I grew up in a small town, one mile square. Within a few blocks of my Catholic school were three churches, one Catholic, one Methodist, one Presbyterian.
At the corner, there was the library, police department and firehouse. I loved that block. If I passed the firehouse on just the right, my grandfather who volunteered there would buy me a bottle of coke.
We didn’t hear sirens in class. I think we just got used to noises, plus paying attention to class was pretty important. So on one particularly bad day in March, I went home to find that my home had been destroyed by fire. My mom was fine but everything we owned was gone. Within a few hours, the Methodists arrived with food. Presbyterians followed with pillows, blankets, and clothes. Prior to that day, I would not have been able to name one Methodist or Presbyterian. In those days, many Catholics often thought they were superior, and we were encouraged to stick with our own kind. I remember feeling so confused. Who are the strangers reaching out to us? Why would they include us in their ministry when we were not one of them?
I don’t think we know our neighbors very well. The reality is we can change that. The fact that they did not know us was not important to them when it came time to help my family when we were in need. My family was grateful to be included in their thoughts and actions even though we did not know them.
This year at the Staff Event, May 5 … you are coming right!?… we will host a raffle. We will raffle off an i-pad. The proceeds will go into the Rod Hibbard Fund. The fund is an emergency support account for staff in need. The first family helped after the last raffle was a family like mine who lost their material goods to fire. I don’t know who that staff member was, but I know what it is like to receive help just in time.
There are many needs in our neighborhoods, the need to celebrate, the need to recognize achievement and the need to prepare our emergency response. The event is free to staff. I ask that you look in plastic tray in the car, the jar in your kitchen or the bottom of your purse where the loose change gathers. Come prepared to participate in the raffle. I hope you will attend this event, an important night to strengthen our neighborhood. I hope to meet you there.
(If you still need to register for our staff event, you can do so by clicking here).