Some last names have been omitted for privacy.
MELBOURNE | On a sunny Saturday morning, mothers pulled into the parking lot of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish grateful for the smiling volunteers and piles of donations.
The parish is first to collaborate with Catholic Charities of Central Florida to host a diaper drop for families in need. It is part of the “Walking with Moms” initiative led by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Deacon Dan Powers reached out to Catholic Charities in January to coordinate. “We were seeing moms come here (to the parish) and we didn’t have any resources to help them,” he said. “We really wanted to have an opportunity to give to these moms in a meaningful way.” He said working with Catholic Charities expanded the parish’s outreach ministry March 27, 2021.
Nikki, a mother of four, stopped by after seeing the notice online. She said she was in desperate need of diapers for both home and daycare. Her children range in ages from toddler to teenager. She thanked both the parish and Catholic Charities. “They were able to provide me with some good reading material for spiritual guidance as well as giving me supplies to help me with my children while they’re growing,” she said.
Sandy and Ross have fostered children for 28 years and said the event was a “huge blessing.” She heard about the diaper drop from a friend that morning. As the couple who fosters children newborn to age 2, the support means a lot.
“Diapers are always in need,” Sandy said.
Leidy Rivas, director of the Culture of Life Office at Catholic Charities of Central Florida, said the intent of the diaper drop is to help with zero judgement. The parish and agency collaboration raises awareness of all services the agency provides.
“There are always people in need. This pandemic highlighted that need even more,” she said. “(Evangelization entails) accompanying these families in all stages of their life. … The Church has to awaken to what Christ is calling us to do because we are His hands and feet.”
The Council of Catholic Women at the parish worked diligently alongside Catholic Charities during this event. Deborah Anderson helped with advertising the event and coordinating volunteers. She said the event “was very rewarding” and found it “a blessing to have done it during Lent” as it fulfilled a corporate work of mercy. The parish is planning another diaper drop in September.
To learn how to help visit walkingwithmoms.com