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Mount Carmel Food, Cash Donations Timely, Needed

Working Unitedly Team members Rhonda Wernimont, Julie Wessels, and Katie Pfiffner load one of two cars full of food donated by Mount Carmel sisters and employees that was delivered to Resources Unite in Dubuque, Iowa.

Working Unitedly Team members delivered two cars full of food donated by Mount Carmel sisters and employees to Resources Unite in Dubuque, Iowa.

And they also delivered checks totaling $938 from selling walking tacos and raffle tickets for a Hawkeye quilt at a Nov. 15 craft fair at Mount Carmel.

Resources Unite offers a food pantry, utility and rent assistance, bus passes, and hygiene and baby needs.

“Your donation came at the perfect time as our food pantry has been inundated as of late. A lot of individuals and families struggle with food in our community,” said Josh Jasper, president and chief executive officer of Resources Unite. “When starting Resources Unite years ago, I didn’t think we would need to have a food pantry as there’s some great food pantries that already exist.”

But some have rules about how frequently people can take food or are not open throughout the week, he says.

“Our belief is that if you are hungry, you should receive food,” Josh says. “We help people navigate other food resources, but because we are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., we are often times the most accessible resource in our community.”

Our belief is that if you are hungry, you should receive food…”

Josh continues “It is imperative that we have a pantry full of food for that family that stops in on Friday afternoon right before closing. They are worried about the weekend and have nowhere else to go.”

Resources Unite offers referrals to more than 500 non-profits, and is the resource and volunteer center of the tri-state area.

“As for your financial donation, this allows us to purchase food from St. Stephen’s Food Bank when needed. Additionally, there are times when St. Stephen’s Food Bank is out of specific things and we need to run to the grocery store. For example, sometimes they might be out of jelly. Imagine being an individual or family that is in need of food and they are living in their car or living in an apartment that has no electricity. We have to be mindful of the type of food we give someone in that situation. A good peanut butter and jelly sandwich can go a long way for someone in need,” Josh says.

“Writing this reminds me of how great it is when we get canned goods that can be opened by a pull tab versus a can opener. We take a lot of things for granted in our lives and there’s a reason we have to keep 10-20 can openers in our pantry at any given time to give out to people in need.”

Team members felt grateful when they heard how the donations will be used.

“Seeing how everything we dropped off to Resources Unite helps the people in Dubuque brings home to me how lucky many of us are,” says Rhonda Wernimont, of the Working Unitedly Team. “The fact that they have to be careful to either give pull tab cans to some or provide them with a can opener brought tears to my eyes. What a simple thing that I never would have thought of.

“The people running the programs Working Unitedly raises funds and items for do so much, and it is humbling to hear of the work they do for people in need. I am so thankful that I am part of community with the sisters, staff, and associates that support each of the fundraisers we do throughout the year. It is very evident when we drop off items and/or a check that together we are making a difference!”

Working Unitedly comes from a quote from BVM Foundress Mary Frances Clarke, who said “Leave the future to God. I have no fears as long as you are working unitedly.”

The food collection ran for two weeks in November.

“I feel so blessed to be working for and with individuals who are so passionate about helping those who are less fortunate,” says Lori Hesseling, of the Working Unitedly Team. “Making our delivery to Resources Unite was a great experience. It put into perspective just how lucky my family and I are. Thank you to the BVMs for letting our Working Unitedly Team exist and do what we can do to help make our world a better place.”




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