Volunteers add messages of hope to 2,000 care kits in Cold Spring, MN

More than 175 volunteers helped pack 2,000 hopeful messages into cloth kits on May 15th in Cold Spring

Gather4Good® is sponsored by Catholic United Financial

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Catholic United Financial is a life insurance and financial products cooperative serving 80,000 Catholics in the Upper Midwest since 1878. As a not-for-profit, Catholic United transforms its profits into purpose, bringing together members, employees and community volunteers to pursue its mission through local grants, post-secondary education scholarships, service opportunities and more. For more information about Catholic United Financial, its Foundation or Credit Union, call 651-490-0170, 1-888-568-6670 or visit us online at www.catholicunitedfinancial.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2016    

COLD SPRING, MN – More than 175 volunteers helped pack 2,000 hopeful messages into cloth kits full of personal hygiene items on Sunday, May 15th in Cold Spring.

“Wishing you receive the answer to your prayers very soon!” said one handwritten message inserted into a care kit. In coming weeks, that message will be delivered to a person or family enduring a time of homelessness, financial difficulty or recovery from abuse or mental illness. “The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up!” was written on another card.

More than 175 people participated in the Gather4Good® service event held on the grounds of St. Boniface Catholic Church and School in Cold Spring. Jazz quintet Trade Four helped energize the volunteers with live music, refreshments and activities were provided by sponsor Catholic United Financial, and colorful face painting created by Faces by Stella appeared on younger volunteers.

The total number of people enduring homelessness in Minnesota has gone down, but Stearns County has seen an increase, said Sue Hanks, program manager for the Hope Community Support Program for Catholic Charities of Central Minnesota. Care kits like the ones assembled on May 15th will be put into the hands of people served by Catholic Charities and five other charities that serve central Minnesota.

Providing kits and hopeful messages reminds needy people that they aren’t forgotten, said Hanks. Of her program she said, “We are about hope and recovery.”

Gather4Good® service events have been held across the state since 2010 resulting in more than 20,000 care kits assembled and more than $37,000 in donations received to support the project. An average kit contains soap, comb, toothbrush and other consumable hygiene items, along with a personal message of hope written by a volunteer.

“It’s motivating to learn how our volunteer efforts are giving hope to people who need it,” said Nate Lamusga, director of Member Engagement for Catholic United Financial. “Our partnership with local chapters of organizations like Catholic Charities has meant a lot to us at Catholic United, and we know that these care kits are delivered to people who need and appreciate the help.”

Other partners for this event include: Boys and Girls Clubs, the Salvation Army, Anne Marie’s Alliance, Lutheran Social Services of Central Minnesota, The Dream Center of St. Cloud, and Catholic United Response.

Catholic United Financial, the sponsor and founder of Gather4Good®, is organizing another service event in September in Yankton, South Dakota. More information about Gather4Good® is available at www.gather4good.org or on social media: facebook.com/catholicunited or twitter.com/catholicuf.

Links to photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/catholicaid/albums/72157668384804816
Links to videos:

About Catholic United Financial

Based in St. Paul, MN, Catholic United Financial is a life insurance and financial products company serving 84,000 Catholics in the Upper Midwest since 1878. As a not-for-profit, Catholic United transforms its profits into purpose, bringing together members, employees and volunteers to pursue their mission through local community grants, post-secondary education scholarships and more. For more information about Catholic United Financial or its Foundation or Credit Union, call 651-490-0170, 1-800-568-6670 or visit online at www.catholicunitedfinancial.org.

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