Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Casino Night Helps The Needy In Tyrone

Published May 26, 2005

Two community organizations were awarded checks totaling $5,000 from St. Matthew Church in Tyrone May 22.

The money was raised during the church’s annual Casino Night celebration, which was attended by more than 300 people at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Fairburn April 30.

The $3,000 given to the parish’s St. Vincent de Paul Society will help fund roughly a month’s worth of outreach ministries provided by the volunteer organization, according to its president, Greg Gilbert.

Gilbert, who attended the Casino Night games and auctions, said it was a big surprise to learn some of the money raised during the charity event would be given to the Society.

“Our St. Vincent de Paul group truly appreciates this gift from the parish and Casino Night committee. It changes a lot of people’s lives and improves a lot of people’s situations,” he said.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society assists local families who need help with rent and utility payments, and even furniture. The 25 volunteers who operate out of the parish also make home visits, but more help is always needed.

“We can always use more manpower because you can imagine if you’ve already got a certain number who can handle all of these home visits, it can get overwhelming,” said Gilbert.

The church donated another $2,000 from the Casino Night funds to the Fayette Samaritans, a community organization that provides temporary assistance to needy families in the area.

The organization provides support “through their food pantry, financial counseling, and monetary donations to … people who are in immediate financial crisis,” said Patti Thaxton.

“People will walk in right off the street with their kids in tow and not have anywhere to stay, not have food, so they help to direct them to the right organizations to help them find places to live,” she said.

The extra money provided by St. Matthew Church will come in especially handy during the summer months when children are in need of extra care because government-funded lunches are only provided while school is in session, Thaxton said.

“Right now (volunteers are) going out and buying food for people because their pantry is low so this $2,000 will really help.”

St. Matthew Church, founded in 1978, is located on a 30-acre site that also houses Our Lady of Victory Elementary School on Kirkley Road in Tyrone.