October was a very busy month at the Center. We have been seeing large numbers of guests most days. Although our usual maximum for the day is 35, we stick to our promise of allowing everyone in that is at the door by 8:30am. One morning, we had 43 waiting; most mornings, we ‘close’ a few minutes after we open since we exceed the maximum. I had to turn away 15 latecomers one day, advising them to return the next day by 8:30.
It was also a very good month for the Center:
• We now have donors making bagged lunches every day of the week! This is a welcome treat to our guests.
• The Knights had their 9th food drive of the year; thanks to Dave King and his teams, they collected 248 bags of groceries to help replenish our empty shelves. They also collected $870 in cash donations that will be used to buy more food.
• Marie King and her team ran another successful yard sale that brought in over $2400; this money will be used to fund our Work for Rent program.
• The team of JoAnn Daley, Marge Kempf, Maryanne Reynolds, Barbara Ruszala, and Shelley Bangert along with the Catholic Daughters and many others , held our 3rd Annual Quarter Auction. It was a huge success. We had the largest crowd ever and in addition to having a fun day, we raised well over $5000. These funds will allow us to offer assistance to many families in need.
• We’ve added 14 new volunteers since our Open House in September ; all of my Food Lion spots have been filled, and we have many new faces helping each day at the Center.
• St Mark’s third graders held their annual ‘Baby Shower for Jesus’ and gifted us with many beautiful baby items; we’ll use them to package layette sets for our guests.
• The highlight of the month for all of us, volunteers and guests as well, was Sister Isaac’s visit. I think Sister was as happy to see us as we were to see her! I hadn’t seen her since she left last December and I was thrilled to welcome her back. She worked with us each day that week and enjoyed lunches out with some of the volunteers; she filled in wherever needed each day. She had a chance to catch up with many parishioners on the bus to the Cathedral and had several visits during the week – she was on the go the entire week. When she departed, we made sure she knew she is welcome back anytime!
• Our Thanksgiving project is underway; thank you to everyone that has offered to help out. Next up will be our Christmas projects – watch this space for more info on that!
Thank you to everyone that brought in food donations for Share Sunday last week; food donations are always welcome!
Special Need of the Week : As the weather is turning cooler (finally), we will have an increased demand for blankets of all sizes.