HOUSE NEWS: Looking back at 2011-2012
Now that we’re a few weeks into our summer sabbatical, I thought I’d share a short review of this past year. So many people are involved in keeping the Green House open and flourishing–each year we have a core of about 50 volunteers that function as “regulars”, showing up several times a month, every week or even multiple times each week; plus we have another group of folks that is easily double that number who drop in at least once-a-semester or several times over the course of the year to lend their help. We are so incredibly thankful for each of you who find the time to grace our community with your skill, your dedication, your wisdom and your time. You are the reason we thrive.
And I am always amazed at the amount of work we seem to accomplish together–work we undertake without any paid staff, no government assistance or tax breaks, on a shoestring budget, and by relying only on the financial support of house members, friends, family and some local churches (especially Holy Faith Catholic Church). Whether you live near or far, this is what your contributions to the Gainesville Catholic Worker helped to accomplish his year:
- we provided 2,337 lunches at Dorothy’s Farmers’ Market Cafe, serving on average 67 friends and guests each Wednesday
- we served 830 breakfasts of homemade cinnamon-raisin bread, hard-boiled eggs and fresh fruit to day laborers at 2 labor pools in downtown Gainesville
- we welcomed into our home about 15 guests (for approximately 60 nights), who were in need of a place to stay
- we were graced with the presence of 3 extraordinary young adults–Tamra, Daniel and Vickie–who learned about the Catholic Worker and issues of social justice and helped to lead our various projects as members of our house community this year
- to people who have a hard time getting healthy produce, we redistributed a ton of fresh, locally-grown (and often organic) fruits and vegetables from our friends at the 441 Farmers Market (especially the Hendersons and the Grahams), from the good folks at the UF campus CSA who dropped off their unclaimed produce each week, from our own local parking lot garden, and especially from the Allen-Chacko micro-farm, where people also volunteered and learned about local farming and gardening from Jade
- numerous friends, volunteers, and guests gathered each week to create beautiful and practical artwork and crafts at Art for All, or to knit items for the Art for All sale, personal projects and various clothing for cold nights for our friends from the street at the weekly gathering each Monday of the Green House Knitters
- and week-in and week-out we opened our doors for people to get out of the cold, enjoy a cup of coffee, receive mail, use the bathroom, get a blanket or some clothing, share our evening meal, join in prayer and reflection, study and learn together, and so on.
Mainly, what we did this past year–what we actually do every year–is this: we walked together with one another, helping each other along the way, sharing what we have and who we are, and trying to truly be family to one another, as the best of our religious and spiritual traditions call us to. To everyone who has walked along the way with us this past year, we say thank you. And we hope you’ll join us again, mingling your life with ours, when we start back up in early August. Until then, we hope you have a blessed, peaceful and joyful summer.