Bringing Catholic Values to Life

Hopping Into Service

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of hosting my first Fraternal Outreach workshop in beautiful California, Kentucky. I was eager to work with St. Peter 1492, the local court there, because when I called the workshop organizer for the first time, I could tell she was truly on fire about COF.

Her name is Holly Schweitzer, and she is an agent with COF. Holly may be new to insurance industry, but she is not new to COF. She has been a member her whole life but recently wanted to learn more about COF and become more active with her court. When we were wrapping up our initial phone call, she wanted to know what the best next step would be. I encouraged her to host a workshop to plan a Feeding God’s Children event.  

During the workshop, members of St. Peter 1492 asked me to suggest different FGC events I had seen. I started to rattle off unique ideas the Fraternal Outreach Team had come up with. Superhero kits, dress for the job, baby bottle campaign, no-sew baby blankets…that’s when they stopped me. They all loved my last idea, so we started to run with it. Members thought it would be a good idea to ask for fleece donations at church and add this event to their church’s annual Easter egg hunt. We assigned a few tasks, set a date and went our separate ways.

Seven weeks later, the day of the Easter egg hunt arrived. Bright, plastic eggs scattered the gym floor ready to be found. When I arrived, the only people in the gym were the members, since Mass was still going on. Holly and I immediately got to work setting up the no-sew baby blanket station. Colorful fleece soon covered the cafeteria-style tables. We precut the fabric so people could more easily participate.

Then families started to arrive, and the energy in the room became electric. The kids ran to the center of the gym floor and carefully selected their five eggs while their parents took pictures. Once they were done hunting for eggs, the children skipped over to the baby blanket making station and looked to their parents for help. “I am sure that the kids are going to like this one,” exclaimed a little girl to her mom as they tied two large pieces of fleece together. Each family exceeded my expectations. They did not simply tie a few knots, they stayed at the station until the blanket they were working on was completed.

After two and a half hours, 12 blankets were made for the Madonna House (a Christian organization that aids young pregnant women and single mothers) and Family Promise (an organization that helps families enduring rough times). Holly’s positive energy is contagious. Working together, we hosted a Fraternal Outreach workshop (identifying a cause the group was passionate about, setting an event date and assigning an event organizer) followed through with the event, and maintained good communication throughout – all necessary for a successful Feeding God’s Children experience! Seeing how many blankets the attendees (184 in all) made was inspirational. The entire process, from initial phone call to leaving the gym after the event, was simple and is a real-life example of teamwork making the dream work!  

Article by Audrey Kopecky.

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