Al Barbiere, volunteer, coordinator, Board Member and friend passed away suddenly on November 14, 2015. For those of you lucky enough to have heard Al Barbiere speak at churches where he was selling raffle tickets, then you know that Al was a passionate man. He loved sharing his stories about the families in the Family Promise Network and reporting back to us how you responded to what he had said. He spoke in awe of the gratitude you showed for what Family Promise is doing and was humbled by your generosity as you supported his fundraising endeavors.
Al’s compassion for men and women experiencing homelessness was demonstrated through his work as the Coordinator for the Overflow Shelter Program at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Wyckoff, a position he held for 10 years. One night a week for two months, Al and his volunteers provided homemade meals and a warm place to sleep just like we do in the Network except now we work with families.
When the Overflow Shelter Program ended, Al joined the Board of Trustees. One of the things that Al truly enjoyed was going to the congregations to thank the volunteers for their work with the families. He would walk into a congregation and shake everyone’s hand making sure everyone felt appreciated. One of the volunteers remembered him as a kind and gentle man. In addition, Al led the Marketing Committee for two years. A volunteer who worked along with him, credits him for teaching her the love of marketing and community service – something that she continues today.
Al will be remembered for all of the traits mentioned above. He was passionate, humble, compassionate, grateful and giving. We are grateful for his friendship, his service and the opportunity to have known such a special man.