Paterson Charity Enters 30th Year Of Service [AUDIO]
The Paterson-based charity, Eva's Village, will celebrate their 30th anniversary this spring. The non-profit has been a community pillar, aiding those in need with a variety of services.
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"Eva's Village has a mission and that is to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, treat the addicted, and provide medical and dental care to the poor," explains Executive Director Marie Reger.
It was formed in 1982 by Msgr. Vincent Puma as Eva's Kitchen, then serving around 30 people in Paterson. The growth since then has been nothing short of remarkable.
"Over the past 30 years we've grown from a simple soup kitchen to what is now a comprehensive anti-poverty program that includes over 14 integrated programs," Reger says.
Eva's Village dishes out about 400 meals a day in their soup kitchen now, with thousands being reached comprehensively a year through the sum of all of their programs.
The charity operates on close to an 8 million dollar budget annually, with 60% coming from government funding and about 40% from donations. While Eva's Village continues to grow and serve, they still face the daily hardship of raising money in the current tough economic climate.
"We had people who used to be able to send us a check every month who are no longer able to," said Reger.
That reality is compounded by a rising number of people seeking help from the charity.
"The need for people receiving help from us has grown significantly," she explains, "We're serving 20 percent more people in our kitchen today than we did 2-3 years ago."
Eva's Village describes their mission as providing these programs while preserving and enhancing the dignity of the individual, and also being a place "Where Hope Begins."
Learn more about the charity, and how you can help by visiting the Eva's Village website.
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