Early in 2020, Kathy Encarnacao was a vibrant presence in the community, teaching young people the joy of dancing at the Fourth Presbyterian Church.
Known as Ms. Kathy, she taught Zumbini to toddlers, musical theater to teens and a full array of moves to everybody in between. Having danced professionally herself with the Ringling Brothers Circus back in the day, her love of dance radiated throughout the classes she taught in the after-school arts program.
Then COVID happened, causing everything to come to an abrupt halt. The Fourth Church pivoted and Ms. Kathy stepped up and brought her spirited style to a new neighborhood program!
In March 2020, the church began offering free Grab’n’Go lunches every weekday to help families make it through a rough period. Annie Chaparro took on the role of chef while Kathy became the ambassador and Server-in-Chief and for the past year, danced up and down the church’s front steps with bags of lunches for families who need them.
“She is the face of our Meals Program,” says Pastor Burns Stanfield. “Can you think of anybody better? She serves the hungry with a dancer’s grace.”
Kathy admits she was anxious at the beginning of the pandemic but found healing and inspiration in the daily regimen of serving lunches. “To be honest,” she says, “comforting people actually brought ME comfort.”
Fourth Church is continuing to serve meals daily and they are now, slowly rebuilding their arts classes – including dance! Their six-week Summer Meals and Children’s Program will resume in July but they need the neighborhood’s help now! Through a social media campaign #FedattheFourth #MayFourthFeedYou launching appropriately on May 4th, they will be raising some much needed funds.
Added Pastor Burns, “we look to the amazing South Boston community! Your gifts made theater, dance and meals programs possible in the past, and we know Southie’s generosity will make continued feeding and dancing possible in the future!”
To help out the Summer Meals Program, you can make a donation by visiting here!