GCW Christmas Letter
Dear Friends of GCW,
2013 proved to be a roller coaster year at the Gainesville Catholic Worker, but with the help of friends who believe in what GCW stands for, we are getting back on track. As the year end approaches we want to share with you some of our journey.
Our in-house residents for 2012-2013, Gloria and Clayton Grady-Schmidt, and Vickie Machado were a huge help with all of the projects of the Green House throughout the year. In addition, Gloria and Clayton painted our lovely doors, and decorated the bench Mary Peer donated to help make the bus stop area an oasis. Also, our June guest/volunteer Oliver Crawford built the cheerful “Little Free Library” next to the bus stop. Other highlights of the spring included a number of thought-provoking programs during the monthly roundtable discussions (including a presentation by Vickie), and our Art-for-All Spring Sale/Open House.
In August we learned that Johnny and Kelli would not be able to continue their leadership roles. This was a heavy blow; after all, they had provided the inspiration, guidance and sheer hard work for so long. How could the dream continue without them? A group of volunteers and friends decided the answer was: how could we let that dream die? Many prayers and much work later, we have begun the long journey back.
After making plans for the month of September, we re-opened the Green House on October 1. Graciously, two former community members, Kendera (with her daughter Moraa) and Daniel agreed to come live at the house at considerable sacrifice to themselves. Daniel’s devotion to cheerfully continuing so many house duties despite a serious knee injury (sustained playing soccer shortly after the house re-opened), and Kendera’s gentle presence and creativity have made the House a warm, welcoming place.
We kicked off our fall by offering “Coffee Houses” two and soon three times a week, offering hot coffee, a light meal, and a newspaper in a quiet, comfortable environment. In November, we added Dorothy’s Cafe back to the weekly schedule, serving wholesome, home-cooked meals made with care to people who often go without truly sustaining food. The Art-for-All group has also been active this fall, crafting items for our holiday open house and sale, which was a great success. Black Acres Microfarm, run by community members Lynn Chacko and Jade Allen, continues to be a wonderful source of fresh produce for the Green House as well.
We are so grateful to our many friends and supporters who continue to make this work possible. From the farmers who donate their produce, the volunteers who do laundry or chop vegetables, the bakers who donate bread, the friends who gets the house a washer, a dryer, and a stove when one breaks, we are constantly amazed at the generosity of so many. The love and compassion each of you bring shines in this House for all who visit and we truly can’t thank you enough. As we head into the new year, we ask for you continued support, including financial gifts. We wish you and your families a blessed Christmas and New Year.
The GCW Crew