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"Our Faith Calls Us To Action"
Volunteer - Sue Whitmore
By Kathy Gaito
 

If you ask Sue Whitmore if God places people in our lives for a reason, her answer would be a resounding “Yes”! After being laid off from her job unexpectedly in 2010, Sue’s connection to Sister Ann Mack, R.S.M. set her on an unexpected but rewarding path. Sister Mack contacted her sister, Kathleen Kelly, the Amazing Grace Pantry Coordinator, and asked Kathleen to reach out to Sue. Kathleen and Sue knew each other, so it wasn’t a surprise when Kathleen contacted her. This connection started Sue on her journey as a volunteer at the Amazing Grace Pantry, a program of St. Vincent de Paul Middletown.

Sue started volunteering at the Amazing Grace Pantry 2-3 days a week. For the first three years of volunteering, she helped customers at the pantry ‘go shopping’ for their basic needs. As Sue explained it, “each customer is assigned to a volunteer and given a grocery cart and they shop together.” Sue has since moved to helping with the meat delivery at the Pantry. Sue helps to sort and distribute the meat to customers. People can make their selections of the type of meat based on availability. As Sue explains, “The goal of the pantry is to provide for approximately 3 days of food in all categories for shoppers, all depending on availability and the number of clients on any given day. More clients come at the end of the month when other resources may have been exhausted.” The staff and volunteers at the Amazing Grace pantry estimate crowd size based on the day of the month and try to distribute as much bread, meat and fresh vegetables as possible, while still keeping in mind that they have to have items available for the 4 days a week that they are open. Canned goods, packaged items and other food categories are distributed based on family size and availability. People are allowed to visit the pantry once a month. When not working with the meat delivery, Sue spends her time helping to stock shelves or assisting in other areas that need her help.

“Anything can happen to anybody at any time. Having a place like St. Vincent de Paul Middletown can help make things easier for those who might need it at the time,” Sue reflected. She recounted a story of a woman who was shopping in the Amazing Grace Food Pantry who mentioned her child’s birthday. The women was hoping to possibly find a few items that would make her child’s birthday special. When the woman left that day, she had a tear in her eye. The staff and volunteers at the pantry on that day happened to have a cake, party hats, matching plates and napkins that they gave to her to make her child’s birthday memorable.

Sue, a member of St. John Parish, Middletown also gives back to her parish. Helping at Mass as a lector, assisting as a member of the RCIA team run by Sister Ann Mack, R.S.M. and acting as a coordinator for the twice-yearly ‘soup kitchen suppers’ that St. John’s sponsors at St. Vincent de Paul Middletown, Sue has found rewarding ways to fill her time. There is no better testimonial for volunteering than what Sue stated, “I really like where I am.”

Thank you Sue Whitmore from all of us here at the Diocese of Norwich for your volunteerism. You are truly appreciated! Volunteers are vital to our ministries that are supported by the time, talent and treasures of people in our Diocese. Your support and the support of others allows our ministries to continue their service to our community. Thank you for hearing and responding to: “Our Faith Calls US To ACTION!”

 

Annual Catholic Appeal 20167


ACA 2017

ACA 2017


Faithful Stewardship



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