Excerpt from article edited by Michelle Boyles
The Joseph Fund
The Joseph Fund is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit or- ganization dedicated to shepherding re- sources to inspire self-determination, raise as- pirations and lift spirits of all the individuals and families served by six Camden-based or- ganizations that provide educational opportu- nities, permanent housing solutions for lower- income individuals and solutions to end homelessness for those willing to receive a “hand up” of support. The six missions are or- ganizations that grew out of the work of their visionary founder, Father Bob McDermott former pastor of St. Joseph’s Pro Cathedral Parish in East Camden.
The impact: Rakeem Miller recalls his experi- ence at St. Joseph’s in vignettes, from Mrs. Green’s invitation for lunch to watch an NCAA tournament, to production of the school play with Mr. Moore, to volunteering with his class- mates and teachers at a food pantry. He espe- cially remembers Ms. Mohr’s indelible act of compassion toward him and his classmates. In his words, they were comforted, reassured and prepared. Whichever vignette he elicits, the recurring theme of serious care and of deep connection resounds. As a teacher, Miller relies on his St. Joseph’s foundation to create struc- ture for his current career, especially as it per- tains to how to build relationships with his stu- dents, discipline them and teach them life lessons. The deep connection with staff and student and with student and student live on. His experience at St. Joseph’s influences him still and reinforces the importance of family, something, he says, you can’t get anywhere else. Support of The Joseph Fund maintains this rich legacy and makes the impossible, possible for future “young Rakeems.”
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