and diced small

1 egg

1 lemon, juiced

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😊

Simply sauté the onion in a little oil.
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😊

… until soft, add the chicken and the carrots and stir in the bullion cubes.

Add the water … bring to a boil.

Add the rice and simmer – after about 15 minutes, when the rice is cooked, scramble the egg and pour it slowly into it while stirring quickly at the same time then add the lemon juice last. Stir and serve!

🍓🍎🍊💐🌹🌸

Alba-Flores-PETA-English-Ad

Edith – always in style! EDUCATING OUR STUDENTS DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC!

It’s not Where they learn, but WHAT they learn!

By Edith Morgan

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Edith with the love of her life, Guy, on the wedding day.

There’s a big rush to get the kids back to school: Our working parents need to get back to work, kids are bored, and those who can not afford all the latest technology are falling further behind on all the material that gets tested.

So there are so many good reasons to get the students all back in school, as soon as it is safe. But as a retired school teacher and former Worcester School Committee member, I worry that we have paid almost no attention to WHY we have public schools in the first place! For me, the curriculum – WHAT students are to master – is the heart of the enterprise. And to make it all fair, equitable, and useful for a lifetime as decent human beings, life-long learners, good citizens, with the skills to learn new skills in an ever changing society

Curriculum is the heart of it all.

Public schools should never be a money-making enterprise, and should be decently funded for ALL our students, so that some of the social inequities that exist everywhere will not be visited on our children. And the most skilled teachers should be teaching those most in need of help, even if that means extra pay and other perks to level the playing field where society has not.
All our children will grow up to be citizens, voters, and full-fledged members of what I hope will be a democratic society.

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Edith’s free neighborhood lending library.

This month we celebrate “Black History” and I am all for that. But we need a lot more K-12 attention to all of our history – and how we got where we are now. As I watched the events of January 6th, THE US CAPITOL SIEGE, I was particularly appalled at the gross ignorance of many in the violent crowd and at how very easy it was for a demagogue like Donald Trump to mold them into an unthinking juggernaut bent on destroying our fragile democratic framework.

How well did those people learn that the freedom of speech guaranteed to us in our Constitution is not totally limitless. We all know about the examples everyone has heard: you can not yell “fire“ in a crowded theater, you can not plagiarize other people’s work … Are we really teaching and modeling the proper interpretation of these rights, so that every high school graduate really understands there are limits to everything? And above all, that each of us in a democracy – and has to think for him/herself and take responsibility for that?

Remember Adolph Eichmann’s defense for the abominations committed under the Third Reich: “I was just following orders.” Did we all hear some of the rioters on January 6th tell us that, “My President told me to do this”?

It is high time that our public schools prepare our graduates to be more than just good worker bees! We need to prepare every student to be able to think critically, to accept responsibility for his/her own actions, and to have a solid hold on reality. In this day of seductive media, mostly motivated by greed, our schools need to equip our kids with the defenses they need to keep from becoming the unthinking victims of those who would use them for their own gain, like Trump.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

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Joe Biden, our new president – yet many Americans do not believe – or understand – the facts.

💙Chef Joey in France! So stylish! Here’s his NEW RECIPE + PICS!!🌾🌹🌻

PASTRY CAKE!

Text and pics by Chef Joey

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Chef Joey has made Rose a beginner cook!

In France … We Catholics celebrate the Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas on January 6th every year. This is to herald the arrival of the three wise men who went to Bethlehem to see the newly born Jesus.

The Recipe’s History:

It is basically a puff pastry cake with an almond filling – “frangipane.” Not everyone likes almonds, so apple compote can be used, or even peach preserves, as the filling.

The cake or ‘pie’ also has a fève (bean) in it. The fève is now usually a small ceramic figurine! Whoever finds it in their piece of cake is king or queen for a day! This tradition dates back to the 14th century and now lasts the whole month of January.

Originally the youngest child would go under the table, and every time a piece of this cake was cut, he or she would dictate who received that slice of cake. Whoever gets the “bean” gets to be king or queen for the day and gets to pick their respective king or queen. Nowadays, whoever gets the ‘bean’ must buy the next cake – that is why it lasts the whole month of January!

The Recipe:

It is a quick and easy set up that requires pre-made puff pastry sheets that you can find in the freezer section of your local super market. They usually are the ‘Sarah Lee’ brand.

Open the package and separate the sheets – when thawed unfold the sheets and let them lay flat.

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You can make apple filling …

Take one sheet and place on the bottom, spread the filling all around leaving a 1-inch gap around the edges.

Note the American sheets are usually square – no need to waste and make it round it still tastes the same. Spread which ever filling you want and place the “charm” and then cover with the top sheet. Roll the edges and score the top with diagonal lines or swirls for effect. Then glaze the whole pie with a beaten egg for color.

For the filling:

1 cup of powdered almonds
2 sticks of soft butter:
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🌼🌼(you can use vegan butter – too: EARTH BALANCE is a great brand)

½ cup sugar
2 eggs

Mix all the above ingredients together and spread on the first sheet of puff pastry. You can cook up 2 or 3 peeled apples in a fry pan with a little butter and sugar and use that as a filling or spread a generous layer of peach jam in the middle. DON’T FORGET THE FEVE!!

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This is usually eaten …
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… with a sparking cider.

Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes.

If using a convection oven, be sure to turn your pie half-way through.

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Bonjour!

💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

❤Vegan Cheat Sheets❤:

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💙

Vegan-Cooking-Tips
💙

EDITH: Trump’s Impeachment x2

Trump’s Second Impeachment

By Edith Morgan

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Edith🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

There‘s an old Chinese saying that goes: “May you live in interesting times.” We certainly are doing that!!

And it is not yet over – as I write this, the House has voted to impeach Donald Trump for a second time, this time for much more serious charges and, while the Democrats pretty much solidly supported the charges, this time they were joined by 10 Republicans. Significantly, one of these was the representative who is #3 in the Republican power structure: Liz
Cheney.

Some are calling these ten “the tenacious ten.” From what I hear from reporters and other individuals, it took real courage to break ranks, as many are terrified that they or their families will be harmed if they defect. Threats of violence seem to be one of the methods of keeping people in line – the president’s supporters operating like gang members.

No one seems to have noticed that in Trump’s repeated exhortations to his “troops” to fight, to march on the Capitol, to prevent VP Mike Pence from approving the States’ electoral numbers, Trump not only egged them on, but promised to be there, to lead them. But the five-time deferred “patriot” with the phony “bone spurs” was nowhere near when the action began. (It is the old British foreign policy trick: Let’s you and him fight).

There are now, as a result of the deadly violence of January 6th at the Capitol, about 15,000 National Guard troops inside the Capitol building, and we are treated to the upsetting sight of them lying on the floor in the building, resting and sleeping all over the floors, ready to spring into action. The outside of the building is being secured for the upcoming inauguration ceremony which is just a week away. Joe Biden has said he is not afraid and will go through the ceremony as planned.

Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating and gathering data on all the participants in the Capitol invasion and destruction of that day. Fortunately, it will not be difficult to arrest and charge the active participants of that insurrection, as they were mostly mask-less and even took “selfies” of their illegal activities, which went viral all over the world, much to my sorrow as America’s reputation took a nosedive around the globe, giving much comfort to our enemies and upsetting our friends.

There is still talk about possible activities at the State Capitols this weekend – and plans are being made to share information so that this time government will not be caught by surprise.

Finally, we are coming to the realization that this is domestic terrorism and the enemy is within.

The new administration needs to get its agenda started right away, and they will have to do double duty. The Senate will have to tend to its duties with the impeachment at the same time that it begins to implement the Biden/Harris program. But I hear they will be able to do two tasks at once, or in Biden’s words, they can “work and chew gum at the same time” (I think that saying dates back to the time of President Gerald Ford.)

We will be making history this month: We have never impeached a President TWICE, and we have never had one who refused to acknowledge defeat in an election certified by all 50 states. But then, I do not remember having had a leader who lied incessantly about everything and tried to sow chaos into all areas of American life.

Meanwhile, the White House is mostly silent and seemingly in total disarray. Daily, more staff and cabinet members are leaving Trump, resigning or simply not showing up for work. And while all this is going on, the Novel Coronavirus rages on, taking its toll, still unabated by the vaccinations slowly taking place.

Edith – always in style!🌲🌲🌲🌲

Thanksgiving Thoughts

By Edith Morgan

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Edith😊

This was a strange Thanksgiving year for the traditional feast: Many of us stayed home, and many of us gathered in small groups at the home of family or relatives. Of course, we all had bought and prepared more than we needed. Are we still afraid that there will not be enough, even after getting stuck every year with all kinds of leftovers, and eating them in various forms for the following week?

I spent the afternoon and evenings with one of my families, and this was the first year I did not have to rise at 6 a.m. on Thursday to stuff and put a turkey in the oven. And it was the first year we had a small turkey, only 11 pounds, unlike the usual 24-pound monster we have had every year. There were only six of us at the table, yet we had such a varied array of side dishes, as well as the obligatory pies (five different kinds), with only one made from scratch.

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Bowl of cherries! file photo: Chef Joey

And this year no football extravaganza, so we ended up playing several rounds of “Rummykub” instead of being glued to the TV set. We really did not dwell upon the reason for the holiday – although I had given it a lot of thought before the actual feast time.

But this year there was an added dimension: many of us became aware that this festival is not reason for rejoicing for the indigenous inhabitants of this continent. And when I came home loaded with leftovers, I felt bad that I had so much, too much, while there are soup kitchens, food banks, and many other sharing activities going on around this city, trying to feed those who were too poor, displaced, recently out of a job, or evicted.

Because of the virus and my age, I could not go out and share. So the very least I can do is not to waste the leftovers and continue to be grateful that I have enough food for the coming week …

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FYI:

🍎Donate/$ to the COATS FOR WORCESTER KIDS program!🍎🍎

HELP OUR WPS STUDENTS!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

Many organizations, year after year, have helped provide new winter coats and outerwear for low-income Worcester kids: Hanover Insurance Group, DCU for Kids, Mechanics Hall, Teamsters Local 170, Spring Street School in Shrewsbury and numerous departments within the University of Massachusetts and UMass Memorial. Also: the Family Medicine and Community Health program at UMass Medical School supports COATS FOR KIDS.

As one of the employees from the Department of Family Medicine at UMass stated last year, “We love the project and hope that people continue to be as generous as they have in the past.”

You can see Elizabeth Vecchio, coordinator for the Worcester Public Schools, face light up with enthusiasm when she talks about this incredible program. She said, “This program provides new warm outerwear to Worcester children in need. It fosters comfort and confidence within the child.” She went on to say that the number one way to break the cycle of poverty is through education. These new coats help children attend school more often on cold and rainy days.

But for those children receiving a new coat or outerwear, it can be much more than just warmth. It can inspire happiness and improve peer acceptance, self-respect, school attendance and over-all wellness. “Keeping children healthy and warm throughout the cold winter months can changes lives,” Mrs. Vecchio said.

Hopefully, I have your attention on this most important project. So, what can Worcesterites or local businesses do to support this amazing cause? Here are a few suggestions:

🎅 Shop for new winter outerwear – coats, hats, mittens and drop it off at the Durkin Administration Building, Irving Street, Room 008 – to Mrs. Vecchio or at the security guard’s station as one enters.

❤ Volunteer to unpack and pack coats for distribution.

👬 Sponsor a Coat Drive at your business or organization.

🌲Lead a drive at your place of employment and get others involved in helping out!

🍎Make a monetary donation. Make your check payable to the WEDF and mail it to Worcester Educational Development Foundation, Inc., 210 Park Ave., suite 224, Worcester, MA 01609.

The outerwear in the schools is given out by the principals after the school fills out a “Request Form” for their students in need.

According to Mrs. Vecchio, the district has a volunteer day where hundreds of pieces of winter clothing/coats etc are bagged for pick-up by the school. The program runs from November through February, so requests are filled on an on-going need throughout the winter months. In addition, many of the items are delivered before the holiday as a much-needed Christmas gift to the students and families.

As we look forward to the holiday season, let us assist with this program. Remember, this wonderful act of kindness is taking place within our community! Please reach out and help our students in need. I know I will!

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

FYI: