Berbera and Kitty have been participating in activities and programs at Blessed Trinity Parish in Akron for over 68 years. As twins, the sisters have spent their entire lives side by side; living together, working together, and even retiring on the same day after 40 years of service to St. Thomas hospital. The Catholic community in Akron has been generous to them and their family since they were kids. “Growing up, our mom budgeted $5 a month for us and we didn’t have much,” says Kitty.
The twins walk to Blessed Trinity Parish each week to pick up food provided by Catholic Charities Hot Meals Program. Since the pandemic began, the program has shifted from an indoor dining room to an outdoor grab-and-go model. “We all used to be able to eat inside the building and it was so nice to be with people and catch up with friends and neighbors, but now people just come grab their food and leave and we hardly get to see them anymore. I miss not seeing people,” says Kitty. “We take things day by day, because things are always changing. But I’m happy we’re still able to come and get food here every week – that’s one thing that never changed,” says Berbera.
Stories like Berbera and Kitty’s are what inspires Matthew Peters, Emergency Services Coordinator for Summit County, to continue providing help and hope to those in need. “That’s what it’s all about, providing people with basic necessities and bringing people hope, ensuring that they can make it through the day. That’s what we’re all about at Emergency Assistance Services, we love our neighbor and serve them with no questions asked,” says Matthew.