Holy Cross Brooklyn Outreach Center to hold fourth annual fundraiser

Holy Cross Brooklyn Outreach Center (HCBOC) will be holding its fourth annual fundraiser on Mon., Feb. 25 at Leo’s Casa Calamari in Bay Ridge.

The outreach center was established in 2013 as an organization that relies solely on volunteers to offer help to the homeless and needy in New York City.  

Its current programs include the Homeless Midnight Run and Outreach on the Go. For the Midnight Run, volunteers prepare sandwiches and food packages to distribute to the homeless. They also provide coats, socks, gloves, hand warmers, blankets and care packages for the needy.

The run takes place the third Friday of each month and currently operates out of the basement of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church at 8401 Ridge Blvd., while actively looking for a permanent location.

For Outreach on the Go, volunteers prepare home-cooked meals for delivery, according to board member Maria Vasaka-Monioudis.

“We started our homeless ministry about 11 years ago in March,” she recalled. “We got together and made some sandwiches in food bags. I’ll never forget. It was a cold day in March, one of those icy, rainy days. We went into the city and went to a church where there a lot of boxes all around. We wondered where the homeless people were and found them living in the boxes. . . And since then we’ve been going every month to bring food to the homeless. We’ve given out over 45,000 meals and our goal is to open up an outreach center in Brooklyn where they can come and get a hot meal more than once month.”

This year’s honorees will be Foodtown of Bay Ridge for its help with Outreach on the Go, William Stoddard for being a driver on the Midnight Run since 2008, Katherine Madimenos for baking cookies every month for the Midnight Run and St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church Deacon Farid Farkouh for his spiritual guidance and participating in almost every Midnight Run.

Part of the fundraiser is the sale of raffle tickets. This year the group will be raffling off four sets of four Disney Hopper Passes (a value of $780). The raffle tickets are $10 each or 5 for $40. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase the night of the fundraiser. The drawing will take place at the end of the evening.

Leo’s Casa Calamari is located at 8602 Third Ave.

Young volunteers gather to prepare sandwiches to be delivered on the Midnight Run.

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