Walking with the Order of Malta in Boston
Young members and volunteers of the American Association, have participated in "Malta Walks" in Boston since early 2015. Providing the young volunteers with a regular opportunity to encounter and serve the poor, these bi-weekly gatherings have brought more than 100 young Boston area residents together to seek out, meet, and converse with nearly 4,000 local homeless and impoverished members of their community to date.
The structure of this project is simple and inexpensive: the volunteers assemble simple packages of food (often a sandwich, some fruit, a granola or meal bar), bottled water, fresh socks, or, in winter, hats, gloves, and hand-warmers, a foil emergency blanket for overnight warmth. These are all packed together in a bag with an information paper about local free meal and medical services or shelters. Volunteers take these packages to parks and gardens in downtown Boston where the homeless often have been seen to congregate and distribute the care packages in small groups, while spending time speaking with those they meet; many they have come to know well through the regular walks.
Open to all members, this work of the Order has proven to be a great opportunity for young members to live out their calling, encourage friends and volunteers to learn more about the Order and strengthen their sense of community.
"For Catholics, feeding the hungry, providing for the thirst of those in need, and ministering to those who are homeless are corporal works of mercy. Through the Order of Malta Walks, we have drawn together people, particularly young people, to bring simple offerings of food, water, clothing and fellowship to our Lord's poor."
Community being served:
- Marginalised Communities
- The Homeless