Church without heat seeks donations

February 21, 2015
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An Austin church that feeds the needy was without heat Friday and asking for help.

Fraternite Notre Dame, 502 N. Central Ave., lost both of its boilers — the first conked out two weeks ago and the second died on Wednesday — due to age and the below-freezing temperatures, said Sr. Marie Valerie.

One heating company told the nuns the entire heating system needs to be replaced, at a cost of about $200,000.

The 15th District CAPS posted on its Twitter feed Friday news of the dire situation the church is facing and asked residents to help in any way they could.

CAPS Sgt. Roger Powell said the church does such great work in the neighborhood that he felt compelled to try to help.

“This is one of our neighbors,” Powell said.

Fraternite Notre Dame feeds breakfast to about 200 people every day, and 300 to 400 people receive food every Wednesday, Powell said.

The attention the church has received already has prompted some residents to come forth with donations, Sister Marie Valerie said. (CBSChicago, ABC7 and NBCChicago all did stories).

Eight sisters live at the site and have been staying warm with space heaters, according to local media.

Anyone interested in donating can do so directly by stopping by the church, or by sending a check made out to Fraternite Notre Dame.

A GoFundMe campaign has also been set up.

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