In my time working with the Sharing Board, I have witnessed first hand the great generosity of Saint Anne Parish. I joined the Sharing Board in 2007, and was given the opportunity to serve as co-chair for the sharing tree gift collection with Laura Luby. Both of our families, along with student and adult volunteers, have collected and distributed family gifts, gift cards, school and life necessities for the past 12 years. This would not have been possible without your donations. The sharing tree couldn’t be successful without the kindness of our parish. Through the years, we have seen ups and downs in the economy, and in some years, Laura and I feared the contributions would be light, but as always, we saw abundant generosity. Saint Anne parishioners have always recognized others in need. Through your donations, we have provided Catholic educations to a number of students at our Sharing Parish, St. Frances of Rome, as well as many supplies to the school, collected from the sharing tree.
I have also seen the power of generosity through parishioners giving their time. The Boy Scouts, Journey and Confirmation groups, friends and parishioners have volunteered to help with the St. Martin De Porres Women’s Shelter Christmas parties, preparing Easter baskets for the children at the Shelter and for my son’s Eagle Project which restored the Shelter playground and deck.
The St. Columbanus Food and Coat Drive has also been a source of time and energy in our parish when food and coats are collected semi-annually and distributed. The Food Pantry at St. Columbanus is a place where parishioners and students have helped and seen the real need for food in Chicago communities.
I am grateful that Saint Anne and the Sharing Board have provided the opportunity for myself, my family and our faith community to serve others and to witness generosity at its best.