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From the Desk of Father Blaney…

The SHARE Foundation / Newsletter  / From the Desk of Father Blaney…
The SHARE Foundation Vision

Over the past 25 years, the first Sunday of August has played host to the Leprechaun Hunt. The first one included only 500 people, but lately has seen nearly 10,000 people and has become our major fundraiser for Share Foundation. For 25 years I have prayed for good weather, and God has always provided. This year, unfortunately, we are seeing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and we have decided to cancel it this year

Not only has it been a fundraiser to support our Villagers, it has also brought together many friends from all across the Midwest and even further! This staple of the summer has been a time for families to come together, eat great food, have nice drinks, and enjoy time together as a family – all while hoping to find those sneaky leprechauns on the property. While we will miss gathering together this year, I invite you to continue to be a part of our mission to ensure we are able to gather together again next year on August 1st !

This year, we have a Leprechaun Hunt Raffle in place of the in person event. You should have received the notice in the mail by now with the different options to support the Leprechaun Hunt, but more importantly, the Villagers of Sharing Meadows. There certainly is a need for your support! Without this fundraiser this year we are in serious need. This raffle needs all of our support!

I beg you to do what you can with the Leprechaun Hunt Raffle!!! God bless you and us with health during this pandemic!

THOUGHTS FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

So many people had high hopes for 2020, myself included. 2019 seemed to be a bit of a drag, at least in my own life, with some tough losses of loved ones and the stress of daily life. I remember telling Jessica on New Year’s this year to have hope because incredible things are headed our way! Well, this year has had some incredible things… to say the least. Even in this chaos and fearful times, I see hope every day.

No matter your opinion on what is happening in the world, I believe you can sit back and ask yourself, “What is God telling me right now in this moment?” My personal Facebook page is showing many opinions as to what is going on in the world. As I sit and read through these posts and watch the news, all I can think of is how our world needs hope. There are so many opinions out there and when I reflect on what is right and what I believe in, I am left feeling hopeless. However, all my questions about life, meaning of happiness, and what it means to love are answered when I step foot onto the holy grounds of Sharing Meadows.

I was speaking with a couple parents of a Villager the other day and we were talking about the topic of racism. We were discussing the protests that are happening all across the country and how our eyes have been opened to the situation. Then the parents mentioned to me something that really stuck out and opened my eyes to the love the Villagers have for people. “Our son doesn’t see any color. In fact, if you ask him about that person over there of a different race, he says ‘huh?’” It hit me… Sharing Meadows does not have racism in its community because the Villagers see everyone they meet as a person who is worthy to be loved. They don’t reduce anyone by the color of their skin, social class, or how much money they make. They see past a person’s appearance and straight to their soul. Every single living person has value to them.

To be able to walk up to someone and have no other interest in them other than to be their friend is a remarkable gift, a gift that the Villagers seem to have. When I take someone on a tour around the grounds, my friends stop what they are doing and approach the guests and welcome them to their home. When walking through Walmart, they greet the Walmart greeter before that person even gets the chance to! The life that they live of course isn’t a perfect one, but they are on to something. Is this why they are so happy? Is it this authentic love of people that sets them apart from others? In my opinion – yes.

During this crazy time of uncertainty, sit and think about the hope in your life. For me? My hope comes from the Villagers. Their resilience during this pandemic has been so inspiring. They have yet to complain and they have not yet lost their joy, hope, and love of others. We must find hope through something or someone. I believe that the Villagers’ hope comes directly from God. Maybe we should all strive to be more like them.

I leave you with this thought. By you supporting our mission of Sharing Meadows, you are giving an incredible life of independence and community to my incredible friends. However, you are not just changing their life. You are also changing every person’s life that they come in contact with. It is YOU who gives them that opportunity to SHARE their joy and love for others. Whether you have donated $5 or $500,000 to our mission, YOU have changed your part of the world and brought peace and joy to others through the hands of the Villagers. So let us continue to hope for a better tomorrow, because as my friends have taught me, if you live for today, you will change the world tomorrow. May God keep you and your family safe during this trying time.

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