St. John’s Cathedral receives $5,000 donation to support Open Door Café

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- AT&T announced Wednesday, November 19th an AT&T CARES contribution of $5,000 to The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee to support the Open Door Café’s lunch program, which serves nutritious meals to the poor and homeless.

 Since 2002, the Open Door Café meal program has been serving lunch to the homeless and working poor in Milwaukee.  Its mission is to provide a nourishing meal for Milwaukee’s needy, served in a gracious, comfortable and safe environment.  In 2013, 57,000 lunches were served, with approximately 180 guests each day.

 “The Open Door Café depends on the efforts of our dedicated volunteers to help us meet the needs of Milwaukee’s hungry,” said Schauneille Allen, Director of Outreach Ministries at The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.  “We are very grateful not only for this generous financial contribution from AT&T, but also for the countless hours that the AT&T Pioneers have given in service to the less fortunate in our community over the years.”

 The AT&T Wisconsin Pioneers have been helping serve lunches 2-3 days a month at the Open Door Café since April 2007.  Pioneers not only volunteer over 200 hours yearly, but they also provide donations for the Helen Loftus Christmas party at the Open Door café.   Cash, gift cards, hats scarves, gloves and clothing were among the donated items for last year’s Christmas Party.

 “We are very proud to support our neighbors in need through this $5,000 AT&T contribution to Open Door Café,” said Pam Clapper, president of the AT&T Wisconsin Pioneers.  “We are also proud to help serve the noon-time meal to Milwaukee’s homeless and needy.  Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Open Door Café family.”

 The Open Door Café’s meal program is the only regular mid-day meal available in Milwaukee for the poor and homeless.  In addition to its lunch program, the Open Door Café also provides other support, including distributing resource cards with information about job opportunities, alcohol or drug treatment, health care, legal advice, shelters, food pantries and clothing.

 Along with their Parish Nurse, the Open Door Café also offers the services of an outreach nurse from St. Ben’s Clinic on most Tuesdays.  In addition, they also provide hygiene kits, clean socks and bus transportation for doctor, dental and other medical appointments.

 The contribution is part of a special initiative that awards local funding based on the nominations of AT&T employee groups.  The AT&T CARES Special Contribution Program, established in 2007, gives these groups, with a strong record of volunteerism, the ability to identify non-profits making a local impact.  This year, through the nominations of AT&T Pioneer chapters, Employee Resource Groups (ERGS) and international regions, AT&T plans to provide $260,000 in contributions to 52 organizations.

 The Open Door Café was selected by the AT&T Wisconsin Pioneers.  Employee volunteerism programs are part of the platform of initiatives provided by AT&T Community Engagement, which offers employees the opportunity to help our communities thrive.  By working together, we are carrying on AT&T’s legacy of giving and service, making a positive impact – one person, one neighborhood at a time.

 For 100 years, AT&T employees have been donating their time and talents to support underserved populations and strengthen communities.  In 2013, employees and retirees took time to enhance their communities with 5.3 million volunteer hours donated for a total value of $118 million associated with volunteerism.