During this time of social distancing and with large gatherings of people banned, Catholic Charities’ Mercy Van (also known as the Mobile Response Center or MRC) has not been as…mobile. But we’ve still found ways to serve safely. Thanks to our generous donors, the Mobile Response Center had an inventory of soap, household cleaners and personal care items on hand that remained critically in need among our struggling neighbors.
Our goal during this time has been to look for ways to continue to respond to the needs in our diocese safely.
Most recently, the Mobile Response Center was asked by the Gabriel Project to help new mothers with diapers and wipes. Many of the new moms were struggling financially and, with an infant at home to take care of, they were not able to get to the store to purchase even basic baby goods. Compounding the problem? Diapers were flying off the shelves as fast as toilet paper. Even the moms who could get to the store often discovered empty shelves or only small packages of diapers.
The Mercy Van stepped into the gap and coordinated with the Gabriel Project on an easy order form to make sure we supplied each mom with the right size diaper and other baby needs. However, the limited mobility of the moms raised another challenge. How would we get the diapers to the babies?
That’s where Catholic Charities’ Office of Volunteers stepped in. Debra Beard, Director of Volunteers, recruited willing volunteers from the Herndon engineering consulting firm ACTS to help safely distribute the diapers straight to the doors of these mothers. The hearty crew of volunteers wore masks and practiced social distancing during their delivery.
“I knew if we could get diapers, we could get them delivered! Our volunteers are so filled with grace and mercy and eager to lend a hand to those in need.”Debra Beard, Catholic Charities Director of Volunteers
Through this collaboration, the Gabriel Project advertised the service to their clients, the Mercy Van provided the goods, and our generous volunteers made a warehouse-to-door delivery and provided over 30 babies with much needed diapers and wipes.
Therese Bermpohl, Director of the Office of Marriage, Family and Respect Life, reflected, “We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers, donors and colleagues at Catholic Charities for helping us develop creative new ways to assist those who are most in need! Gabriel Project mothers continue to express their joy and relief that the can now properly care for the newborn infants thanks to this beautiful response.”
This service will continue to be available to mothers enrolled in the Gabriel Project until the end of the stay-at-home orders.
Donations of diapers and wipes can be sent to:
Mobile Response Center
8428 Kao Circle
Manassas, VA 20110