By Fr. Christopher Kubat
If a million people tried walking through our doors asking for help, we could not help them all. I often think about the words my predecessor Father Joseph Walsh said to me as he passed the baton of CSS to me: “Remember, you cannot spend money you do not have!”
Recently, I met a single mother with three small children. They were happy to have received winter coats from the KC coat giveaway held at our main office, our beautiful St. Joseph Center. After talking with her she related that she had lost her job and was in need of rent assistance. Knowing we were at our budgetary limit for the month, a man I know wrote a check to CSS to cover the amount.
Where do we get money to fund our social service programs and charity grants for people who cannot afford the total cost of counseling? We do not accept any government money for the above for two reasons. First, the strings attached would require us to hide our Catholic faith. Second, we would be required to violate our religious beliefs. This means to fund what is mentioned above we rely on private donations. How does this work?
We first rely on the prayers and penances of our supporters, for without them we could not function. Secondly, we rely on cash donations from our benefactors. Lastly, we rely on material donations of items such as furniture, working appliances, clothes, kitchen items, vehicles and the like.
Material items we receive are either given away to individuals and families or sold and the profits are used to help people like the woman and her children mentioned above. This is where our four thrift stores come in. The more we sell in our stores, the more funds we have to help needy individuals who come to us in crisis.
I am grateful to our donors and shoppers to our thrift stores: St. Isidore in Imperial, St. Joseph in Hastings, St. Louise in Lincoln, and St. Francis in Auburn. These stores are filled with wonderful items waiting to be purchased. They are great places to shop even for Christmas!
If a million people walked in our doors, we could not help them all but by supporting our thrift stores, we will be able to help more. And remember… it all adds up!