At Catholic Charities, we deal with some big issues. The housing shortage, behavioral health, homelessness, immigration, food security and intergenerational poverty come to mind.
It’s easy to get lost in the 40,000-foot view. Every once in a while, you need to come back down to ground level to refocus on the individual-level view. Because even though creating solutions at the 40,000-foot view makes it possible for us to serve and advocate for the vulnerable, it’s that personal touch that affirms their dignity.
And no one brings that personal touch to Catholic Charities like our volunteers, who supply our clients with lovingly handcrafted donations. We are blessed to have some very crafty supporters who show their compassion for our clients through their creativity.
Every year, the quilters from St. Mary’s Parish in Spokane Valley drop by our Family Services Center with stacks of beautiful quilts. The vibrant colors and playful patterns are as unique as the clients that receive them. The personal touch is fully expressed in the tag addressed to each recipient: “Made for you with joy by the St. Mary Quilters.”
Our Catholic schools get in on the action, too. Students at St. Thomas More School spent a year making “threads of love,” blankets, scarves and quilts to donate to our programs. They held a Threads of Love Mass to bless the crafts and celebrate the time and care that each student put in to their project. That care is part of the warmth that our clients feel when they use these donations.
Some of the most striking donations we receive are those that show up announced by people we haven’t met before. Often, these donations come in cardboard boxes filled with soft, richly colored hats, gloves and scarves that the donor made as a hobby. They’re just hoping someone can use them.
These warm accessories find their way to our shelters and Catholic Housing Communities. They might make it to the Pearl Boutique clothing bank, where St. Margaret’s Residents can choose them when they visit.
But throughout the year, we also save them up to distribute at The Christmas Bureau. When adults without kids come to the Christmas Bureau, we make sure they leave with at least one or two articles of warm clothing.
We are grateful to the many volunteers who share their handcrafted gifts of love with us!