by Michael Carr 

Hello Catholic Charities Blogites and Interweb Dwellers all!!

It truly is an honor to write the first 2014-2015 Project SERVE blog! I want to start it off by saying that even though the seven of us only met a couple of weeks ago, we immediately had a terrific rapport. While we were all still becoming familiar with the programs and locations of Catholic Charities of Baltimore, it became clear in the first few days that this year of intentional community would prove to be one of the most meaningful and amazing experiences of our lives. Our hometowns span the length of the country, from Baltimore and New York to the Midwest and on to California and our backgrounds and life experiences vary time and again from person to person, yet that is exactly what makes our group function so well together. We all bring something different and new to the community we have built and are building on good old Mulberry Street, and to the community at large and the various missions we have gladly volunteered to be a part of.

You’ll have to forgive my verbosity. I mean, I WAS an English major. But I digress.

The seven of us have finished our first week of work at our various sites: Our Daily Bread Employment Center, My Sister’s Place Women’s Center, Sarah’s House, Esperanza Center, St. Vincent’s Villa/Villa Maria, and the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center. It’s been a learning experience for everyone, and there have been some interesting occurrences to be sure, but overall I believe that we’ve come through them all the better.

There is a tangible need for service in Baltimore, and there are hundreds and hundreds of people and more who are in need of the most basic human necessities, such as shelter, food, a livelihood as well as nurturing and love. God calls us all to be his hands and feet, and if we cannot devote even an hour of our time to caring for those who need us, then what good are we? Acts 20, verse 35 tells us “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Every day I’m amazed at the dedication and patience and love that everyone at each and every mission across Baltimore has for helping people. We are called for such a time as this. That’s why I’m grateful for the community of volunteers I have around me, and the staff people who support me, because the needs of this city are large and though I may be small, together we can make a difference, and not in some cheesy cliché way, but TRULY improve the lives of the people around us and make a difference. I’m looking forward to a fantastic year with a superb group of volunteers/coworkers/housemates/friends!

Anywho, that’s all for now, folks. Good night and good luck! Allons-y!!

In Christ,

Michael Carr