My Brother’s Keeper has a successful annual special event that is presently called Baskets and Bags Bingo. This year it will be held on March 1st. We are happy to share the wonderful background story that describes its origin and inspiration. Below you will find the story of Mary and her sister Kathy.
Mary’s story is the following:
“In the winter of 2005, Sister Elizabeth, and then director of My Brother’s Keeper approached me about holding a bingo to support My Brother’s Keeper. My youngest son was a senior at Mount Saint Joe, and had done his service project at MBK. I was excited to continue my involvement with MBK, and immediately enlisted my sister’s help. We were raised in an environment of services, and maintain ties to our former first grade teacher, Sister Mary McFadden, SND.
Little did we know that 11 years later and three directors later this fundraiser would have grown to such an extent. We call ourselves the “Friends of My Brother’s Keeper.” Many of us were involved in service through our children when they were enrolled in the local Catholic high schools, Mt Saint Joe, Mt. de Sales and Seton Keough. We also have committee members with ties to the local Irvington community, as well as St. Agnes Hospital. Most recently, Mary Cooke, the sister of Blaise Cooke has become a close friend and committee member. We all still had the desire to give back to the community once our children were grown; service was a part of our upbringing and had played such an important role as we raised our children.
The bingo is held every year, in March/April, and to date, we have raised over $100,000 for MBK, with an average of $9000 each year. We purchase Longaberger baskets and Vera Bradley bags, and then solicit committee members and friends to fill the baskets. We believe the quality of our themed “fillers” is at the hallmark of our event. We welcome any new “committee members” to fill a basket.
For my sister and me, our family has joined us in the support of this event. My sons, Sean and Christopher, and Kathy’s son Patrick are our bingo callers. Working the kitchen is our brothers and husbands, as well as close family friends. And committee members, daughters and nieces organize our tables.
Her sister Kathy had these kind words to add:
“I am not sure what I can add to my sister’s words except:
I was greatly influenced by acts of service by my parents. My dad was an attorney, who in his spare time, gave countless hours of pro bono service to our parish St Agnes. He also taught in their CCD program. My mom, proud to be a housewife! And mom to the 8 of us was always busy volunteering at Trinity School, Our Daily Bread and over 25 years at St Agnes Hospital.
My initial contact with MBK was when my boys attended MSJ. And when Mary approached me about the bingo idea I did what every good sister does and said yes.
I honestly feel guilty taking credit for service. We have so much fun doing this event each year and have been able to model service for our children as our parents did for us.
It is a privilege to help those who open the doors to MBK each day.”
My Brother’s Keeper is as strong as our support. Our programs are based on community need as well as the donations and volunteer services available. As our staff continues to work towards helping the community, outside help by way of donations and volunteers are always welcome! Become a part of something great and help make MBK where hope finds a home.
To learn more about how to help, or to find out more about our services, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.