St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish
The Social Concerns Committee of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish, inspired by ideas from Shelley Cheton of Canton, Ohio, together with the support of the members of their church, raised funds for WaterAid America by selling Christmas ornaments in December 2007.
Sister Dorothy became aware of the global water crisis through the ministry of the Sisters of Notre Dame in India. The Sisters of Notre Dame in India shared their concerns with the other members in this international community of Catholic religious sisters.
Having learned of the challenges facing the poor in India, and around the world, Sister Dorothy shared what she had learned with the members of the Social Concerns Committee. Together they wanted to raise awareness among St. Michael’s congregation of the dire need for clean water, and wanted to raise funds to support the cause.
Shelley Cheton proposed that the committee buy or make Christmas ornaments to sell in November, the proceeds of which would be used to support a WaterAid Project. Shelley Cheton and Cristina Kyle, another parishioner, made some ornaments. Many ornaments were purchased, and then sold after masses at the church on weekends.
In order to let their congregation know about their efforts, they put notices in their church bulletin. A poster display of what Water Aid America was working to accomplish was displayed by the ornaments for sale. A five gallon water jug was filled with dirty water to show those passing by the quality of water that nearly 1 billion people globally are forced to drink at some point in their lives.
Members of the congregation could place their donations in a second empty water jug. They also played the WaterAid America DVD, “Water for Life” while selling the Christmas ornaments in the gathering space of the church. Several flyers were posted around the church to create awareness of the sale of these ornaments.
Shelly said, “We sold our little hearts out and managed to sell about 550 ornaments. It took us four weekends. It is amazing how God blessed our little project!”
We sold our little hearts out and managed to sell about 550 ornaments.
Shelley Cheton, parishioner, St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish