Fostering the Culture of Care
The Catholic Women’s League at Assumption/Resurrection parish began a relationship with its new next-door neighbour, The Gianna Centre, soon after it opened in early 2020. That spring, the CWL planted gardens in wooden boxes built by the Knights of Columbus. It was a way to welcome the Gianna Centre for new and pregnant mothers.
The Gianna Centre reached out to the CWL when it become apparent that COVID-19 would continue to disrupt the Centre’s ability to run its cooking/nutrition program for their clients. The Gianna Centre asked if the CWL would support a June hamper drive for 20 families in need. The CWL provided financial support, bought the groceries, filled and delivered the hampers! It was an enriching experience not only for those that received but also those that gave.
As the pandemic carried on so did the need for the hamper project and the support of the CWL. Three more hamper projects were completed in 2020 at Thanksgiving and Christmas and at Easter 2021.
Each hamper contained the items required to prepare a week’s worth of three healthy meals per day. The menu was such that items leftover from one meal could be used for another meal, thus providing guidance on managing a food budget.
These three hampers also included all the items required to prepare a complete turkey dinner, with slight modifications on the desserts for each season. The menu items were modified per individual family for size and diet restrictions.
CWL members and volunteers determined the contents, shopped, baked, sorted and filled the hampers. Working together with the Knights of Columbus, the CWL purchased a box of new coats through the Coats for Kids Program, for the Christmas Hamper. The ladies provided amazing home baked goods for the Christmas and Easter hampers. The Knights were also essential in aiding with the delivery of the large quantities of products purchased for the hampers.
The Gianna Centre also has many other supporters and volunteers who helped obtain other items added to the hampers such as vitamins, diapers, maternity clothing, baby clothing, gifts, crafts, and more.
They are very excited about the Gianna Centre’s newest initiative, the Thursday Public Market. The creative team stepped forward to help with baking, sandwich preparation, knitting, flower arranging and painting! They have been working alongside clients to teach them these skills as well as create products to sell.
CWL members meet on Thursdays at the market for fellowship and to partake in all the wonderful products and support the centre. Unfortunately, COVID fall restrictions resulted in the early cancellation of the market but the CWL ladies continue to work in the background on multiple projects preparing items for sale once the Gianna Centre is able to launch its marked online.
Together with the Gianna Centre they continue to come up with creative ways to work around the pandemic to support these mothers that have chosen LIFE for their babies.
Baby Bottle Fundraiser
The Pregnancy Care Centre supports women with unplanned pregnancies, housing for up to 13 moms with babies and providing material and parenting supports, education, adoption, post abortion counselling, male mentorship and dad support. There is also a sexual health program to help women in abusive situations.
Because of COVID-19 they faced a little obstacle in their annual Baby Bottle Fundraiser campaign. Churches were closed in spring as Alberta was in the third wave of pandemic. After that, the numbers of “church-goers” were down as well. However, that did not discourage nor slow the campaign.
The fundraiser started in July once again and they were well supported. Campaign volunteers managed to raise $3,581.06 by mid-August and the donations continue to trickle in. You can donate here.