Saint Mary Mokena children, adults and families gave back to the community on Saturday, August 11 during the parish’s service day.
Roughly 80 volunteers showed up bright and early in the morning, ready to live out their faith by helping others. The day began with breakfast and an opening prayer. Afterward, everyone participated in a joint project to write thank you cards and decorate care package boxes for the troops.
Volunteers also brought 21 grocery bags of donations to be sent to the troops, along with $50 for postage.
Following the opening activities, everyone split up into groups and went to a different part of the community for a particular service project.
One group went to St. Mary cemetery to clear vines, pull weeds and trim branches. In a similar vein, separate groups visited Hickory Creek Forest Preserve and downtown Mokena for some outdoor maintenance.
Other groups volunteered at Morning Start Thrift Store and the Nativity House in Lockport, which supports mothers in need. Still other parishioners helped two home-bound parishioners clear weeds from their yard and gutters.
Finally, separate groups visited the nuns at the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart Motherhouse and the residents of Marley Oaks and Sunny Hill nursing homes. There they played bingo with the residents, decorated cupcakes and made arts and crafts.
The volunteers were thrilled with the experience and opportunity to give back.
A member of the Walker family said, “The Parish Service Day was a wonderful experience for our family. We have so many blessings in our life. It was nice to share these blessings and help a home-bound parishioner clean up her yard. We made new friends, got dirty, worked hard, and made someone very happy. It was a great day!”
Nick DiGiovanni, another volunteer, said the Parish Service Day was, “A wonderful way to give back in a quiet, unnoticed way to Our Father for all that He gives to us undeservedly… Through helping those in need in the community, I walked away a more thankful and grateful person. The Almighty will never be outdone in generosity. I trust that anyone who gave their time to this event walked away with more than what they gave. Praise God!”
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