Last Wednesday October 18, in anticipation of the October 21 end of FEMA lodging for displaced Keys residents, a 13,000 pound moving van made its first stop at Saint Gregory‘s on its mission of mercy to Marathon.  It loaded up 14 tables freed up after our recent Harris Hall remodeling, and carried gifts from many of our people and churches across SE Florida for use by displaced people moving into cars, half rebuilt homes with no furniture, or wherever they could find to sleep.  The van and drivers whose services were donated to Episcopal Charities by American Van Lines made its last stop at Bridge to Hope, a Homestead charity which started up with funding from Episcopal Charities. Bridge to Hope had offered to fill up any space with mattresses, but little room remained in the truck to fit many mattresses in.

So Episcopal Charities rented an additional 13,000 pound truck, and volunteer driver Dennis Gerard set out at 7am Friday morning to Homestead. He picked up 36 brand new Tempurpedic mattresses and pedestals thanks to Bridge to Hope and their donor Mattress Firm, took them to St. Columba’s, and circled back to Homestead for a second load.  The first load had all been distributed before he returned with the second load at 6pm. All told, over 80 new mattress sets were given out amid many joyous tears. Over 37,000 pounds of donated items were provided among our three big truckloads during that 3 day period to help prepare for the loss of lodging by hundreds of Keys residents. Truly a beacon of hope and comfort to those displaced people, and a wonderful example of God’s loaves and mattresses.
Our next large truck will be departing from the Chapel of Saint Andrew in West Boca at 7 AM Monday, November 13 with gifts from diocesan convention. Please contact Maralee Pope 847-712-1891 if you’d like to drop off any household items between now and then.