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Helping Hands of St. Louis 10th Annual Coat Fest A Success!

TOLEDO, OH—Many thanks to all who joined us for Helping Hands of St. Louis Annual Coat Fest on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 443 Sixth Street, Toledo, OH. Volunteers assisted children and adults “shopping” for free coats, boots and winter clothing accessories. 

“We provided over 3500 winter coats to individuals, and hats, gloves and winter boots,” says Sue Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis, noting the side parking lot was busy all day and people lined up early along the street. “Anyone in need is always welcome!”

The event was held outside under tents to assure adequate social distancing. Susie’s Coats for Kids and Bags of Love 419 worked alongside Friends of Helping Hands of St. Louis, a ministry of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo.

Various area churches, school and service groups are volunteering and many have donated winter items for the Annual Winter Coat Fest. Many social service agencies set up a tables for information sharing and giveaways.

Donations are needed throughout the fall and winter months. The Helping Hands of St. Louis Clothing Center is looking for clean, gently-used coats and winter wear, especially children’s coats, boots, hats, gloves, and men’s tennis shoes and boots, especially sizes 10 and up. Clothing donations are accepted Tuesdays-Wednesdays-Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Or donations can be dropped off at Helping Hands of St. Louis Mondays-Fridays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

For more information on donating these items, contact Susan Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis, at 419.691.0613, ext. 101, or sshrewsbery@toledodiocese.org.

Thank you and God Bless!

 

Oregon Meijer’s Simply Give! Benefits Helping Hands Thru Jan. 1

OREGON, OH— Meijer’s Simply Gives Campaign runs through Saturday, January 1, 2022, benefiting Helping Hands of St. Louis food programs. Your purchase of a $10 Simply Give! card at the Oregon Meijer, 1725 S. Wheeling Street, Oregon, OH, gets converted to a gift card Helping Hands of St. Louis can use to buy food items for the pantry and hot meal programs.

“Please help us fulfill our mission feeding the hungry people who come to us for a meal by purchasing a food donation card during your next shopping trip to the Oregon Mejier,” says Sue Shrewsbery, Helping Hands of St Louis Director.

“Tell your family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers, because every dollar makes a difference!” Your generous donations are converted into gift cards used to purchase food items for our food pantry and hot-meal programs.

A HUGE thank you to Meijer and all who support this program! Meijer began offering Double Match Days in 2012 to highlight our commitment to feeding hungry families in the communities we serve across the Midwest. As a result, the Simply Give program continues to set year-over-year records, bringing its current total to over $50 million.

Every penny goes towards food purchases for our Helping Hands of St. Louis Pantry and hot-meal programs, where hundreds of men, women and children are served on any given day with food, groceries, hygiene products, clothing and household items. #SpreadTheWord #HaltHunger

Join Bishop Daniel E. Thomas Celebrating Oct. 9 Mass for Life

TOLEDO, OH—Join Bishop Daniel E. Thomas​ and the pro-life community of Northwest Ohio for the annual Diocese of Toledo Mass for Life & Eucharistic Procession. The Mass will be held Saturday, October 9 at 9 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 4555 N. Haven Ave., Toledo, OH.

Bishop Thomas Leading Procession

Following the Mass, Bishop Thomas will lead a Eucharistic Procession to Capital Care, Toledo’s last remaining abortion facility, as participants chant the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Join us for this powerful time of prayer and peaceful witness for life! Learn more by visiting www.40daysforlife.com/toledo or by contacting Peter Range, Director of the Office for Life and Justice of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo​ at prange@toledodiocese.org.

For more information, or for your group to be recognized in attendance, please contact Director of the Office for Life and Justice, Peter Range at prange@toledodiocese.org or at 419-214-4933.

“Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ.” – Pope Francis

Thank You for Helping Hands of St. Louis' New Stove!

TOLEDO—Helping Hands of St. Louis is celebrating Thanksgiving early this year! “We are so blessed!” says Sue Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis. She expresses gratitude to the loyal supporters who underwrote the purchase of a new 60-inch commercial stove for the kitchen—and for the team of volunteers from Sheet Metal Workers 33 Local Matt Cherry, Business Representative, arranged to install it.

“They made it look so easy!” Sue exclaims. “They had the old stove moved out and the new stove moved in and set up in just a few hours!”

To celebrate, Helping Hands Food Service Specialist Chef David Smith roasted turkeys and hams for the first meals prepared in the new double ovens. “We have a freezer full of meat and literally a ton of turkeys we’re eager to prepare and serve.”

When plans to re-open the Helping Hands Dining Room took shape in late June, the staff realized the kitchen’s 15-year-old stove really needed to be replaced. The burners and griddle worked, but the recalibrated ovens no longer held a temperature setting, which made so many meals impossible to prepare.

“We are humbled and extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from our community to help fund and install our new stove at Helping Hands,” says Rodney Schuster, Catholic Charities Executive Director. “What an example of coming together in a time of need to help our sisters and brothers!”

Helping Hands of St. Louis has been serving the poor in East Toledo for over 40 years. Each month, hundreds of individuals receive groceries, hygiene products and homeless kits from the Food Pantry, and clothing, shoes, and household items from our Clothing Center. Catholic Charities also provides Crisis Navigation services to guests as needed.

“The pandemic really changed how we could do things this year,” Sue says, noting take-home meals were prepared and distributed outside once COVID hit. On average, 225 meals are prepared daily in the Helping Hands Kitchen and served to low-income and homeless families.

“We are so grateful volunteers are returning to help prepare and serve our daily meals,” she adds. “Our guests really look forward to our food and also the fellowship!”

Helping Hands of St. Louis Hosts 8th Annual Shoe Fest July 24

TOLEDO— Helping Hands of St. Louis 8th Annual Shoe Fest was held outside this year because of COVID-19. Guests were served under a big tent in the side parking lot next to the Helping Hands of St. Louis campus, 443 Sixth St., Toledo, OH.

Upwards of 40 volunteers spent the morning at Helping Hands of St. Louis, washing nearly 300 children’s feet and fitting them with new shoes and socks to get their new school year off on the right foot. In addition to their new shoes and 2 new pair of socks, thanks to Hannah’s Socks, children also received a box or bag of school supplies and snack bags.

“Each year we’ve provided new shoes and school supplies to hundreds of school-age children,” says Sue Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis. “We gave away over 450 pairs of new shoes on Saturday,” Shrewsbery adds, noting some of those  shoes are being delivered to area schools to distribute. An additional 160 pairs of toddler and youth-size shoes will be available at Helping Hands Clothing Center in the coming weeks.

“Big thank yous go to Charlotte Perlaky and Theresa Bugelholl who are the drivers behind the scenes,” says Shrewsbery. “And thank you to the Zoo Teens, Students from the Y.E.S. Project and all the other volunteers who put in a lot of hard work to make the day happen!”

Various area churches, service groups and businesses volunteered and many donated new shoes and school supplies, including St. Rose of Lima Parish in Perrysburg and St. Mary Parish, in Tiffin, OH.

“Thanks to our many generous donors who donated school supplies, bags, shoes, socks, snacks and prizes,” Sue adds. “What a blessing each and every one of our supporters is! God is Good!”

Games were available for the children to play and earn prizes, while parents shopped Helping Hands Clothing Center’s Sidewalk Clothing Give-Away. Children received a smiley face cookie in honor of the 10th Anniversary of Anita’s Clothing Closet from Anita herself!

A number of community resources were represented including Humana, Aetna, Anthem, Glass City Academy, Ohio State Extension Services Nutrition Program, The Lucas County Sheriff Department and The Zepf Center.

Donations of men’s and women’s athletic shoes are needed and can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Helping Hands of St. Louis 2nd floor Office, 443 Sixth St., Toledo, OH. Thank You!

Thank you all for your generosity and support of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo‘s ministries!

Helping Hands of St. Louis Clothing Center Closed for Now

TOLEDO, OHO—”We are very blessed and very grateful for the many donations we have received since Covid started,” says Susan Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis. “Unfortunately, keeping up with the inflow has been a challenge because we have had to limit volunteers.

“We decided to close the Clothing Center to give us time to safely process donations that have come in without jeopardizing the health of our staff, volunteers and guests,” she explains. “We apologize for any inconvenience and hope to be open for shopping and accepting clothing donations again soon.”

If you have any questions please contact Helping Hands Office at 419-691-0613. Special needs may be served on a case-by-case basis depending on availability of items, staff and volunteers.

“Helping Hands of St. Louis continues to accept food and hygiene product donations for our grab-and-go lunches, pantry and hygiene programs,” Shrewsbery adds. “Thank you for your patience while we continue to adjust during this challenging time!”

Catholic Charities Opportunity Kitchen Class Starts March 17

TOLEDO, OH—Classes start up March 17 for our newest ministry initiative—Catholic Charities Opportunity Kitchen, a pilot workforce development project launched at Helping Hands of St. Louis last May of 2019.

The goal is to change lives by providing a skill-driven, hands-on immersion culinary program to at-risk, economically disadvantaged individuals through focused culinary coursework in the classroom and kitchen. Emphasis is placed on the life skills training needed to work with competence and professionalism in all aspects of the food service industry and beyond for a sustainable and successful career.

Catholic Charities Opportunity Kitchen is an intense, fast-paced, 80-hour culinary “boot camp,” taught by Chef Saundra Irvine. To graduate, students must complete 18, half-day classes over a 10-week period. The program combines personal and video instruction with hands-on learning in commercial kitchens.

Attendees learn culinary techniques and best practices from leaders in the food service industry. Students are tested and attain Health Department ServSafe® certification.

This summer, three of the young men enrolled in the pilot program graduated—one a former heroin addict, another incarcerated for 12 years. All three are now gainfully employed. This fall, five more men graduated from Catholic Charities Opportunity Kitchen.

“These young men learned a lot more than simple cooking skills,” says Charles Rittenhouse, Catholic Charities Board President, who spoke with each graduate after the ceremony. “This program is truly transformative. These graduates are using all they learned as a stepping off point for long-term success. They are thinking about their future and not simply what they need to do to survive. Their lives have become better for it.”

“We received unprecedented information, skills and tools that will help us with any person or situation we ever will come in contact with,” says Jermaine, who graduated from Catholic Charities Opportunity Kitchen last summer. “This was us becoming a family, building a lasting legacy that I hope everyone will have the opportunity to experience and learn.”

Community support for the program is strong, with start-up funding coming from the Toledo Community Foundation and additional support from the Anderson Foundation and Caresource Foundation.

Sponsors include Burkett Restaurant Equipment and Supplies, Calphalon, Meijer, Renaissance Hotels, Sarnie’s Café, Starbucks, TFS Results Company and Wersell’s Bike Shop.

Catholic Charities is looking for more community partners to sustain this new initiative. Potential funders are asked to contact Rodney Schuster, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo, directly, at 419. 214.4943 or email rschuster@toledodiocese.org.

Individuals interested in enrolling in the program are asked to contact Byron Wynn, Catholic Charities Volunteer Coordinator, at 419.214.4950 or email bwynn@toledodiocese.org.

We invite you to take a few minutes to watch this video and learn more about the impact of Catholic Charities Opportunity Kitchen.

 

Meijer Awards Helping Hands of St. Louis $4,730 in Food Gift Cards

OREGON, OH—Thank you all who supported Meijer’s Spring Simply Give campaign! Helping Hands of Saint Louis received $4,730 in gift cards that will be used to purchase much needed food items for our Helping Hands Food Pantry. Last year, Meijer’s Simply Give program provided a record $8.5 million of Meijer food-only gift cards to food pantries across the Midwest.

Pictured is Denise Fox, Meijer Human Resources Director (left), Susan Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis, a ministry of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo, and Store Director John Kowalski (right).

Thanks to the continued generosity and support of Meijer customers, team members and food pantry partners, who are committed to helping feed hungry families, the program has generated nearly $46 million since 2008, to help neighborhood food pantries keep their shelves stocked.

Check back for more information on your opportunity to get involved in Meijer’s Simply Give Program.

 

Helping Hands of St. Louis 16th Annual Golf Outing Canceled

BEDFORD HILLS, MI—The July 27th Helping Hands of St. Louis Golf Outing at Bedford Hills Golf Club, 6400 Jackman Road, Temperance, MI, has been canceled. But keep checking back for the new date.

Our 4-pGolf_Outing_1_save_for_weberson Scramble includes: 18 holes of golf with cart, hot dog at the turn, beverage tickets, New York Strip Steak and Chicken dinner at completion of play, raffles and prizes! And the winning team’s names will be engraved on a trophy permanently displayed at Helping Hands of St. Louis, 443 Sixth St., Toledo, OH.

Early bird registration is $80 per person, if received by Saturday, July 6. Regular $90 per person registration begins Sunday, July 7 and runs through Saturday, July 20.

Not a golfer? Consider becoming a sponsor! All proceeds benefit Helping Hands of St. Louis, a ministry of Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo. Helping Hands Outreach Center’s ministries include a soup kitchen serving upwards of 250 meals daily. Our food pantry, clothing center, hot showers and hygiene products support low income and homeless families.

For more information on event sponsorship or to register a team, please contact Sue Shrewsbery (419) 691-0613, ext. 2, or email sshrewsbery@toledodiocese.org. Thank you and God bless!

6th Annual St. Meinrad Alumni & Friends Day of Service March 9

TOLEDO, OH—Alumni and Friends of Saint Meinrad Seminary are invited to join in on the 3rd Annual Toledo Saint Meinrad Alumni & Friends Day of Service, from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Helping Hands of St. Louis, 443 6th Street, Toledo, OH.

helping-hands-photoVolunteers will conduct a deep kitchen cleaning and kitchen inventory, organize stockroom and closets, and sort clothing donations.

For more information, email Patrick Carroll at pcarroll@inbox.com or Timothy Carroll timothycarroll5200@gmail.com. Or call the Saint Meinrad Office of Alumni Relations at (812) 357-6501.

Our Mission

Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio