We at HMHI have an immediate need for volunteers to help prepare apartments for ten families to move in before Christmas. Dates of need are fluid; flexibility will be a key.
Volunteers will be deep cleaning; kitchens, bathrooms and other living areas. It’s all interior work. All work will be done Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm. No evenings or Saturdays involved. We will provide cleaning materials and supplies for you and/or your group. We will accommodate your availability.
Together we can get ten families out of the cold and into their own home for Christmas. What better gift can any of us give than this?! Please call Patti for further details and to sign up, 563-326-1330.
For over 20 years, the Quad Cities Dining Tour coupon book gives local residents a great frugal opportunity to enjoy restaurants at a great savings. Filled with coupons for fine dining, theater, casual dining, pizza and fast foods, this value-filled opportunity book is yours for $35 at our office at 3805 Mississippi Avenue in Davenport. It pays for itself in savings–you save money with every coupon you use! And your purchase helps our families who are suffering homelessness.
The Quad Cities Dining Tour Book contains over 350 buy “one- get one” coupons to 135 local restaurants. Its reputation speaks for itself. If you enjoy eating out, this is a deal you can’t miss. It’s perfect for people who enjoy trying new restaurants, too. And, you have the added benefit of knowing that by purchasing the coupon book you’re helping families who are in need.
With its leatherette cover and gold foil stamping, the coupon book makes a great gift for your area friends and family members. Give them a gift they can enjoy over and over, all year long. All coupons are valid until October 31, 2016.
Stop in at our offices to purchase as many Quad Cities Dining Tour Books as you’d like during our business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 4 PM.
Gertrude’s Boutique at Humility of Mary Housing will hold a pre-holiday FLASH mini-sale on Thursday, November 12. This sale will last only between 9 AM and 1 PM. It’s a special clearance sale. All our merchandise is available for sale at bargain prices.
There’s an abundance of winter clothing for men, women and children. You’ll find lots household items.
This is a perfect time to replenish your Christmas decor. And, there’s lots of specialty items just in time to use this holiday season. Make your Christmas extra special for family and guests. They’ll never know you did it so frugally!
All clothing is sorted, sized and neatly hung. That makes shopping a breeze. Gertrudes Boutique provides “garage sale” pricing in a comfortable, climate controlled environment.
There are classic and collectible items–you’re likely to find gifts for family and friends. But, you’re sure to find items you can use and enjoy yourself.
If the Great Pumpkin came to visit Linus in the pumpkin patch, what would he look like?
With this imagination-stretching question, the HMHI participating children are challenged to engage in creative thinking during October. Each month there’s a new activity or project in store for them, all designed by HMHI employee Mozella Stokes. Mozella is a favorite of all our participating children, because she never fails to stop whatever she’s doing as HMHI’s receptionist and office manager to greet each with a warm embrace when they visit the office with their parent.
To add extra excitement to the activities, Mozella searches out sponsors for the monthly projects. Sometimes that sponsor will provide materials for the children’s projects. Sometimes they’ll offer a demonstration the kids can attend and learn from. Sometimes they’ll provide an incentive, reward or award to one of the kids enrolled in the activity. For instance, this month Target provided a gift card that will be given to one of the students who contributes a Great Pumpkin image to the display in HMHI’s reception room.
Adding extra fun this month, Mozella offered a Family Activity in the spirit of Halloween. Each family has the opportunity to create a family themed Halloween costume photo. They can choose one of the suggested themes: the 70’s, sports, disco, super heroes, or TV family. Using our clothing closet contributions, they design costumes in that theme and take a family photo. One lucky family will win a family night out at Happy Joe’s, courtesy of Happy Joe’s.
The HMHI children are special to us. As we assist their parents directly, we realize that we’re also providing a stable environment so that the children can continue their important work at school uninterrupted. Babies, toddlers and preschool children need reliable surroundings so that they can continue their growth and development and explore their world safely.
Feel that nip in the air?! It’s not too soon to plan for Christmas, an annual time of giving. Take advantage of this very appropriate season to assist a single-parent family that’s battling to escape homelessness. Humility of Mary Housing is pleased to connect you with one of our 47 families in need. Through our Christmas giving program, you can provide gifts for an entire single-parent family in recovery from homelessness or for an individual in our program and brighten their holiday season.
The Christmas Giving Program
Our Christmas Giving Program receives needs and wishes from the children and the parents we assist at HMHI. You simply contact us by phone at 563/326-1330 and let us know how you’d like to help. If you decide to sponsor a family, we’ll share with you the ages, genders and wishes of one of our families. You may participate as an individual or in conjunction with:
your business team,
your community or church group.
There’s another option. You may prefer to choose an idea from the “Gift that Keeps Giving” list [pdf download here]. Ideas include bus tokens, donate your old car to a family without a vehicle, gift card to a pharmacy for medicine, laundry soap and diapers; donate to cover education expenses for a parent trying to better themselves, gift card for haircuts to look good for an interview.
You may even volunteer to help prepare donations for families to use. There are so many ways you can help!
How to Help
Contact us if you’d like to choose gifts to make our participants’ wishes come true. We’ll send you the information. You can select and purchase the gifts you’d like to contribute to bring holiday happiness to a family in need of a permanent home.
Then, drop off the new, unwrapped gifts (or gift cards) at our office no later than December 11.
Please think about supporting these transitioning families this holiday. They have little and can use your goodness and assistance. For more information–or to volunteer to participate–phone us at 563/326-1330, ext. 105. With community support, these families can begin to dream of a better life again.
We’re looking for people just like you! Humility of Mary Housing needs volunteers to help in Gertrude’s Fresh Start Boutique/Donation Center. People of all ages and abilities can contribute here. When they do, they support a project that directly assists single parents and their families who are escaping from homelessness.
We provide a furnished apartment and free access to clothing and home necessities for all our program families. People from across the Quad Cities Area contribute items that help this cause. It’s crucial that these donations are checked in, sorted, and tested so that they can be made available to participant families. We arrange them attractively, so that our families can enjoy the experience of selecting the things they need.
We’re happy to talk to your church or civic group about this opportunity. Contact our volunteer coordinator, Patti, to arrange for her to visit with you or speak to your group.
This volunteer opportunity is love in action; you know you are making a difference in someone’s life! Call for details, 563-326-1330 x 105.
You can buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts at HMHI on Saturday, September 26 during the Fresh Start Benefit Sale. Sales will begin at 8 am and last until we’ve sold all the doughnuts. This gives you the opportunity to purchase genuine, fresh Krispy Kreme’s locally.
A box of a dozen doughnuts costs $8.00.
Pre-order now and pick up fresh at the sale! Call 563-326-1330 to place your orders!
The Fresh Start Benefit Sale will run Friday and Saturday, September 25-26, but the doughnut sales are only on Saturday. While you are on site to pick up your doughnuts, you can take advantage of the tremendous sales on new and gently used items at the Fresh Start Sale.
All proceeds from doughnut sales as well as from the Fresh Start Benefit Sale will assist local single parent families that are experiencing homelessness.
Autumn brings familiar seasonal changes, leading us to reflect on our lives. At HMHI, we also reflect on our work. Autumn reminds us of how important is this work that you, our supporters, empower us to do.
Autumn begins in September, the month we recall 9/11/2001 and the horrors and sorrow that the U.S. experienced as a nation in the aftermath of an attack. We did not provoke that attack; rather, we were living our lives and were attacked suddenly and without warning.
That event was completely out of our control. For many the domino affect must have been overwhelming and devastating.
This is the nightmare of a person living as homeless. Through no fault of their own–and sometimes without warning–they find themselves in a desperate situation. You see, not all homeless situations are caused by drug or alcohol abuse or gambling addictions. Homeless situations arise from:
death of a spouse,
In some cases homelessness can happen in an instant. Life changes abruptly and will never be the same. Without a home, parents are left scrambling. They don’t know what they’ll do, how they’ll survive. They don’t know how to protect their children and carry on.
Homelessness happens to people who’ve never before needed assistance services. They don’t know the support system or how to access it. In many cases they are embarrassed. They never imagined they’d be in this situation.
Our hearts break for these families. It’s a “there but by the Grace of God go I” scenario. Because, any of us could face this possibility.
Can you imagine working hard all your life only, for instance, to lose it all due to an auto accident?
Recovery exhausts your savings. Your employment replaced you. You have no job and more bills than you can handle. The bank is foreclosing. You and your children will be homeless.
Can you imagine telling your children the night before your home is seized that tomorrow everyone will sleep in the car? Can you imagine swallowing fear as you try to appear positive so your children aren’t afraid?
This happens here in the Quad Cities. So, at HMHI we provide a home for single parents with children
who must struggle to keep their families together,
who want to retain custody of their children,
who need to keep their children fed, clothed and in school during crisis.
Our generous donors bring us usable household items, and we’re able to provide a furnished apartment. Our parents can “shop” for free in Gertrude’s Boutique for items they need to make their new apartment a home and haven.
We also give parents the opportunity to increase their education and job skills, while gaining stability. In this process we also help their children. New positive memories and sweet sleep replace their nightmares. Children’s schooling stabilizes. They can continue to achieve their goals.
Autumn, a time of harvest, reminds us of that most important mission here at HMHI. With your help, we give parents and children the opportunity to again dare to dream and achieve. Thank you for making that happen!
Sister Mary Ann Vogel, CHM would never claim the title “Founder” of Humility of Mary Housing, Inc., but she helped birth the agency. And, she has served in a wide variety of roles throughout the agency’s twenty-five year history. On Sunday, September 20, HMHI will honor Sister Mary Ann for her contributions throughout the years at the sixth annual benefit Jazz Brunch.
During the 1980’s, Sister Mary Ann participated in the original “Dream Team,” with other members of the Congregation of Humility of Mary. For three years, the group explored unmet needs in the Quad Cities. They learned that the greatest need was affordable housing, particularly for the elderly and for single parents. The sisters chose to focus on single parents who were homeless. From the start, their goal was to create change in those parents’ lives.
“We’re serving two generations at once,” Sister Mary Ann is fond of saying. Ask her to explain, and she’ll tell you about Connie, HMHI’s first participant in 1990. Connie was beginning her senior year at St Ambrose University and had just given birth to a baby girl but had no place to live. Connie finished her degree, eventually married and had two other children. Today, she’s employed in management at ALCOA.
Even better: that baby girl who came with Connie 25 years ago eventually graduated from college with honors herself. She now teaches at an inner city Head Start program, and she purchased her first home last year. Connie credits Humility of Mary Housing for their family’s success, saying, “This program not only gave us a roof over our heads but the foundation under our feet upon which we build the rest of our lives.” Those words are painted on HMHI’s office walls.
Sister Mary Ann has contributed in several important roles at HMHI. She served as a site manager at a building complex for single parents recovering from addictions. There, she lived among the families to provide extra support and stability as they strove toward housing security. For years, she volunteered to provide childcare for the program’s children while their parents attended group meetings. She served as HMHI’s Finance Director for 15 years, relinquishing that title only recently, while still offering support to the Finance Department. She served on the agency’s initial Board of Directors, and she coordinated agency volunteers. Sister Mary Ann also convened and headed HMHI’s Development Committee.
It was an easy decision to single her out for recognition at the Jazz Brunch, according to Sandi Burrichter. “Sister Mary Ann and the “Dream Team”–along with the other sisters of the Congregation of Humility of Mary order–sought and undertook a project that would serve a need in the Quad Cities. They decided to assist and empower single parents and their children while the family worked toward goals that would enable them to live independent, self-sufficient lives. The end result was Humility of Mary Housing.”
Sister Mary Ann never wavered in this commitment. Sandi continued:
“She has made Humility of Mary Housing her mission for the past 25 years–leading the agency and staff to provide immediate, vital assistance directly to homeless, single parents.”
Reservations for the Jazz Brunch may be made by contacting the Humility of Mary Housing office at 563/326-1330.
We’re so touched by the letter of thanks we received from Jazz, one the the summer externs from Brown Mackie College, as he completed his service with us. It means so much to us, that we wanted to share some excerpts from it with you, too.
When I first started the externship, I didn’t have any expectations. I used to think about “charitable entities” or “non-profits” like many skeptics do: “What’s in it for them?” When I allowed myself to get to know some of you I feel as if I’ve learned more about the cause, help, faith, and myself than I predicted. I have been moved by the work that you all do in such a way that my daughter and I will forever look forward to bringing donations here.
This is a place many would be lucky to know, and I feel proud to be a part of. [Staff names] have this constant genuine approach to caring about the people they come in contact with, and I’ve never felt that. [Name]’s work ethic makes people want to work harder, while [name] and all of the volunteers have this never ending sense of purpose and have always made me feel like God moved with grace and mercy in this building.
We’re grateful to Jazz, for sharing his talents and personality with us. We look forward to his return, and we really appreciate this beautiful letter. We hope it will encourage other people to volunteer here, to drop donations to us or just to stop by and learn more. We welcome visitors to our offices. And, when they come, we hope that they’ll feel our sense of purpose as well as God’s grace and mercy, too.
[Editor’s note: Jazz mentioned many staff members by name. In the interests of brevity, we omitted several. So, we omitted all the names, in order not to appear to favor any of the staff.]