In God We Trust

St. Anthony's Coat

Blessed Bloomers  IV

Home Sweet Home

I Will Carry You



Project Archive - 2005

In God We Trust
A Special Way to Celebrate Birthdays
2005 - Winter 2005

Description: When Shannon celebrated her 14th birthday, she received a card from a very special Franciscan friend.  In the card were 14 dollar bills.  Shannon knew that each dollar symbolized a year that she was gifted with life, something so uncertain in those early days after her birth.  The words on each of those dollar bills were the same:  "In God We Trust."  And Shannon knew that if it weren't for her family's trust in God, she might not be here today.  Shannon held onto those dollars for months, knowing she wanted to do something very special with them.  Then on Christmas, Shannon received a gift from her aunt – an autographed copy of Clay Aiken's new book. When Shannon read that Clay was from Raleigh, NC she had an idea about how to use those special 14 dollars to help others.

Results: Shannon wanted to give her birthday dollars to a soup kitchen in Clay Aiken’s hometown. In this project, Shannon collected $100 for The Shepherd's Table, which serves a mid-day meal every day to anyone who walks through their doors - no questions asked. Every person who comes to them is welcomed without regard to employment status, race, sex, age, color, national origin, religious preference, handicap or income.

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St. Anthony's Coat
October through November 2005

"My brothers and sisters … in this life God feels cold and hunger in all who are stricken with poverty.  When the poor are starving, Christ, too, hungers.  When the poor are cold, Christ, too, feels the chill.  Christ deigns to hunger and thirst in the persons of the poor.  And … what He will return to you in heaven tomorrow is what He receives from you here on earth today."            

St. Caessaarius of Arles France, 6th Century

On a cold winter day in 1940, a statue of St. Anthony stood in a grotto near St. Joseph's Church in East Rutherford, NJ.  A little girl named Gertrude was on her way to school that morning when she noticed St. Anthony.  He looks cold, she thought.  Minutes later, in her classroom, a nun scolded her for having no coat.  "Where is your coat, Gertrude?"  The little girl looked up and simply responded, "Sister, I gave it to St. Anthony."

On a cold winter day in 2005, a homeless man will stand on a Breadline at St Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.  As he shivers in the cold, we will recall that story of long ago.

Results: In Gertrude’s memory, Mychal's Message collected over $5,000 which was used to purchase new warm winter coats, hats and gloves for the homeless  In all, 294 coats were purchased.  They were distributed to the homeless on the St. Francis Breadline in NYC and at Crispus Attucks Shelter in Lancaster, PA.   To read more about this project, click here.

~ Gertrude, affectionately known to her family as "Bunny," died on September 18, 2005.  The story of little Gertrude is true.  The kindness and compassion of a little girl has inspired Mychal's Message to begin "St. Anthony's Coat." ~

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Blessed Bloomers IV
September 2005

Description:  We can never forget that this ministry began with one pair of socks ... one pair that quickly turned into one thousand pair.  And we can never forget that while distributing those socks, we were approached by a homeless man who asked us for underwear.  Underwear is basic and essential, but we all wear it and we all need it.  Most of us have a drawer full of it.  Most homeless men and women have only one pair.  Some are lucky enough to have two.  Our "Blessed Bloomers" packs each contain 2 pair of underwear, an undershirt and a pair of socks.  They are packaged discreetly and lovingly for our homeless friends.

Results:  With your help, we collected 814 pair of underwear, 594 undershirts, and 1,347 pair of socks.  They were packaged discreetly as “Blessed Bloomers” and distributed to the homeless on September 11, 2005.  Thanks to the New York Yankees, the men and women who visited the St. Francis Breadline that day also received Yankees caps.  Samuel was the last to receive his “Blessed Bloomers” that day.  The remaining “Blessed Bloomers” packages were sent to the Graymoor Friars, Garrison, NY and distributed to Hurricane Katrina victims who arrived in Lancaster, PA (through the United Council of Churches).

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Home Sweet Home
A Lancaster hometown project
September 2005

Description:  Shannon’s friends have become curious about the work she does with the homeless.  Often, she is asked questions and struggles to find the answers.  “Aren’t you afraid of them?  What if they’re sick?  How can you touch them?”  Shannon has tried to explain to her friends that the homeless are “just like us.”  Recently, Shannon received an award for her work.  At the award presentation, keynote speaker Gen. Colin Powell said, “You make a living from what you get, but you make a life from what you give.”  It was at that moment that Shannon knew she had to do more for her homeless friends and she had to try harder to help her friends at home understand. 

Results:  On September 17, 2005, Shannon invited 100 teenagers  to “live like a homeless person” for one night. In her church parking lot, students arrived at 5:30 p.m. with nothing more than what they were wearing or what they could carry by themselves. No one was permitted to bring a cell phone, a laptop, a CD player, a blow-dryer, etc. Everyone was given a cardboard box and 2 bottles of water. Shannon arranged for entertainment and speakers into the late hours of the night, and door prizes were awarded. Each participant obtained sponsors, and all money raised was to benefit the homeless. In the morning, all students were treated to a pancake and sausage breakfast as they recalled their homeless brothers and sisters all over the world who were waking up hungry.  Over $5,000 was raised during this project.  To read more about this project click here.

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I Will Carry You

January through March 2005 -

Shannon's Anniversary project. 


Description:  Shannon celebrated the 14th anniversary of her life-saving liver transplant on January 29th, 2005.  She invited some friends for a sleepover and asked them all to bring backpacks for the homeless in lieu of gifts for her. 


In this project Shannon marked the anniversary of her life-saving liver transplant by collecting backpacks for the homeless.  In the past, we have always had a few backpacks to give away on our trips into NYC, and they have always been well received by our homeless friends.  Because Shannon is a huge Clay Aiken fan (and has been to see him twice in concert!), she chose the words from Clay's song I WILL CARRY YOU for the project title.  The words to the song speak so perfectly the thoughts we would like to convey to our homeless friends:


"Yeah, I know it hurts, Yeah I know you're scared walking down the road that leads to who knows where.  Don't you hang your head, don't you give up yet when courage starts to disappear, I will be right here. 
Chorus:  When your world breaks down and the voices tell you turn around.  When your dreams give out, I will carry you, carry you.  When the stars go blind and the darkness starts to flood your eyes.  When you're falling behind, I will carry you.
Everybody cries, Everybody bleeds, No one ever said that life's an easy thing.  That's the beauty of it, when you lose your way, close your eyes and go to sleep and wake up to another day.
You should know now that you're not alone. 
Take my heart and we will find, you will find, your way home.
When your dreams give out, I will carry you, carry you.  When the stars go blind and the darkness starts to flood your eyes.  When you're falling behind, I will carry you, carry you.  I will carry you, carry you.  I will carry you, carry you, I will carry you."


Results:  Through this project we were able to collect enough backpacks for all our friends on the breadline at St. Francis church in NYC. To see pictures and read about the day we delivered the backpacks, click here.

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This page was last updated on: January 19, 2008.

Mychal's Message, Inc. is registered as a charitable organization with the Department of State's Bureau of Charitable Organizations under the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, 10 P.S. Section 16.2 et seq., and is authorized to solicit charitable contributions under the conditions and limitations set forth under the Act.  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Bureau of Charitable Organizations