“We were truly blessed and felt God’s love and support for us and the children all week.”Brita
Good morning, I certainly didn’t expect to be speaking to you all again so soon, but Father thought it would be nice for you to hear how our first Caritas Holiday club went supporting families struggling in their day to day lives.
When the first day arrived, some of us did not know really what to expect! Our team welcomed everyone with open arms, big smiles and warm hearts. Each volunteer was thrown into the deep end and they rose to the challenge. We met some wonderful parents and we were able to say “you don’t need to worry about anything, just go off and enjoy your day!” and they did!
From the first day we were surrounded by happy faces from the parents, the children and the volunteers! We were receiving home-made gifts and thank you cards from the children.
I watched one mum drop off her two children on the second day. They went running in and I didn’t think anything of it, until she said “that has never, ever happened before, for them to run in like that, away from me, and all last night, they couldn’t stop talking about the things they did in the day!” Another mother said her child was about to start at St Bedes, but she wouldn’t leave her side, until this week when she happily ran into her new school.
The week could not have gone any better, the daily activities were amazing, all the work that went into them was incredible and so successful, I and the Caritas team, cannot thank everyone involved enough. The sun shone all week, we were truly blessed and felt God’s love and support for us and the children all week. We met a man whom Caritas had helped extensively in Spain. Their support changed his and many others’ lives.During one of our morning prayers one of the older lads was looking around and seemed a little ‘lost’. I caught his attention, smiled and said the Lord’s Prayer, with him, which he seemed to appreciate.
The following day Fr Peter was holding a small service for the children and their parents and as he blessed the children he handed out a gift of a cross and a daily prayer card. We had kept aside the prayer card to offer it to this young lad. When it was offered, I explained that this was the Lord’s Prayer that we had saying together the previous morning. He took it, thanking me. The boy next door was also interested in what we were saying and asked if he could have one. I mentioned that they could both say this prayer every morning if they would like too. Even if they only do this a few times, they will have learnt the words of the Lord’s Prayer.
I feel that this week has been a gift to us all, to be able to share so much joy with these children, to give those parents a welcome break and see their smiles as they watched their children playing so happily at collection times, has made all the hard work worth every minute, I believe, I can say this from us all.
Please remember though; this is no ordinary holiday club. It’s main aim is that each and every one of these families can now contact Caritas to ask for advice and support now and in the future should they need it and guess what ……..When I thought the week had ended, the Caritas team were already supporting one or our families whose boiler was not working. Also, earlier in the day, I believe, they had been organising two new volunteers to support another struggling Mum from our week! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could bring these families together on a regular basis? Then long term friendships would develop so they can support each other, building up their own self-confidence and self-esteem as a group. If you would like to be a part of this idea or the next holiday club as it develops, let Jan or myself know so details can be emailed when they come from Caritas.
If you feel you can offer any support in other ways, please let us know. Donations of course, are welcome – maybe your work place could donate or hold a function to raise money for us? Thank you for your prayers, and I hope I have inspired you to support Caritas.