In the autumn of 2016, the All Saints Men’s Group learned of a service opportunity at the Catholic Charities’ Little Flower Assistance Center in Aurora, CO.  Every month, the Little Flower Assistance Center assists over 2000 underprivileged/needy members of our community with food, clothing, job searches, job placement, money management, and budgeting skills.  Each Wednesday, Food Bank of the Rockies trucks deliver food and supplies to the Little Flower for distribution to the needy.  However, before that can happen, these trucks need to be unloaded and the food and supplies need to be sorted.  That is where the All Saints Men’s Group comes in, so in January 2017, the All Saints Men’s Group began volunteering at the Little Flower on a monthly basis.  Although our initial duties were to only unload and sort food and supplies from these trucks, our duties soon grew to include bagging groceries for the needy. We now consider these unloading, sorting, and bagging tasks to be our “standard duties” at the Little Flower Assistance Center.

As word of this outreach program spread at All Saints, our pool of volunteers grew beyond our men’s group, and now encompasses anyone from All Saints that wants to join us.  This has allowed us to increase our volunteer frequency for our work days at the Little Flower to twice a month, nominally the first and third Wednesdays of each month.  Our volunteers normally work 2-3 hour shifts offloading food trucks and/or bagging groceries. We usually have between five and eight volunteers at each of our work days, and on average put in between 30 and 50 labour hours each month.

In addition to these work days, some of our volunteers routinely perform various support functions at the Little Flower, including organizing/streamlining some of the rooms and providing meals for all of the volunteers.  By putting our faith into action at the Little Flower Assistance Center, All Saints has reached out to make a positive difference in our community.  To quote Donna Potter, the Program Manager at Little Flower Assistance Center, “The All Saints Volunteer team has become such an integral addition to our Volunteer support at the Little Flower Assistance Center.  Our shared mission is to serve and nurture the needs of impoverished individuals in our communities.  The uniting of so many hands has become the cornerstone of a great success story.”

If you have questions about this outreach ministry or if you would like to join us, please contact Gunar Neumann at 303-766-9649 or gunarneumann@comcast.net.  Further information about the Little Flower Assistance Center is available via their website:

http://www.foodpantries.org/li/catholic-charitieslittle-flower-emergency-assistance-center