Nassief, Toyota help church

BY WARREN DILLAWAY

warren@starbeacon.com

ASHTABULA - A $10,000 grant from Toyota will make life a little easier for numerous ministries at Out Lady of Peace Parish.

Marybeth Nassief, owner of Nassief Auto Group in Jefferson, said the company knows their dealers support local communities and provide grants to help that process.

"It is wonderful to give back. We are grateful to our customers and staff. It is nice to be able to give back," Nassief said.

Father Raymond Thomas said the money will help many in need through a variety of programs the church spon- sors or is affiliated with.

"When Marybeth called about the grant being available we jumped on it," he said.

Thomas said the community outreach to the needy is a big part of church life.

The $10,000 grant was broken up into smaller segments with $5,000 going to the Beatitude House, that houses homeless people in need of a transition to a new life, and $5,000 split between the Good Karma Soup Kitchen, St. Vincent DePaul Society of Our Lady of Peace Parish and the Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry.

Stacy Cole, site administrator for the Beautitude House, said the funds will help the group continue to house 10 families at a time as they transition to a new situation.

"We don't get much government money. We relay on donations," she said.

Kathleen Moliterno, development director for the Beatitude House, said the organization works with more than 50 people a year and also has a scholarship program for college students in need of assistance. She said some of the students earning scholarships were residents of Beatitude House, but that is not a requirement.

Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry Director George Richards said the money will have a very specific purpose.

"It will be for buying turkeys and probably hams for Christmas. Last year we bought 80 turkeys," he said.

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of Peace Parish President Tracey Warren said the organization helps fill gaps for those in need.

"We help the poor right here in Ashtabula. Any need, we try to meet," Warren said.

That may take the form of helping with utilities bills, purchase of medicine or the purchase of boots and shoes for people seeking a new job.

Marybeth Nassief, owner of Nassief Auto Group, (far right front) helped organize a Toyota grant of $10,000 to Our Lady of Peace Parish in Ashtabula. (From left front) St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of Peace Parish President Tracey Warren, George Richards, director of the Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry and Nassief were joined by (from left back row) Stacy Cole, site administrator for the Beatitude House, Father Raymond Thomas and Kathleen Moliterno, development director for the Beatitude House.

WARREN DILLAWAY | STAR BEACON