Everything from backpacks, gloves, jackets, sneakers and socks, children’s toys, toothbrushes and toothpaste, as well as a $1,700 contribution, were donated this week to help Helping House fulfill its mission to provide resources and assistance to the needy within the parish and nearby community.
“We wanted to encourage our Pastoral Center staff to share their bountiful blessings with our neighbors in need,” said Marissa Cornejo-Leahy, Mission Office director.
For the past two years, Marissa and Jennifer Loterbauer, office manager and budget analyst with the Construction Department, have hosted the donation drive for Helping House, which collects contributions from Pastoral Center employees.
Jennifer noted that construction vendors also donate generously to help create the raffles. Without the contributions from the construction vendors the event would not take place on such a massive scale.
“Share the Bounty, the name chosen for this year’s campaign, was inspired by Pope Francis’ ‘Share the Journey’ campaign last year,” Marissa said.
“Through this fundraiser we are able to create awareness for Helping House,” Marissa said. “We have luckily found that the more our Pastoral Center knows about Helping House, the more that they generously contribute.”
“Helping House and their volunteers do all the real work,” Marissa added. “We just look to help them so that they can shine in their ministries.”
Mary Lou Walters, chairperson of the Christ Community Outreach program and a volunteer for the past 15 years, said the time she spends helping out at Helping House inspires her and fellow volunteer Margaret Simon, also a 15-year Helping House veteran.
“We’re all retired and, you know, our kids are grown. This gives us something to do besides sit and watch TV in our armchairs,” she said.
“We get back as much as we give,” she said. “It’s very cool.”