As we currently live in a time in history where uncertainty is the name of the game and quarantining and staying home are the rules, what do you do when you haven’t all the resources required to play?  For many in Plymouth and the surrounding area this is unfortunately the case; and for several community organizations including our very own Volunteer program spearheaded by Sister Connie Bach, that is an unacceptable reality. 

With a 10.9% poverty rate in Marshall County, we are ranked the 45th poorest county in the state stats.indiana.edu, a statistic only exacerbated by the recent pandemic, rising unemployment rates, in addition to the looming end of the moratorium on evictions.  Sister Connie and many other community leaders via a recent round table discussion regarding these staggering facts have decided they aren’t about to wait for the game or the rules to change.  Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday these amazing and selfless individuals consisting of many, many additional volunteers have been coming together to feed the homeless in our community as well as provide them with additional items needed to keep warm during these cold winter months. “Several afghans have been received, and Sisters are feverishly making hats, scarves, and mittens” said Sister Connie.  “However we are also in need of hygiene products as well as many other items that can be found on a list distributed throughout the Motherhouse, we are also accepting monetary donations delivered to the Development department earmarked for the PHJC Volunteer Homeless Project” she continued.

As with any incredible opportunity to help the community, leadership has granted employees Volunteer Time Off (VTO) eligibility to assist in this effort.  Many have been gathering weekly behind Cana Hall to pack sack lunches and distribute items to those in need as well as lend an ear and a voice for many who feel lost or alone during a time when all any of us want is to be together and safe. Sister Connie states that this is an ever-evolving process and one that will continue as long as housing and safety are an issue for our community members.  If you would like to participate in these ongoing efforts, please reach out to Sister Connie for additional information on times and growing needs. Let us also rejoice in our love and faith of one another and the knowledge that despite the situation at hand we are never truly alone when we hold God in our hearts.

“When we are open to the Spirit, we give God a chance to really mold us – maybe with a life choice, maybe with relationships or work, however big or small. We have to find peace, to listen and to be open to the Spirit.”
Felicia Kellar serves as both a PHJC volunteer and intern at Health Visions Fort Wayne where she assists in projects that address food insecurity. Here she counts vouchers from a recent farmer’s market with the Healthy Eating and Living program sponsored by Health Visions.