Small program poised to make a load of difference locally

first_imgITHACA, N.Y. – At St. John’s Episcopal Church in Downtown Ithaca there are worship services and Sunday school, free meals and peace ministries. And starting this month, there’s a laundromat. The church is launching a laundry program affiliated with the national Laundry Love network, which works to give people access to free, safe laundry facilities.Loaves and Fishes has been serving free meals at St. John’s for 35 years, welcoming people regardless of faith to share in food and fellowship. The new laundry program will expand the parish house’s offerings by giving guests a chance to clean their clothes while having a meal.“Laundry is a marker of dignity and worth, something you can do for yourself even when you can’t do much else,” said Rev. Megan Castellan, who became St. John’s rector about a year ago.She cited a program in Kansas City, where she lived before Ithaca, that provided free laundry as a way to boost school attendance. Kids were avoiding school, administrators found, because they were embarrassed to show up in dirty clothes. When schools enlisted volunteers to do kids’ laundry while they were in class, absences fell sharply.There are multiple barriers to laundry in Ithaca. People who are homeless or live in buildings without laundry machines might not be able to afford laundromats — which costs about $5 per load — or might not have a way of transporting their laundry there. Laundry facilities in some rental buildings, meanwhile, may be unclean or unsafe.St. John’s is using basement space to offer free, safe laundry facilities. (Devon Magliozzi/Ithaca Voice) St. John’s is using basement space to offer free, safe laundry facilities. (Devon Magliozzi/Ithaca Voice)Castellan said St. John’s was well-positioned to offer safe, accessible facilities. Loaves and Fishes brings a steady stream of guests to the parish house and has created a welcoming environment.“We are so lucky, in that Loaves and Fishes has established itself as a safe environment for everyone, so we can build from that,” she said. Devon Magliozzi Your local health and human services news is made possible with support from: Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] or 607-391-0328. More by Devon Magliozzi The idea of a laundry ministry was already percolating at St. John’s before Castellan joined the parish. A pair of parishioners brought the idea to the vestry, the church’s governing body, after learning of a laundry initiative in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.The Los Angeles program relies on existing laundromats; churches sponsor outreach events where community members can clean their clothes for free. Initially, St. John’s intended to do something similar. Castellan said local laundromats were reluctant to sign on, though.By the time Castellan applied to take the helm at St. John’s, parish leaders were considering launching the program in-house instead. “I said sure, sounds great! Let’s have a small laundromat.”A parishioner who owns laundromats elsewhere in the Finger Lakes region offered to donate commercial washers. Soon, a few donors provided enough funds to purchase dryers. Volunteers signed up to supervise the space, and the miniature laundromat opened its doors.The program has hit some obstacles since launching. The first loads of laundry blew a fuse. For the time being, laundry and kitchen volunteers coordinate by walkie-talkie to make sure the dryers, dishwasher and coffeemakers aren’t running simultaneously.Castellan has also heard that some guests have had trouble getting their laundry to the downtown facility. Many don’t have cars, and TCAT buses do not always accommodate carts; the official TCAT policy is that carts need to be folded to come onboard.The church is raising money to upgrade the building’s electrical system as staff and volunteers take a trial-and-error approach to smoothing out other kinks. As the program’s capacity grows, though, Castellan plans to reach out to social service organizations throughout the community to serve more people.In the meantime, she said the response from the parish and Loaves and Fishes community has been overwhelmingly positive.“It just blew me away when we announced it at Loaves and Fishes and everyone started cheering,” Castellan said. “We’ve already gotten phone calls from around the state and country from people wanting to replicate this, which is really cool.”Featured image: The St. John’s parish house is home to Loaves and Fishes and a new laundry program. (Devon Magliozzi/Ithaca Voice) Tagged: Laundry Love, loaves and fishes, St. John’s Episcopal Church last_img read more

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Firm wins HHS contract for new flu vaccine technology

first_imgJun 23, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The US government has granted Protein Sciences Corp. (PSC) of Meriden, Conn., a $35 million contract to develop its technique for making influenza vaccines by growing flu virus proteins in insect cells, an approach said to be faster than traditional methods.”The technology has advanced in recent years to the point that we believe it could help meet a surge in demand for US-based vaccine for seasonal and pandemic flu,” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press release today.PSC’s approach involves extracting a gene from a flu virus and inserting it into a baculovirus, which infects insects but not people. The recombinant baculoviruses multiply quickly in insect cells, producing many copies of the flu gene, and the cells are purified and used to make a vaccine, HHS said.The method may make it possible to produce vaccine candidates, vaccine for clinical trials, and commercial-scale amounts of vaccine faster than with the traditional method of growing flu viruses in chicken eggs, the agency said. It said the insect cells can be frozen and stored indefinitely, contributing to faster large-scale production.If the technology is licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, the company will be required to establish a domestic manufacturing capability. The contract calls for the company to be prepared to make a finished vaccine within 12 weeks after a pandemic onset and to make 50 million doses within 6 months after pandemic onset, according to HHS.The contract could be extended up to 5 years at a total cost of about $147 million, HHS officials said.PSC has said it is using its baculovirus and insect-cell technology to make a vaccine for the novel H1N1 flu virus. On Jun 15 the firm announced it had begun manufacturing the vaccine, called PanBlok, and estimated it would be able to make 100,000 doses per week.But the vaccine, like any other, will require extensive animal and human testing and regulatory approval before it can be marketed.The HHS contract award came a day after a report that creditors of PSC had filed a petition to force the company into bankruptcy in an effort to collect on their claims.Bloomberg News reported that creditors filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition against the company yesterday in US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The petition listed claims totaling $11.7 million, the story said.Most of the debt—$11.5 million—is owed to Emergent BioSolutions Inc., Bloomberg reported. Emergent, which makes the only anthrax vaccine licensed in the United States, had agreed to buy most of PSC’s assets last year. On May 1 of this year, PSC announced it had reached a deal with Emergent that set terms for repaying a loan, terminated the 2008 asset purchase agreement, and resolved outstanding litigation.See also: HHS Jun 23 announcement of contract with PSChttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/06/20090623c.htmlMay 1 CIDRAP News story “Path to swine flu vaccine has major hurdles”last_img read more

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Lions skip practice after discussing shooting of Jacob Blake

first_img SUBSCRIBE TO US Written By LIVE TV First Published: 26th August, 2020 07:04 IST FOLLOW US Last Updated: 26th August, 2020 07:04 IST Lions Skip Practice After Discussing Shooting Of Jacob Blake The Detroit Lions decided not to practice on Tuesday, protesting after a Black man was shot by police in Wisconsin. “We came up with this one as a unit,” Detroit defensive end Trey Flowers saidcenter_img COMMENT Associated Press Television News WATCH US LIVE The Detroit Lions decided not to practice on Tuesday, protesting after a Black man was shot by police in Wisconsin. “We came up with this one as a unit,” Detroit defensive end Trey Flowers said.Lions coach Matt Patricia opened the team’s morning meeting by allowing players to share their thoughts on the shooting of Jacob Blake, who is paralyzed from the waist down. Blake was shot Sunday, three months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.The players continued to discuss Blake’s shooting and shared their personal experiences regarding race in the locker room.Lions players and Patricia later filed out of the team’s practice facility, pushing a dry-erase board on wheels along the sidewalk to address the media. The words: “The world can’t go on,” was written in blue on one side of the dry-erase board and “We won’t be silent!! One pride,” was in black on the other side of the white board.Patricia said he is proud of the players and hopes they inspire other people and teams in the NFL to take a stand for social justice.“I challenge everybody to do this, everybody in the league to do this,” Patricia said.“We’re dealing with times right now, where something is shaking in the world,” Flowers added. “It’s definitely an unprecedented time with the pandemic and something that has been going on for quite some time with the social injustice.”Colin Kaepernick, exiled from the NFL since the 2016 season when he took a knee during the national anthem, shed light on police brutality and racial inequality while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.Following the nationwide protests in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized to players for not listening to them earlier, encouraged them to protest peacefully, and denounced racism.Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said social justice issues were discussed as a team in Zoom meetings during the spring, when players were prevented from gathering at the team’s facility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conversations continued when the team reported for training camp earlier this month, and in face-to-face discussions Tuesday morning a player shared that his mother calls him nightly to make sure he arrived home safely.“It’s an incredible group of guys that we have in this locker room led by a coach who is unwavering in his ability to give us space to talk,” Stafford said. “We spent all morning talking about it. You have to give a lot of credit to coach for allowing us to do that. I’ve never been more proud.“We had our team meeting this morning and no football was talked about,” Stafford added.Image credits: AP last_img read more

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