CSJ associates belonging to the On Eagle’s Wings Conversation Circle delivered 245 new pairs of socks to the Catholic Charities Center For Hope homeless shelter in Flint, Michigan, along with snack treats and a homemade flannel blanket.
Although associates Terry Blundell, Evelyn Mazzola, Jeanne Worden and Connie Ozanich didn’t plan this project, it certainly blossomed into one in beautiful and unexpected ways as a witness of their love for the ‘dear neighbor.’
A CSJ associate is a non-vowed member of the Congregation, and a Conversation Circle is a group of associates who meet regularly to stay connected to each other and to the Congregation as a whole.
The effort started out with 34 pairs of socks that a friend of Terry found on sale one day in early December. She knew Terry would know how to find people in need to give them to. Terry went right to work by suggesting to her Conversation Circle that they give the socks to the Center for Hope, an organization she became acquainted with last year through Sister Mary Norman Daniels, CSJ.
Sister Mary Norman, who now lives at our Nazareth center in Kalamazoo, MI, recently retired from parish ministry at St. Michael’s Parish in Flint where she had also worked at the Center for Hope. Someone had recently given her a monetary donation to do whatever she’d like with. When Terry told her about the socks, Sister Mary Norman suggested that Terry use the money to buy more socks.
“People typically give hats and gloves to shelters but they forget about socks,” said Terry. “This was something we could give them that they need.”
Terry told her Conversation Circle about Sister’s donation. “We’ve got something going here,” said Terry, and the Circle members agreed. Recognizing it as a sign, they each contributed to buy more socks to give to the shelter. “We decided not to ask people for donations at this time of year,” said Terry. “They already have been asked for money by many, many others.”
Although this project started out simply, Terry couldn’t help but see its importance and as a way to get more people involved. She asked the youth group at her parish in Davison about collecting more socks as a project, and the director said yes that the group would make it their February service project. Very often, donations to charities falls off sharply after the holidays, so this is one way to continue the donations into the new year.
“Things just fell into place like they were supposed to,” said Terry. “It wasn’t like we started out doing it. Usually when we think of doing a project, we think of doing something big. This project started out simply where we were doing something special for people in need. It was simple but it ended up with lots of involvement from a number of people.”
If you would like to make a donation to this project, write a check made out to “Socks” and send it to Terry at:
300 South Main St #325
Davison, MI 48423
To learn more about associates of the Congregation of St. Joseph, click here.