Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~ Maya Angelou
Growing up in Naperville, I have experienced many changes that the city planners have made to accommodate a growing population. In the early 1960s, Naperville was a small town with a population around 12,000; today, the population has grown to about 142,000. Changes are necessary in all aspects of life, how we react or interact with that change can determine our role.
As a small child, my world revolved around a 10 block area centered by my house. I walked or rode my bike to all of my schools – Elmwood Elementary, Lincoln Jr. High and Naperville Central High School. In my new role as Donor Relations Officer at Loaves & Fishes, I will be expanding my world and traveling throughout DuPage County and Naperville. The clients we serve at Loaves & Fishes travel from all over our county, so I want to enlighten the community about the increasing need for assistance to help our neighbors.
When we moved to Naperville, there was only one Catholic Church, Ss. Peter & Paul. As the population spread outward, St. Raphael Catholic Church was formed. Our family was part of that formation, first attending mass at a store front in the Naperville Plaza then moving to a room in the first building for St. Raphael Church (now the wing with the parish offices). Every Sunday morning, all seven of us would pile into our ’65 Chrysler and drive less than 2 blocks to church. Looking back, I wonder why we didn’t just walk the short distance; I suspect my parents were able to contain all of us easier in the car.
I am humbled that back in 1984, a few parishioners from St. Raphael Church chose to help 8 families in need and thus began the work of Loaves & Fishes. Those samaritans did not realize back then how their vision to help those struggling to feed their family would grow from 8 families to over 5,000 families over the past 30 years.
Join me on my journey as I travel to your town. I look forward to immersing myself in your community. If you have any suggestions of people or events not to miss, please let me know. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to enter “Travel to your town” in the subject line, and I welcome you to travel to my town and be my guest for a tour of Loaves & Fishes!
Donor Relations Officer