Article on the service in the Jersey Journal!

Young Coptic group works with homeless

JC4JC members visit, feed many at Journal Square
Thursday, July 15, 2010

People usually rush through the Journal Square PATH Plaza en route to a departing bus or train. Not the members of JC4JC. They plan to sit and talk and even bring food and refreshments to share with any one, especially the hungry and homeless who stay in the area.

They've been doing this on most Sunday afternoons for almost a year. And because of their dedication, some people look forward to the young adults coming.

"They're our friends and we truly love them as a family," said JC4JC member Meryam Attaalla, 21, who grew up in Jersey City but now lives in North Arlington.

She still worships at Ss. George & Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church about four blocks from the PATH Plaza. And though this group of young adults, who call themselves "Jesus Christ for Jersey City," may belong to a particular church, this venture is not church-sponsored.

A group of Coptic Orthodox young adults began to envision an organization based on the Gospel of Matthew 25 to carry out certain ministries. They started in 2007 according to Ann Marie Toss.

"We were looking to do something more," said Toss, 24, who just received her Master's in Religious Studies from Yale. Her uncle, Rev. David Bebawy, is the pastor of Ss. George & Shenouda.

And that's where the JC4JC group, averaging about 20 volunteers, gathers on Sunday afternoon about 4 o'clock to pray before they undertake feeding the hungry.

They made an arrangement with a downtown pizzeria and then head over to the PATH Plaza with the pizzas and sodas where they'll stay until about 7 o'clock. They sit and talk with whom ever comes by.

By now, they know the regulars and the police do not bother them. In fact, Attaalla says the police are happy to see them caring for the homeless....

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