To All Our Wonderful Volunteers and Parishioners Who Support Our Mission of Maureen's Haven

As most of you are aware, this has been my 16th year and my last year as coordinator for our Maureen's Haven Homeless Shelter, here at Sacred Heart Parish. The time has come to pass the baton. (Those who know me understand my passion for this ministry. They know I cannot completely walk away, and know I will continue on as a volunteer.)

This past year, Stacey Stanzione began to trail and take over for me. She did a terrific job and I am sure she will continue to do so next season. I also wish to mention Debbie and Dave Commando, who have helped me by taking over on many evenings in the past. They always did a great job and I am sure will continue to help Stacey throughout the coming years. 

We are so blessed to have so many wonderful volunteers: The kids and families that set up the hall with the air mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows, socks and hygiene kits. Connie and Vin, Cathy and Nancy, the people who organize the dinners and the volunteers that make the most delicious food, our overnight chaperones, the early morning crew making breakfast for our guests and helping them on their way, not to forget the people who clean the bathrooms and floor of our Parish Hall after the guests leave. It is not one person who makes Maureen's Haven a success, it is our Parish Family and then some. I cannot thank you enough for your years of service.

I also wish to thank our guests who make Maureen's Haven what it is. I have some wonderful memories of so many of them: Bridgett, who died and is buried in our cemetery. Big John, Grady, Elbert, Little Bit, Jodi, Ann Marie and Thelma to name a few. There is also Jeremey, who I ran into recently and what a great Easter Gift. I am happy to say he is working, has his own place and even invited me to come by if I am ever in the neighborhood. This is what Maureen's Haven is all about, working with the homeless, helping them get through tough times. Temporary housing for those who are poor, alone and on their own, helping them get back into society, we try to make a difference. Yes, sometimes we do all of that without realizing it. The best part is what we get back from them, a simple smile to just knowing collectively, we helped someone and made a difference. 

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your time, talent, treasure and emotional support. Keep doing what you have been doing. For the younger adults in our church community, WE NEED YOU! to help continue this ministry. Maureen's Haven is the type of ministry you can give as little or as much of your time as you wish. Do it as a family or just by yourself and by the way you can bring a friend. You will be living the Gospel: Matthew 25:40 "Truly I tell you, whatever you do for one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you do for me."

Peace, Love and Prayers

Elaine Villano