Welcoming the Newcomer

By the OLOL Helping Hands Group
group photo of Our Lady of Lourdes volunteers with the food boxes they prepared for refugees
The OLOL Helping Hands Team surrounded by donations ready for delivery 


OLOL Helping Hands asked the parish and the local community to come together to help give a warm welcome to Migration and Refugee Services clients.


This November, the Our Lady of Lourdes Helping Hands group joined with Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) to support newcomers to the United States.  Many of MRS' current clients recently arrived from Afghanistan with nothing more than their backpacks. To support their needs, Helping Hands solicited donations of country-specific foods (such as pistachios, dates, and green tea), coats and cold-weather accessories, and monetary donations. OLOL responded with an outpouring of support for the newcomers.  Specified foods were collected in the vestibule over three weekends after Mass and 40 coats and accessories were collected at the Parish Hall in mid-November.  Harris Teeter donated gift cards which allowed the purchase of additional food items.  Monetary donations enabled MRS to deliver a truckload of nonperishable food - including flour, sugar, cans of peaches and tomatoes, and vegetable oil - to the Parish Hall.  Helping Hands volunteers unloaded the truck. The following night, volunteers filled 150 boxes with food.  On November 20, about one- third of the boxes were given to MRS clients, and additional boxes were delivered to MRS food pantries and office locations for distribution. 


A heartfelt thanks to the OLOL parish family for generously helping those in need - none of this could have happened without you.


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