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Seeing God as community pulls together

A couple of months ago, Elin was talking to a friend and heard that there were about 25 Hispanic families from her church community who were unemployed because of COVID- 19, and wouldn’t be able to access desperately needed community food resources. When Elin and her husband, Terry, heard this, they felt God was nudging them to do something.

The timing was perfect. Not only was it Lent, but Elin had recently resigned from her job and found herself with more time on her hands as she recovered from surgery.

She organized a sign-up genius and sent it to about 70 people seeking food and monetary donations. The list was shared and it spread to others. She enlisted the help of the Knights of Columbus, a men’s group at her church. They had an account with a food service distributor so that perishable foods like meat, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables could be purchased.

“When I asked Terry how much the Knights had in their budget for the food purchase, I was bit nervous. I knew their funds were down due to pandemic-induced fundraising cancellations. He responded with full trust and faith as is his way, ‘If we do this, the money will come.’”

The first food order came to approximately $1,800. Thanks to the generosity of so many, there were plenty of donations to cover the first week of food. “I was humbled by the outpouring of generosity and response,” said Elin.

The cash and food donations have continued. Since that first Saturday, the family food provisions are distributed every two weeks. Elin, Terry and several volunteers receive and sort the donations. Then, they divide and bag it into separate food bags for each family. Last Saturday, each of the families received 10 pounds of chicken thighs, eggs, cheese, tortillas, broccoli, oranges, apples, cereal, beans, peanut butter, and more.

For Elin and Terry, they both look forward to their new bi-weekly “donation Saturdays”.

“It feels good to get out, get moving and connect with our parish family and community members to help in this small way. And our work IS small, we’re just facilitators. The people in both our faith and local community are generously doing the work of God by contributing food and financial donations," said Elin.

Elin and Terry are so grateful for the wonderful work of Deacon John McCully and his love and dedication for the Hispanic community for whom he’s been serving, advocating and ministering to for the past 15 years.

“If he hadn’t revealed the desperate need, we wouldn’t have known it existed. He planted the seed,” said Elin.

“We've been so humbled to witness the outpouring of generosity in support of our parish Hispanic community. There have been so many people involved in this work. I see God in the generosity of the donors, volunteers, and in the faces of those who we serve. They have such big smiles and are so grateful for any assistance we can provide. It's been beautiful and a true joy to witness,” said Elin.

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