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St. John's (Boonton) CDC

"Urchins Against the World"
Tim O'Donnell
"The 'Great Truth': Episcopalians Are Softies" We will be starting our tenth year of serving the working class families of Boonton, ten years since the “Great Truth” was revealed. To the people of the Diocese of Newark, it must seem more like a hundred that we have been standing in front of them with our hands out -- dragging kids or pictures of kids that dared them to resist. Pictures like the “Urchins Against the World” above resulted in letters still on file such as this one to ACTS/VIM, "Enclosed is our financial accountability statement for the December 2001 grant in the amount of $7,500," and another, "On behalf of St. John’s Community Development Corp, I would like to thank the Diocesan Outreach Committee for the generous 2003 grant of $12,000. The funds will be used to operate our Community Summer Camp Program." Before the era of the "Great Truth," we struggled. The monthly meetings of the first year revolved around hundreds of dollars and handfuls of children. Our corporate fund drive had not done as expected, and our founder, the Rev. Stephanie Wethered, had to have several meetings on whether we should continue. Then the “Great Truth” dawned. Episcopalians are softies. We got out the pictures, sent them to the Diocese and individual churches, and began to write thank you letters. We still work with the people in Boonton, but in greater numbers and in more ways than we used to. We are much more knowledgeable about services available for the needy and are frequently used to find those services. The most recent after school program and summer camp were our biggest and best yet and will be until 2011 when we will surpass them. As you can see, the original urchins grew up nicely and now help with the new ones who continue to arrive. And, God willing... Episcopalians will continue to be softies.