True Spirit of Holiday Celebrated at St. Francis House

True Spirit of Holiday Celebrated at St. Francis House

Area Homeless Feted with Food, Phone Calls

December 10, 1997

Media contacts:

Jane Kuby

Lynn Luczkowski

Jenn Chittem

617 450-0264


Andrea Linskey

908 306 7845

Boston, MA -- For the third year in a row, the spirit of giving will
be the focus of a special day for guests of the St. Francis House, a
shelter for the city's poor and homeless, on Thursday, December 11.

The day will begin for the St. Francis House guests with a holiday
breakfast, from 7:30 until 9:00. A special aspect of the meal is that
it will be served by executives from Boston-area corporations. Larry
Uhl, Vice President Au Bon Pain, Foster Macrides, Vice President
Cumberland Farms, Barbara Stern, Vice President and Helen Bowitch,
Director of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, among other concerned business
leaders will be serving meals, clearing tables and scrubbing pots and

From 8:00 through 3:00 something magical will be happening: St.
Francis House will be filled with the sounds of guests re-connecting
with their friends and loved ones--through free cellular phone calls
courtesy of Bell Atlantic Mobile. "
It's just not possible
to calculate how the poor and homeless we serve value being able to
speak with loved ones at the holidays,"
says Jayne Novotny, St.
Francis House, Director of Development.

As Novotny points out, homeless people lose contact with family and
friends due to lack of funds to call them. Reconnecting by phone can
restore hope and a sense of belonging.

Bell Atlantic Mobile makes it possible for St. Francis House guests to
celebrate the holiday with anyone they hold dear, by phoning anywhere
in the world.

In previous years through the help of the Holiday Phone Home program
some homeless have returned to their families. Last year a young woman
used the program to call her parents in the Midwest, the first time
she had spoken with them since living on the streets. Her parents
convinced her to return home to live with them.

Wrapping up the holiday events at the St. Francis House will be
...gift wrapping. Fifteen members of the Eagle Corps Volunteers, of
the BankBoston, will be putting the finishing touches on Christmas
gifts for St. Francis House guests at a wrapping party, from 9:30
until noon.

The Holiday Phone Home program at St. Francis House is part of Bell
Atlantic Mobile's "
Wireless at Work...."
program, a national community
outreach initiative designed to bring the benefits of wireless
technology to those most in need. This year, in the Boston area, the
company has donated cellular phones, pagers and voice mail boxes
valued at $40,000 to homeless shelters, police departments,
neighborhood watch groups and, through the Mass Coalition of Battered
Women's Services, to all the domestic violence shelters in the state.

Since 1984 St. Francis House has met the basic needs of the homeless
by providing hot meals and sandwiches to an average of 500 needy
people every day. St. Francis House also offers medical and dental
care, clothing services and comprehensive support services such as
counseling, case management, advocacy, referral services, employment
and housing assistance.

St. Francis House is located at 39 Boylston Street (near Tremont
Street) in downtown Boston.