Vol. 4, 2016-2017
Council 10930 members are Pro-Life and this year two of our members Bob Hennessey and Lee Sperry proposed the Council support a local Pregnancy Center by donating baby supplies to the center. The Council approved the project and Catholic Charities – Gabriel Project was selected as the recipient. The project was presented to our St. Thomas the Apostle Church parish priest, Rev. Benjamin Hembrom TOR, who approved the project by allowing a collection box to be installed in the Narthex and included the project in the parish bulletin and also with announcements from the AMBO.
This program is in line with the Supreme Council - Faith in Action – Life Program - ASAP (Aid and Support After Pregnancy).Bob Hennessey contacted the project manager of the Gabriel Project who was pleased to accept our support. Two large decorated containers were placed in the Narthex and labeled as “Gifts for Baby Jesus” and with an explanation as to where the gifts would be donated. The program was very well accepted and supported by the parish. A thank you memo was sent to the parish thanking all who donated to the project.
Approximately 8600 individual items were collected with an estimated value of $3000.00.Bob with the help of his spouse Lorraine, member Brock Childress and his spouse Sandy, inventoried and organized the items for delivery to the Gabriel Project.
Included below is the summary of the success of the program written by Bob Hennessey who was in charge of the effort.
This is his memo to the Gabriel Project Manager.
We talked in early in December when we were in the process of trying to implement "Gifts for Baby Jesus" at Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish on a very expedited schedule.
I’m pleased to tell you we successfully implemented this Respect Life program with the complete support of the parish. We thought it was important to share with you the program, how we executed the program, observations, lessons learned, benefit of the program with a hope of making this an annual event.
Below is the bulletin / AMBO announcement and it explains the event, what is needed, where you can leave your gifts, and it defines the mission of the Gabriel Project and the Gabriel Angels who will be receive the gifts on behalf of pregnant women and their families.
GIFTS FOR BABY JESUS
Christmas celebrates the birth of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ. We can celebrate His birth by bringing a
gift of diapers, wipes, baby powder, baby clothes or other
useful items to be donated to the Gabriel Project. This
Fort Worth Diocese Apostolate mentors pregnant women
and their families. Gabriel Angels provide spiritual
encouragement, emotional support and many provisions
to new moms. The Gabriel Project has been helping
pregnant mothers and their families for more than 25 years,
providing resources to help them achieve their financial,
educational, and employment goals. Gifts can be dropped
off in the appropriate box in the Narthex though the end of
Comments on the Event:
- Event puts focus on respect life and gave the parishioners a way to participate in helping.
- Event was in the bulletin and announced from the altar before and after Christmas.
- Repetition is an important form of communication.
- It was in English and Spanish.
- An average of 1500 folks attend Mass each weekend.
- Highlighted Gabriel Project and their very important role in support of pregnant women.
- Exposure to Gabriel Project may encourage volunteers for program.
- Exposure to Gabriel Project may reach a woman or family in need of help.
- Provided an inventory of items for moms and babies.
- Letting the event run through the end of January optimized participation.
- Having a very visible box to receive gifts is a reminder you are not too late to help. “
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