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An Update on My Patreon Fund - And Doing Our Part For Those In Need

Happy Monday, readers! I hope you are all staying safe, healthy, and sane during this time of quarantine.


Our family has settled into a routine with work, school, household chores, and leisure time, and we’re all doing fine. I continue to pray for all those who have been more directly impacted by the coronavirus, whether physically, emotionally, or financially. I am also using my time away from the Eucharist to pray for all survivors of abuse in the Catholic Church, particularly those whose trauma keeps them from attending Mass; I invite you to do the same.


As we come to the end of the March, I realized now might be a good time to give a little update about the Patreon account I set up back in November to provide a source of financial support for this blog.


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First, my husband Mike and I have made the decision to donate my income for April to two local organizations that are supporting those in need during this pandemic. While it has not been easy giving up my ministry income to do this work, our family has already adjusted to that change, and we’re doing fine. I know that many others are in a much more perilous position financially right now, and I think it’s time for all of us to pull together and support those who need our help.


These April donations will go to two wonderful Milwaukee nonprofits that are doing essential work in our community and are led by people that I know and trust:


  • The Riverwest Food Pantry has been one of our favorite local organizations for years. Our family has spent many hours volunteering in this “community of generosity,” and we have seen the impact of this work firsthand. During this pandemic, the amazing staff has really stepped up so they can continue serving our city, even when other pantries have been forced to close. They have significantly changed their operations to keep everyone safe but continue to offer food - and friendship - to those in need. Many of the pantry’s regular sources of food donations (including a weekly collection at my parish) are unavailable at this time, so they are in great need of financial contributions to allow them to buy in bulk to meet ongoing demand.

  • Franciscan Peacemakers is another favorite local nonprofit. Even in the midst of this pandemic, they continue their ongoing mission to provide a “pathway to a sustainable healthy, safe, productive life for women engaging in prostitution due to trauma, human sex trafficking, or drug addiction.” This ministry includes a social enterprise that employs women who are exiting prostitution to produce, package, and sell bath and body products (that smell amazing!). During this pandemic they are offering supporters the opportunity to buy bulk packages of soap online to be donated directly to food pantries. This provides a needed product to struggling families and also helps keep these women employed during a tumultuous time.


I’m grateful that our family has enough to share, and I hope we will all continue to discern what we can to help those who are most vulnerable - during this public health crisis and at all times.


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Second, to all my regular patrons, THANK YOU. Your ongoing support has made a huge difference to me and to my family over the past five months. Please know that if you need to postpone or cancel your monthly donation, I understand. If things are tight for you right now, be sure to click here before the end of the month to make sure you are not charged for April.


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Third, as I advocate for increased transparency in the Catholic Church, I thought it would be good for me to offer my own gesture of financial transparency as well. So, here are the basics about the support I receive for this blog (and the behind-scenes-ministry that goes along with it):


  • I have 10 monthly supporters through Patreon, for a total income of $241/month.

  • One generous supporter gives $100/month, most give $10 - $40/month, and two wonderful folks give $5/month.

  • I have also received a handful of one-time contributions (through Patreon and checks sent by mail) totaling almost $600. All of these were given in November and December, when I first invited support.

  • My financial supporters include friends, family members, a priest, fellow parishioners, and several readers who I know only through the internet. I am honored that the first person to pledge support was a survivor of clerical abuse.


Please let me know if you have any questions about this. I will strive to be as transparent as possible.


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Most importantly, in this time of loss, suffering, and uncertainty, let’s all keep our eyes open for the ways we are being called to support one another, especially those in our society who are most vulnerable.


Let’s be Church.


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This is my daily Morning Offering, which seems particularly appropriate at this moment in time (even if "those I encounter today” are limited in number right now!):


Lord, make me ready to do your will.

Give me strength and courage, love and patience,

to accept the day’s trials as well as its blessings.

May I never dismiss the gentle promptings of your Spirit.

If I do, call me by name until my heart returns to you.

I pray for those who need you most, especially those I encounter today.


Amen.


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©2020 by Sara Larson