Located in Carmel, Indiana is a family owned, neighborhood grocery store, specializing in fresh produce, delicatessen meats and homemade salads. The owners Bill and Carol, support the Little Sisters of the Poor. One means of support Bill and Carol offer the Little Sisters of the Poor is to display our poor boxes near the cash registers. Many of Carol and Bill’s customers join in their support of the Little Sisters of the Poor by donating regularly in our poor boxes.
Recently, the Mattingly Family, regular customers at Broccoli Bills, went in to do a little shopping. Jane-Ann Mattingly and her young daughter noticed the poor boxes and inquired about them. As the discussion developed, a great idea was born. Meredith, a student at Guerin High School was in the process of evolving a mission initiative for school. Broccoli Bills was already involved in a mission supporting the Little Sisters of the Poor. A lively conversation between mother and daughter ensued during the 25 minute drive home…perhaps a mission partnership could be formed? And that is how it began.
The Mattingly Family has some acreage of stunning sunflowers. Meredith and Mom decided, they could cut some sunflowers from the family garden, wrap them in florist paper and place them in vases by the poor boxes. The family agreed, Broccoli Bills was on board with the idea, and a small sign was made stating “Be a Blessing and buy a bouquet.” The sign was set up, along with the vase of wrapped sunflowers, next to the poor boxes and a ministry partnership was budding.
Our poor boxes are now overflowing! Carol asked if we could increase the number of poor boxes at the store and stop by more often to pick up the donations. One small act of charity from a family, a High School ministry initiative and shop owners all with a heart for the elderly poor has grown into a full ministry the family and Broccoli Bills plan to keep going.
Mrs. Jane-Ann Mattingly, told us that she has an extensive flower garden, a large plot of sunflowers, alpacas and a barn on their property. We are well into the Fall season now; blooms are fading. Jane-Ann has lovingly invited the Residents from our St. Augustine Home to come and visit during the blooming season in 2021. “We can serve the Residents lunch in the barn, meet the alpacas, wander the flower garden and pick flowers if they like and see the sunflowers.”
We have old benevolent friends in the Broccoli Bill Family and gained kind and generous friends in the Mattingly Family. We will be taking the Mattingly’s up on their offer to visit their property. Our Activities Director, Claire, is very excited about the idea. We are so grateful to Meredith for her gift of ministry.
God has bestowed on us many blessings and graces through His Divine Providence. We have endless gratitude for those God has brought to us in support of our Home and of our mission to care for the elderly poor over the years. Both of these families are truly an example of what kindness, generosity and compassion means.
The Little Sisters of the Poor are ever thankful.