Dear Father Bruce, Father Miron, Deacon Bill, Parishioners & Friends of the St. Joseph’s Parish:
I am aware that Tom has already written a letter of thanks for the van, however, I would like to add my appreciation and thanks for all that has been done for us by everyone at St. Joseph’s.
In the current world of skepticism and financial stress felt by most these days, you, the parishioners of St. Joseph’s have shown your caring, unselfishness, generosity, and mainly friendship to our family.
Unfortunately, in the last four years Tom and I have not been able to attend mass or functions sponsored by St. Joseph’s except on few occasions. When our van was stolen in May 2004, even though we had full insurance coverage, the insurance company only covered blue book value. Since it was a 1995 vehicle with over 160,000 miles, the settlement was $1,500. Our daughter gave us back the car we purchased for her in 1997 when she was in High School. It is a Ford Escort with 148,000 miles, which we are still driving. With Tom unable to work and me having to take a cut in my salary, things became tight.
I was laid off in December of 2005. In January of 2006, I went back to school. With the support of Tom and our daughter Nikki and my son-in-law Phil, I graduated in September 2006.
Tom had a cancer scare in Aught of 2006, then a couple of pressure sores which confined him to his hospital bed. During this period of time, Father Bruce came monthly to bring Tom communion and we began to meet people from the church who came to our home out of friendship and to bring friendship and fellowship to our lives. One of the people was Deacon Bill. The Deacon approached my brother, Joe Ruzinok, and asked what St. Joseph’s could do to help our family. As everyone knows, this was the beginning of the Van Fund. It is hard to believe that within one year this dream became a reality. I was baptized at St. Joseph’s on Orleans Ave. in 1954, made my First Holy Communion there in 1962. Tom and I were married by Father Bartkus in 1980 and our daughter Nikki was baptized in Father Bartkus’ home in July of 1982. Our daughter was married at St. Joseph’s in August of 2004.
Through all of these years we have always known this parish to be very friendly and generous throughout the years, but the generosity and fellowship shown to us in the last twelve months has been unbelievable. I would personally like to thank everyone for all that has been done for us throughout this last year. But mainly I would like to thank everyone for all of the new friendships that have come from this.
That is the biggest gift of all. God has truly blessed our family. Tom will now be able to attend mass more often and possibly even to become active in the Men’s Club and other functions. He will also be able to accompany me to do the small things that many people take for granted, such as a simple trip to church, the church picnic or a simple trip to the grocery store or department store. His last trip to a store was in August of 2004, because we rented an equipped van for our daughter’s wedding so I would be able to wear a dress and high heels without having to worry about lifting him in and out of the car without twisting my ankle or banging his head against the roof of the car or both of us falling.
There is so much more I want to say, but this letter would go on forever to try to express to all of you our sincere and heartfelt thanks for all that you have done for us. I can only hope now that we are getting back on track and caught up on our commitments that we can give back to this wonderful parish the fellowship and friendship that was so graciously and generously give to us.
May God Bless and Keep all of you in his loving care,
With Sincerest Thanks,