"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

Springing Into Action

By S. Jean Miller

Social worker Eileen Gumbert (right) organized the Mother Margaret Hall Community Action Committee, which has hosted activities to benefit local nonprofit organizations with their needs.

It has been such a joy to experience a new committee being formed in Mother Margaret Hall these past months. When Eileen Gumbert joined us, as a social worker, she called a meeting for the Community Action Committee. I had not been to that type of committee meeting since I moved here. Surely this kind of service has been done for a long time by those of us living in Mother Margaret Hall.

This first meeting we, Sisters with help from employees, were asked to do something for others but do it together. Eileen asked us to list organizations that we thought might need help. Our list of possibilities was endless; we were ready to help!

Some of the organizations suggested were shelters for the homeless where people needed food; in Ohio, 270,000 households experience food insecurity. Some organizations named were assisting those in need of housing; in Ohio, a 2023 Gap Housing report said the “affordable housing shortage is getting worse.” And other organizations mentioned related to children’s needs; in Ohio, 76,000 children suffer food insecurity.

At that initial meeting we chose two possibilities to begin right away. We wanted to make sandwiches for Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, and we wanted to help Healthy Moms & Babes with their many needs.

Sisters and employees made lunchmeat and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in Cincinnati.

Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen is a nonprofit soup kitchen and social center in Cincinnati, Ohio’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood that offers meals, hospitality and services in a safe, respectful environment. The organization requests 600 sandwiches a day to send home with their clients who often live on the streets. Clients come in for a hot meal and also leave with sandwiches to eat later in the day. The organization has an online algorithm where a group can sign up for 100 sandwiches at a time for any day of the week. We have now provided sandwiches to the organization twice this year. And, through our participation, other groups have started to sign up. An elementary school classroom made 100 sandwiches for the organization after hearing about the project through our involvement.

Healthy Moms & Babes is an outreach ministry whose mission is to increase infant survival as well as foster the health of women, children and families; S. Tricia Cruise serves as president/CEO. This project took more planning and discussing. We wanted to have a baby shower for the families to gather gifts and donations. When we were ready to host the shower, we collected baby pictures of Sisters, staff and Associates to display; it was a fun guessing game. We played shower games, and there were split-the-pot and other opportunities to have fun and earn money. A portion of the money went to purchasing items for the mothers and their babies. The Sisters helped sew tote bags that would carry all the presents. When finished we filled 24 tote bags with much-needed items like wipes, socks, shirts, lotion and so much more.

We had fun doing service for the two groups and we know God blessed those we served with just a bit of what they needed. We look forward to determining who will need our service next.

“I am so impressed by the Sisters and everything they have accomplished in life. The Community Action Group seemed like a natural extension of their work. I only created a framework; the Sisters come up with the suggestions, planning, and work to make it happen. We have help from the Activity and Spiritual Life departments, and all Sisters and staff are welcome.” – Eileen Gumbert, MMH social worker

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