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The Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing measures didn’t deter parishioners at St. Luke Catholic Church in Brookfield from their mission. This year, rather than handing out palm branches at a traditional service, Pastor Fr. Kenneth Augustine and about 15 parishioners held a drive-through food collection on April 5 to, in part, address the needs of the community served by the Doorway Ministry of the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary at 2461 W. Center St, Milwaukee.
Volunteers wore masks and gloves and were careful to stay physically distant as they unloaded donations of non-perishable food items, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies. For two solid hours, a steady stream of cars drove through this unusual church service. After unloading donations, parishioners placed a Palm Sunday prayer card with an encouraging thank you note in each trunk. Cash donations were also accepted and continued online through April 7.
“Indeed, our drive-through food drive was a success,” says St. Luke’s Human Concerns Chair, Lynn Sprangers who reports that the unique Palm Sunday service collected over five van-loads of contributions. She and her husband plan to deliver the donations on April 7 for immediate distribution that day. “It’s the simple things and actions like helping others that are truly a blessing,” she explains.
Sanctuary president Sister MacCanon Brown expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the parishioners at St. Luke’s for their extraordinary demonstration of compassion on Palm Sunday. She explains that the Amani neighborhood was a food desert before Covid-19, and it is facing critical shortages because of the pandemic. “These free provisions are helping individuals and households with day to day survival.”
The MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary Doorway Ministry, located at 2461 West Center St., provides lunches, fresh produce, canned food, supplies, hygiene products, and clothing for those who are homeless or in housing insecure situations. Distribution is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Water is also provided by Hydrate the Homeless.
The sanctuary has an urgent need for canned beef and chicken, sardines, Vienna sausages; canned yams, green beans, baked beans, corn; chicken noodle or chicken dumpling soup; hand sanitizer, bars of soap, toilet tissue. Ideal drop-off times are 10 – 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the back door of 2461 W. Center St. in the alley. Donors may stay in their vehicles while our volunteers unload.
Those who prefer to make a financial donation can do so at http://www.mbsanctuary.org.