For the last two years, holidays for one family have turned into an opportunity to give back to their community. Instead of exchanging gifts with one another, this family pools their resources to purchase items to give to others in need. This year, they stuffed drawstring backpacks with basic necessities like bottled water, socks, hand warmers, a thermal blanket and Chapstick. In total, they assembled and donated 60 bags for the men living at Shalom House, Catholic Charities’ men’s homeless shelter.
Led by grandparents, Irvin and Terry Leiker, this three-generation group all played a specific role in the preparation process.
“Rebecca watched for sales and was charged with making all of the purchases,” said Terry Leiker.
Theresa Giesler coordinated with the recipient of their donations after a friend from their parish recommended Shalom House at Catholic Charities.
Together, they all contributed to the labor of love in packing all of the items assembly line style during their family gathering.
“We really wanted this to be a teaching tool for the kids,” added Terry Leiker. “But we have all gotten something out of it.”
“I like doing this because we all get together and do it as a family,” adds eight-year-old Emma.
Learn more about Shalom House and how you can get involved with Catholic Charities.
Above: Jake Giesler, Theresa Giesler, CiCi Giesler, Terry Leiker, Irvin Leiker, Emma Giesler, Rebecca Eickbush, & Grace Giesler (Not pictured: Matt Eickbush and Greg Leiker)