It is a relatively quiet morning at the West Side Catholic Center. The Giving Tree ended yesterday with over 1500 men, women and children receiving new socks, underwear, hats, gloves, sweatshirts, full size toiletries and toys. All the ZHS families have received their Christmas gifts. Yet the kitchen is full of activity as a group from St. Joseph in Avon Lake has gathered to cook and serve brunch for the clients. Many of the staff and volunteers have taken the day off since we are open only until noon.
It has been another good year at WSCC as we continue to serve those who come in need of food, clothing, shelter, advocacy and a path to self-sufficiency. Our donors sustain us, both financially and with in-kind donations. Volunteers faithfully serve with love and respect for our clients. As some of our long-time volunteers have retired, new volunteers have stepped up to take their places. We are blessed with a dedicated staff who have a well-deserved reputation for going the extra mile to assist our clients.
While I can often be overwhelmed by the commercialism and consumerism of Christmas it is the clients, volunteers and staff that remind me every day why the WSCC is such a special place for all of us. It is here that I am able to see the true meaning of Christmas, of how it is in giving that we receive.
Yesterday was also Terrie Garr’s last day at WSCC. When she announced her intention to ‘retire’ I wasn’t sure it would really happen. Terrie has been an important part of WSCC for 23 years and I wasn’t sure she was really ready to leave or we were ready for her departure. Over the last few weeks she got ready. From the beginning she told me she would quietly walk out the door on December 23rd with little fanfare. That is exactly what she did. I returned from a late lunch and she was gone. It will be weird and different without Terrie. But as I tell people that share their concerns, the WSCC is bigger than any one person. For 39 years the WSCC has been here at the corner of W.32nd and Lorain doing what we do best. Although Terrie did leave quietly we will be gathering on January 22nd to celebrate her years at the WSCC. If you have not received your invitation please call the Advancement Department at 216-631-4741 x132.
I wish you and yours a very Blessed Christmas and a Joyous New
As always, thank you for reading,