Rosa reached out to St. Vincent de Paul a few months ago when she and her husband, Jacob, ran out of food for their family and didn’t know what else to do. Rosa’s father, Henry, lives with them and their six children.
Feeding nine people is a difficult task, but things got tighter when Rosa left her job a few years ago to take care of her family. Rosa worked 12-hour shifts several nights a week and struggled to keep up with caring for her children and Henry, who developed dementia. Since then, the family struggled to get by on Jacob and Henry’s modest incomes.
“It was hard to come home after overnight shifts and take care of him and the kids,” Rosa said.
When Rosa reached out to St. Vincent de Paul, volunteers from the Sacred Heart chapter responded by bringing her family food boxes and continued to check on them once a month.
“It’s a blessing when they come over to give us food,” she said.
When Christmas was approaching this year, Rosa not only worried about providing a meal for the family, she knew she wouldn’t be able to have any gifts for her children.
Rosa’s favorite part of the holiday is to be able to give gifts to her loved ones.
“I like to see the kids when they open their gifts, when they’re happy,” Rosa said.
Some years she could scrape together just enough for gifts, but some years she couldn’t. She was disappointed that she wouldn’t have enough this year.
However, to Rosa’s delight, St. Vincent de Paul gave her family the happiest Christmas. They were part of the Adopt-A-Family program, where donors and volunteers provide Christmas meals for families and gifts for children.
“It was a real help and a real blessing,” Rose said. “There have been a lot of blessings coming our way. My mom always told me, ‘You do good for people, it will come back.’”
Rosa’s mother passed away a few years ago, but this oft-quoted phrase of hers rings true for Rosa and her family.
Rosa said she and her family are grateful for St. Vincent de Paul and all of the volunteers and donors who not only kept her family afloat, but provided joy and blessings to her family on Christmas this year.
“Thank you. God bless you. You’re doing a good thing, a beautiful thing,” she said.