Current Events

Current Events

Helping Others Happens in Unique Ways

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 08:38

When I asked my brother-in-law for some old jeans to use for a project, my sister quickly put together a bagful that I brought back to Donaldson from a weekend visit with my family. Collection bins were placed near the serving line of our dining room for people to contribute their old, clean jeans.

 

Maria Center residents, Sisters, co-workers, friends from the area who had read about the event in the local newspapers, joined on March 30, 2016 and worked for two hours cutting apart the jeans and then cutting parts traced on the denim that would be assembled as shoe parts for children in Uganda.

 

Those who gathered watched a video from the Sole Hope organization that explained how people in Uganda usually wear flip-flops, but there are no flip-flops small enough for the very young and growing children.  As a result, children often get jiggers in the soles of their feet that cause infection and health-related problems.

 

Using cut up tires, the actual sole is made of a piece of rubber and the denim parts are sewed to that piece of rubber as the upper part of the shoe and the heal.  The shoes are assembled by local people in Uganda and given to the children.

 

This project made all of us aware of how we can help people we have never met by just giving a few hours of our time to work together on a project that helps people to be healthy.  Some of the women attending from local churches were going to take the project back to their churches. 

 

Another afternoon will be scheduled so that people continue this project here at The Center at Donaldson.

 

An Earth Day celebration and award presentation will be held at The Center at Donaldson, 9601 Union Road, on April 22, 2016 from 3-5 p.m. EDT.  All are invited.

 

Multiple activities are planned for the day in honor of Earth Day.

 

Bring your plastic bags and stuff Baggin' the Dragon - the Earth friendly dragon. One reusable cloth bag per family will be exchanged for your plastic bags.

 

Learn about worm composting and enter to win a yard sized compost bin! Also enter to win a rain-barrel, so you, too, can conserve water.

 

To help protect your identity and eliminate some waste from going into the landfills, a shredding event will be available. Bring your personal documents, clean out your files, and get ready for spring.

 

Also part of this celebration is the presentation of the Bicentennial Green Legacy Award to The Center at Donaldson in recognition of its important contribution to Indiana’s Bicentennial Green Legacy for leading the way to a safer and more sustainable future.  The award, presented by Sustainable Indiana 2016, will be held on the front lawn at The Center at Donaldson at 4 p.m. EDT. 

 

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and their ministries’ belief that all life on the planet is sacred and deserves respect and protection is confirmed by their endorsement of the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. (earthcharter.org/)

 

Some of the practices adopted by The Center at Donaldson that live into this belief and which made The Center eligible for the award, include: installation of rain gardens, green houses, geo-thermal heating and cooling, and use of hybrid cars, earth-friendly cleaning solutions and recycling.  The Poor Handmaids also have put land into three classified forests, protecting the land from further development.

 

The strong belief in recycling has led the Poor Handmaids to hire a full-time recycling person. A recycling demonstration will be offered during the celebration.  A new Land Manager position is also currently being filled.

 

During the event, visit Earthworks, an environmental education center, and meet Luigi, Donté, and Sweet Annie, Earthworks’ resident goats. Tour the greenhouses where food is grown to feed the residents, co-workers and visitors at The Center.

 

Take a tour of MoonTree Studios, which has achieved LEED-Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.  The 10kW wind turbine located on the property generates power from prevailing winds for use in meeting MoonTree’s electrical load and demonstrates MoonTree’s energy consciousness.

 

Come celebrate the Earth with the Poor Handmaids on April 22.  Learn ways you can help protect the natural communities, visit the PHJC ministries, and enjoy the beautiful grounds at The Center.  

When three groups of ladies get together, there is sure to be fellowship, fun and service. Recently Kelly Redinger, Delta Theta Tau Representative, brought materials and scissors to the Catherine Kasper Life Center where she was met by the Sisters of Catherine’s Cottage, the “Sister Power” support group, and the Ancilla Women’s Volleyball Team for their third annual blanket making project. 

 

Kelly delivers the finished baby blankets to the St. Joe Regional Medical Center in Plymouth. She expressed her gratitude, saying, “I am very thankful to be a part of such a wonderful group of ladies, I hope we can continue this project for many years.” 

 

Sister Marlene Ann Lama, PHJC, commented, “This was our third baby blanket gathering with the Lady Chargers. I am convinced that these exchanges between the Lady Chargers and the Sisters just keeping getting better and better! It is heartwarming to see Ancilla’s vibrant young women so open and responsive to our older Sisters. They didn’t hesitate to share with us about themselves, their goals and future dreams. This inter-generational service project was filled with respectful listening, inquisitive sharing and good deal of laughter. It also confirmed the great team work that existed between the generations in getting the baby blankets made for the newborns.” 

 

Lana Singleton, volleyball coach, expressed her appreciation, “I feel very blessed that we have opportunities like this to strengthen our inter-generational relationships with the Sisters. They are amazing women and my team benefits greatly every time we spend time together. I also feel very blessed that Kelly Redinger from Delta Theta Tau came up with this wonderful idea and it is a yearly tradition now.”

 

With the arrival of spring at Ancilla Beef & Grain Farm comes the arrival of newborn calves.  The first, a male, was born Tuesday, March 8.  As of Tuesday, March 15, seven of the expected 101 calves have made their way into the world. So far, there are three females and four males.

 

In this herd, which is the Angus-Slaers breed, all but 11 are naturally conceived.  The 11 AI calves (conceived through artificial insemination) are all due at the beginning of April. Like humans, the gestation period for calves is 9 months.  The average birth weight is 70-90 pounds, with the females being on the lighter side.  

 

To date, only two deliveries have required assistance.  Co-directors Tim and Joe Reinhold have assisted two of the mothers by chain pulling the calf’s legs when their deliveries became difficult. Security and Support Staff team leader Zeb Smitha, who was making his rounds last Tuesday, assisted Tim and Joe with the year’s first delivery.  “He asked if we needed any help,” Tim said.  “Sure. We always take help,” Tim replied.  

 

“He ain’t a bad puller,” Joe surmised. About the experience, which was his first calf delivery, Zeb said, “It was pretty nice to be present for the birth of first calf of the year, especially when everything was going well for the mother, calf, and Tim and Joe. It’s spring, and it means that summer is right around the corner.”  

 

Ancilla Beef and Grain Farm, a ministry of the Poor Handmaids, operates in a manner that values and respects the soil and animals. It grows hay, corn and soybeans that feed the cattle. Ancilla’s prime beef is raised all-natural.

 

MKM Architecture + Design was recently awarded an AIA Merit Award for MoonTree Studios. A ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, MoonTree Studios challenges people to experience mindfulness as they explore the interconnectedness of art, nature, zand the Spirit within.  The collection of buildings create an environment for exploration – a space for fearlessly creating.

 

The building designs support a range of traditional arts activities as well as specialized workshops and exhibits. While visibly modern upon approach, it is situated and shaped carefully to blend comfortably with the rural surroundings.  

 

MoonTree Studios convey a wide range of sustainable design principles and technologies.  It achieved LEED-Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council as part of the owner’s ongoing educational mission.  The 10kW wind turbine generates power from prevailing winds for use in meeting the facility’s electrical loads and strongly signals the energy-conscious theme at MoonTree. 

 

While MoonTree Studios promoted sustainable development, it was more concerned with how these spaces fostered social interaction and creativity for its users of all ages and abilities. This project looked at how studio space could affect community health and well-being.  Through experiencing MoonTree, people awaken to their creative potential and sow the seeds for a more mindful, compassionate and sustainable Earth Community.

 

~Katie O’Muireagain, Director of Business Development, MKM Architecture + Design

 

Human Trafficking - Modern Day Slavery

Thursday, 28 January 2016 08:42

The idea that people today can be bought and sold for a price seems unbelievable. But it is a reality.  The United Nations estimates that almost 30 million people across the globe are living in slavery. Today we call this “human trafficking” but it’s no different than slavery of the past. Men, women and children are bought and sold as a commodity for labor, prostitution, exploitation and the removal of organs.

 

Human Trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide, and it is happening throughout the world in every country including the United States. According to the US Department of State, 2 million women and children are victims of human trafficking every year in the United States, including 300 thousand children forced into child prostitution and child pornography. 

 

There are more slaves today than any other time in human history: Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world, second only to drug trafficking. And while drugs can be sold once, a person can be sold several times a day.  

 

Incidents of human trafficking tend to spike alongside major sporting events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl to meet the high demand for commercial sex. 

 

As this year’s Super Bowl comes nearer, please pray with the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ for the men, women, and children forced into slavery. 

 

Prayer to end Human Trafficking

Creator of us all, our words cannot express what our minds can barely comprehend and our hearts feel when we hear of children and adults deceived and transported to unknown places for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor because of human greed.

Our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are being transgressed through threats, deception and force. We cry out against the degrading practice of trafficking and seek ways for it to end.

Strengthen the fragile-spirited and broken-hearted. Make real your promises to fill these our sisters and brothers with a love that is tender and good and send the exploiters away empty-handed. Give us the wisdom and courage to stand in solidarity with them, that together we will find ways to the freedom that is your gift to all of us. Amen.

— Gen Cassani, SSND used with permission

 

 


It is with great joy that we announce the acceptance of our first live-in, full-time volunteer in the new PHJC Volunteer Program!

Libby Riggs has known our community for well over thirty-five years having been an affiliate and currently an Associate for six years. She is a member of the Associate Core Team and is steeped in our charism, mission and values.

The Sisters of Assumption Hall will be Libby’s Host Community. Libby will share ministry with our Sisters in Catherine’s Cottage, Catherine Kasper Home and Motherhouse for the next year.  

We send hearty congratulations and a very warm welcome to Libby and pray that the year ahead will bring many graces and blessings to her, the Sisters and all at The Center at Donaldson.

4 Tons of Cardboard - 1 Ton of Plastic

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 00:00

While The Center at Donaldson is unique for many reasons, one of the most important is our full-time recycling coordinator, Joyce Roberts.  Outside of hospitals and traditional “green” industries, this is rare.

“We save everything,” Joyce said.  “From foam box inserts to packing peanuts to cans and cardboard; the amount of different things we recycle here, people just wouldn’t believe.”  Joyce began her career at The Center almost six years ago as a part-time recycling coordinator.  Her path has meandered over the years, including 20 hours each in the business office and in recycling, to her current gig in 2014.  

It’s staggering the amount and variety of items recycled here. Most of them are handled at least three times by Joyce, including loading, processing and re-loading.  Since September 2015, she’s bailed about four tons of cardboard and one ton of plastic.   The plastic is separated into numbers.  Numbers one and two are recycled while numbers four through seven will be made into oil, since plastic originates from petroleum.  Currently not big money makers, Joyce says that if the market comes back, recycling at TCAD could become profitable.  “That’s not what’s important here,” she adds.  “What we do that’s important is recycle, reuse and keep it out of the landfill.”

In the Central Receiving Services building, Joyce works to break down old heating registers removed from Catherine Kasper Home into recyclable parts.  The components, like aluminum, copper tubing, wiring, and the metal itself are then recycled, diverting them from the landfill.  Joyce adds she can and will recycle anything here except televisions and computers, and she welcomes co-workers to bring in anything they might formerly have trashed for recycling.   

Joyce’s favorite part of the job is working with Sister Linda Volk.  “She gets things done,” Joyce said of Sister Linda as the pair caught up on separating plastics in the first floor recycling room on a rainy Monday afternoon.  “She’s a hard worker, and I enjoy keeping busy,” Joyce added.  Sister Linda likes working with Joyce as well; describing her as consistent, methodical in her work habits, and a creative problems solver, qualities Sister Linda sees as essential for the job.  “I feel we’re partners,” Sister Linda said.  “She’s a darn good worker and we have a lot of fun,” Sister Linda added.