Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen Serving the Hillsdale County Community
St. Anthony Family Center
People from many different walks of life come to the St. Anthony Family Center. Some are grandparents raising grandchildren, some are single moms or dads, some are elderly with no children to help them, some are homeless, some are young families and dad has lost his job. Most just cannot afford to feed themselves or families on their incomes. The government has cut food stamps many by as much as 60%. They may be working, but this devastates their income and they come seeking help. Many are embarrassed and do not want to ask for help. Many have never had to ask for help before and you can tell by the lack of eye contact and the anxiety and fear in their eyes wondering if we may not be able to help them. At the Family Center we give people hope and spiritual guidance. We offer prayer to everyone who enters our office and 99% of the time they want it! Some families have made comments that our Family Center has the kindest and most caring people they have met. We are hopeful that this reflects our Catholic faith. Without the compassion , prayers and gifts of the people in our parish we would not have this opportunity to spread “Jesus” to others. Thank you and God Bless you for all you have done this year to support St. Anthony Family Center.
Shelly Taylor | Director St. Anthony Family Center
All members of the community are welcome!
Family Center Happenings & Blessings
Family Center Blessings and Happenings January 27, 2019 Only a few people gathered for a delicious hot lunch yesterday at the Family Center because of the frigid temperatures and because of the predicted bad weather that was approaching. As Fred Yaniga led us in prayer before our meal I felt the need to observe our friends reactions to this. Most of them bowed their heads or perhaps closed their eyes. Some watched Fred as he was in prayer with a curious expression on their face. But, the one thing that stood out to me was when Fred said our Catholic prayer before meals blessing (Bless us our Lord and these thy gifts, etc...) that several people said the prayer and made the sign of the cross along with us at the end! I know for a fact that these "friends" have not done this in the past. We have never asked them to. I have noticed that in my prayer with them also that they are following along with me as I make the sign of the cross. They are so happy to feel like they belong to our family here at the Family Center. Our neighbors at Kings Kupboard food pantry at Trinity Lutheran Church are much the same comparison. Though we may choose to worship differently, we are all a part of God’s family. We share our abundance of food at times with Kings Kupboard as they do with us. In the beginning, I felt they were a little skeptical of us as Catholics. But, they see now, that we are all united in one God, our Father. They are our friends in Christ our Lord. We are all loved by the same Heavenly Father !!!
MARCH 3, 2019
Family Center Blessings and Happenings 3-3-2019 After last Sunday's reading (Luke 6:27-38) I felt like a miserable failure. Who could do all those things? Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, anyone who slaps you on the cheek present the other one as well, give to everyone who asks you, do not ask for your property back from someone who takes it, treat others as you would like people to treat you, do not judge, do not condemn, forgive, and give!!!! Yikes!!!! At the Family Center we are affected by all the above. We have had clients who have taken advantage of our kindness, some who have been very angry with us, and yes we have all felt very judgmental of our "friends" at times. But, I feel God knew these were the problems we were going to face and that's why He throws them all at us at once. I am working on all of these requests from our heavenly Father. I am a work in progress just as all the volunteers here, as well as our "friends" (clients) are. I hope He is just as patient with me as I try to be with all of them. One story I wanted to share with you was a woman (we will call Jane), who walked into my office with such misery and sorrow. You see, her dear daughter has gone astray and is involved with drugs and people who do the same. The daughter has five children who are all in the care of Jane. She feels like her daughter is losing the battle and begs her to change for the good of her children. Unfortunately, the addictions are strong and are winning out. Jane never imagined her daughter would do this to her children, because in the past she was a great mom. The children are coping, but of course, it is not a good situation. I prayed with Jane and she felt God's peace. We prayed for her to release her daughter to our heavenly Father and let Him work in her daughter's life. Jane was trying hard to "fix" her daughter and we all know how that turns out. We have to trust and let God do His work. Please pray for Jane and especially her lost daughter and the children that Jane has to raise. God bless.
March 17, 2019
Family Center Blessings and Happenings, March 17, 2019 As Winter keeps pressing on and we anxiously await for warmer weather and a relief from the cold, so do our friends at the Family Center. In fact, many people are running out of much needed propane to heat their homes as the need to stay warm continues. Such was the case with our friend, Ruth whom I saw last week. Ruth has been coming to the Family Center for groceries since I have had this job. She is an older lady who lives with her husband of many years. Ruth always comes on Fridays, early in the morning and always brightens up the reception area with her beautiful smile and always greets me with a positive "hello" and "how are you Shelly" greeting. She always prays for others, especially her husband when she comes into the office and loves our Lord with all her precious heart. Ruth never asks for anything special on the grocery list we hand her and is always so grateful for all we give her. She has a loving heart and can always sense if I am troubled about something and always asks if she can pray for me!!! Last week, however, I noticed a different Ruth. This Ruth's smile was not so bright and she seemed to have something on her mind. She told me she had to ask me something and was so afraid and shameful to do so. As I questioned her and tried to coax her to tell me what was troubling her she hung her head and finally explained her situation. She said her propane tank was at a very low percent and they didn't have the money to fill it. Ruth stammered out that she hated to ask for help but didn't know what else to do. She said she would totally understand if we couldn't help her and all but she just wanted to ask. I immediately said, "Ruth, of course we will help"! "Thank you so much for asking." She seemed shocked that I was thanking her for wanting money and asked me why I thanked her. I explained that it is easier to give than receive. I told her that she is the reason why we have the Family Center--to help those in need. As I explained to her that we WANT to help others she began to understand. She gave me a huge hug and with tears of gratitude, walked out of my office. As I pondered what just happened, I smiled too and realized how many times have we all had to be on that receiving end. It feels so good to give to someone but it is so hard sometimes to receive. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7) FOODBANK CHALLENGE: The Food Bank challenge continues. Please consider donating to this. It is simple to donate. Pick up a yellow slip of paper at the entrances of church and fill out the information. Be sure to include St. Anthony Family Center as your choice to donate to. If you have any questions, please contact the office or Shelly at (517) 437-3305. God Bless You.