Pay it Forward projects bring joy, help to those in need

| April 10, 2013 | 0 Comments
Sylvia Such, left, works to assemble care packages for her Pay it Forward project with help from her sister Sophia, right, and Sophia’s friend, Kate Pakiz. Dave Hrbacek /  The Catholic Spirit

Sylvia Such, left, works to assemble care packages for her Pay it Forward project with help from her sister Sophia, right, and Sophia’s friend, Kate Pakiz. Dave Hrbacek /
The Catholic Spirit

Sylvia Such was bursting with excitement as she pulled miniature candy bars from a large bowl in the basement of her Prior Lake home recently. The scene is every chocolate lover’s dream, but her haul of treats is not what put the wide grin on her face.

Rather, it was the thought of those who would be receiving the goodies — Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women, Loaves and Fishes at St. Mark’s in Shakopee, as well as several area priests.

Such was assembling care packages for her Pay it Forward for Lent project. Hers was one of the three projects funded $100 by The Catholic Spirit’s Pay it Forward for Lent initiative.

Such, a member of St. John the Baptist in Savage, enlisted the help of her family and friends and created 250 care packages to deliver to people that needed a little joy. Each package contained a postage-paid handmade greeting card so the recipient could send it to someone else and share the joy even further.

“Some of [the friends’] parents talked about how it has inspired them to do a project in their family,” said Julie Such, Sylvia’s mom.

Such has personally delivered almost all of the packages, but mailed a package to Father Glenn O’Connor in Plainfield, Ind., who married her parents and baptized her. She sent a package to Archbishop Nienstedt and received a note back from him.

“Dear Sylvia,” he wrote, “My thanks for your Easter greetings. I pray that you, too, will have great peace and joy. With best wishes, Archbishop Nienstedt.”

She even sent a package to Pope Francis and hopes to get a note from him, Julie Such said.

Some of the remaining packages were taken to Safe Haven for Youth, a shelter in Shakopee, and the rest will be handed out at the Simpson Housing Services shelter in Minneapolis, Julie Such said.

Water project

Another project funded by The Catholic Spirit’s Pay it Forward for Lent initiative was the building of a water tank for villagers in Kampala, Uganda, submitted by the St. Tim’s Overseas Project (S.T.O.P.), at St. Timothy in Blaine.

“Our projects are progressing very well,” said Kate Shea, a member of the group. “We’ve raised enough money to complete the water project for Project Uplift.”

The group raised $11,331.25 for the project with a special collection, and it worked with Project Uplift, a project run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The money from Pay it Forward was used for hardware to install the tank.

Sacred Heart Brother Paul Montero traveled from Baton Rouge, La., to speak at Masses March 16 and 17. “Brother Paul did a wonderful job explaining the history and need of this water project,” Shea said.

“Thanks to The Catholic Spirit and the ‘Pay it Forward’ program for giving us a wonderful start.”

Making sandwiches

Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Minnetonka partnered with the “363 Days” organization to make and package sandwiches for the hungry.

“We met our goal of 2,000 sandwiches,” said Amber Bowman, a sixth-grade teacher at the school. The Pay it Forward money was used to purchase sandwich-making supplies.

Allen Law, head of the “363 Days Sandwich Project,” spoke at the school, explaining to the students how the money they raised and the sandwiches they made would directly impact the lives of people in need, Bowman said.

After his talk, the students broke into groups to assemble and package the sandwiches.

“Money that exceeded the cost of supplies was donated to Minneapolis Recreation Development [an organization that feeds and provides emergency assistance to as many of the homeless in Minneapolis every day as possible] to go toward bus tokens so that some of the homeless would have a warm and safe place to be at night if shelters were full,” Bowman said.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Local News