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Parish News: "Thank A Farmer Project" a success in Valdosta, Sacred Heart Church, Waynesboro gets a lift from local youth

By Donnell Suggs

Posted On Wednesday Jun 3, 2020 · 5:16 pm

*Note: Parish News will make its print debut in next week's Southern Cross and will continue to be posted to our website and social media platforms via links.



“Thank A Farmer Project” a huge success in Valdosta

The idea for the “Thank A Farmer Project” started with a very simple question and request: Got Food? Thank a farmer. 

Sister Nuala Mulleady decided to start the project to better assist area migrant workers and others who need healthy food options, clothing basics and toiletries and have had a hard time procuring these items during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in her garage, Sister Mulleady along with help from the St. Francis Center which is associated with St. John the Evangelist Church, Valdosta, San Jose Mission, also affiliated with the parish, St. Anthony Church, Ray City, and area Methodist churches collected thousands of pounds of rice, hundreds of pounds of dry beans and canned beans, sugar, along with thousands of pounds of corn flour (maseca). There were also donations of cooking oil which totaled over 170 quarts.

Of the idea Mulleady said, “I thought this is how we can help people and it was a huge success. We got an excellent response from the community.”

The project also managed to get over 300 bars of soap, 50 deodorants, 274 tubes of toothpaste, 331 toothbrushes, 93 bottles of shampoo, 268 combs, bandanas, sun hats, baseball caps, sunscreen, sunglasses, flipflops, crayons, toilet tissue, diapers, snacks like potato chips and crackers, and face masks. The masks were homemade.

Laura and Paul Dunning, Lynette and Kevin Kenworthy, Jenny Kramer, Marge and Mike Young assisted with the sorting, counting and distribution of the donations.

Sacred Heart Church, Waynesboro Youth Group renovates parish interior 

The interior of Sacred Heart Church, Waynesboro was completely renovated by the church’s youth group last week. The work, including painting, was handled by the group that includes kids ages 10-16 years old. With all the protests involving the younger generations taking place all over the country and the world the positive acts of a few have made an impact. “The future is good,” said Father Patrick Otor of the group’s efforts. “It was beautiful to see but I never expected it to be that good.

“They worked together so well.”

Donny DeAmicis, a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus, color corp commander and long time parishioner agreed. “A lot of these young kids thought because there was no school they had time to do work at the church,” said DeAmicis, an active member of the parish and a Vietnam veteran. “It has been a blessing.”

The news of no longer having school to attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic was hard on some kids in Waynesboro, but finding out that they would not be able to attend Mass at Sacred Heart Church was going to be even more difficult to accept. The small community has a devout parishioner base, Sacred Heart Church remains the sole Catholic parish in Waynesboro, and with plenty of time on their hands close to a dozen kids decided to do something positive for both the church and themselves. They decided to clean up. Some are members of the church, others contributed to the efforts because they believed it was the right thing to do. 

Wearing masks and observing social-distancing as best they could, the group began the work of cleaning pews and stained glass windows, sweeping and the aforementioned painting. Two of the mothers of kids involved in the cleanup donated the paint  according to DeAmicis. “They all come from religious-oriented families,” he said. “Two of the kids are our youngest alter boys. These kids are dedicated to the church.”

The group started work on Tuesday, May 26 and was done three days later to the surprise of DeAmicis and his fellow Knights who also contributed to preparing the church for Mass that Thursday morning. “I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said DeAmicis. “The entire interior of the church was spit-shined. We didn’t even have to vacuum. “These are wonderful kids.”

Father Otor sees these efforts as a positive sign. “It’s a sign that they love their church and that they are ready to use their talents and gifts to serve their church.

St. Anne Church, Columbus to select winner of 40th anniversary t-shirt design contest 

Four decades of fellowship and worship will be commemorated this week when the three-person outreach team at St. Anne Church, Columbus selects a winner of a recent t-shirt design contest. The contest, the first ever in parish history, was launched via their popular Facebook page with a “Calling all creative people” post April 30. 

There are seven entries and the winner will be formally announced next week.





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