Mother Teresa Outreach shows promising future

Provided Photograph

A group of Mother Teresa Outreach volunteers are pictured during a previous outreach event.

Mother Teresa Outreach fulfills a need within the community by providing non-food essential items to those in the community who need assistance.

The Outreach program, which is housed at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Center, 44 Lake St., Le Roy, launched in September 2017 as a way of helping those in the community who needed items other than food. Items include, but are not limited to tooth brushes, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, deodorant, dish soap, laundry detergent, tissues, sanitary products, razors, shaving cream, soaps, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, hair brushes, combs, hair ties, adult diapers, diapers and wipes.

“We recognized that we have a food pantry in Le Roy and I know there are places in Batavia and around, but there was no place for people to get the other essential items,” said Mother Teresa Outreach Coordinator Patty Fernaays.

The program is funded through community donations, monetary donations from Our Lady of Mercy Parish Center parishioners, and grant funding through the Vic Blood Foundation.

Vic Blood was a prominent businessman from Le Roy. His intention – and the intention of the Foundation – is to enhance the quality of life for the residents in the town and village of Le Roy.

The Outreach program is co-coordinated by Fernaays and Maureen Calmes.

“Anyone is eligible. The only thing that we keep track of is where they are from and how they learned about us,” said Fernaays.

Program coordinators reach out to the community annually to inform those in need about upcoming events through the use of flyers, local newspapers, backpack programs including those in Le Roy, Bergen, and Batavia, and Facebook.

“During COVID we were not doing it. In the fall, we changed the way we host it. We used to have people come to the event, walk through the tables, and take what they needed. Now, everything is pre-bagged and placed in their trunk during a drive-thru,” said Fernaays.

The program has a team of people who do all the shopping and keep an inventory. Serving between 40 to 100 families at past events, Mother Teresa Outreach is prepared to help and ensure each event runs smoothly. In the event of an emergency, those in need are encouraged to reach out to the Parish Center for help.

“Whatever they need. We do have people that have reached out and we’re ready to help them,” said Fernaays.

Monetary donations can be mailed to or dropped off at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Center, 44 lake St., LeRoy.

“We could not do this without all of our volunteers. It’s a lot of work to get everything out and put on tables. We’re so thankful for our volunteers that come and help us out and we’re also thankful for the monetary gifts we receive,” said Fernaays. “The people that come through are very grateful. We know that we are really helping a need.”

Mother Teresa Outreach is open to those in need from noon to 2 p.m. four Saturdays per year.

Local families in need are invited to the drive-thru event, scheduled for late September, during which a volunteer will place a bag of essential living items in the trunk of each car.

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you,” said Fernaays, as she spoke about the group’s motto.

Mother Teresa Outreach

  • WHAT: The organization provides non-food essential items to those in the community who need assistance. Items include, but are not limited to tooth brushes, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, deodorant, dish soap, laundry detergent, tissues, sanitary products, razors, shaving cream, soaps, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, hair brushes, combs, hair ties, adult diapers, diapers and wipes.
  • WHERE: Based at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Center, 44 Lake St., Le Roy.
  • FOR INFORMATION: Call (585) 768-6543, or go to https://www.ourladyofmercyleroy.org/ or Follow on Facebook at @OurLadyOfMercyStBrigidParish.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1