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St. Coletta's of Illinois turns the table on charitable giving

Nov 16, 2023

Sends volunteers to package food for starving children around the world

As a nonprofit, St. Coletta’s of Illinois is used to being on the receiving end of charitable giving.

But on Nov. 15, the tables were turned when a group of St. Coletta’s employees visited Feed My Starving Children in Aurora to package nutritious meals for hungry children around the world.

“We wanted to extend ourselves and help another nonprofit further its mission,” said St. Coletta’s CEO Heather Benedick. “We wanted to be the giver instead of the recipient.”

Based in Tinley Park, St. Coletta’s of Illinois is a non-profit social service agency that provides educational, residential and vocational training services to developmentally disabled children and adults from the south and southwest suburbs.

It was founded 75 years ago by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi and remains committed to serving individuals of all races, religions and economic backgrounds.

Employees are guided by the Franciscan values St. Coletta’s was founded upon, including service to the poor and marginalized, reverence for all creation and sharing compassion for others.

To reinforce those values and to celebrate St. Coletta’s 75th anniversary, Benedick created a Mission Effectiveness Committee to highlight the organization’s founding principles.

It was during one of the committee meetings that employees came up with the idea of helping another 501(c)(3) charitable organization like Feed My Starving Children further their mission. They signed up to package the much-needed meals.

Benedick was familiar with the organization’s work because she had volunteered there in the past and knew they could accommodate a large group of volunteers.

The Mission Effectiveness Committee plans to visit Feed My Starving Children on a regular basis and look for other service-oriented opportunities to participate in as well.

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