It makes me shiver to even think about last winter, but it’s the only way to introduce an ingenious story. Although how the story ends is up to YOU.
The tale began last January, when snowdrifts outside our large east coast Marist Brothers’ retirement facility were higher than Jack Frost could jump. My elderly and disabled Brothers, each too frail or ill to brave the brutal cold, were housebound, and they were going a little “buggy.”
Maria, the retirement facility’s fulltime nurse came to the rescue by inventing “Monday Movie Matinee.” The Brothers would gather in their community room, armed with buckets of fresh popcorn, and watch a DVD from the local library. Just anticipating these afternoons brought my Brothers as much joy as the event itself!
During a routine visit to the facility, I was invited to stay for an afternoon matinee. Admission was free and the camaraderie priceless, my Brothers promised.
I gladly accepted the invitation, although you cannot imagine my shock when I saw 17 Brothers scrunched around a 32-inch TV from the 1990s. Two Brothers, both suffering serious hearing loss, had their chairs a mere foot from the set. Another Brother, terribly farsighted, was up just as close. As for the TV, it was hidden behind 17 hunched over shoulders…a painful sight to see.
It was agonizing to watch my Brothers crane their necks, twist their backs, and cup their ears. On top of that, Maria was concerned that her patients’ oddly contorted positions would result in pulled and strained muscles. OUCH!
So here we are, nearly a year later, with the autumn trees in full glory. It’s also a sign that winter is right around the corner—along with more snowy indoor days. This year, however, Maria is determined to make “Monday Movie Matinees” more comfortable! But without your help, her “happily ever after” ending is doomed to become just another horror story.
You see, Maria combed the newspaper ads and found a steal of a deal for a new home theater system that includes everything – but at half the usual price. The package includes a flat screen, 60-inch television, surround sound bundle, all the required cables, and even professional wall mount installation with a swivel bracket…so everyone can see the screen!
Normally this sort of system costs at least twice as much, but Maria found a closeout on last year’s models. If I could just squeeze $2,300 from the budget and purchase the system, Maria pleaded, then everyone could sit comfortably, hear every bit of dialogue, and watch the action.
$2,300? Once again…OUCH! Our budget is already tissue paper thin.
It’s impossible for me to come up with $2,300 without your help. So, as you look around your own home, thankful for the modern technology that makes your life more enjoyable, I hope you can find it in your heart to help the Brothers know just a bit of the blessings you have. We desperately need our extended Marist Family to turn on the good will and help me raise $2,300 as soon as possible. Once last year’s models sell out, the savings will disappear.
Even if you can only spare $20, your support will mean so much.
As a gentle reminder to send what you can, I’ve enclosed two nickels—one stands for your generosity and the other represents our deep appreciation for your gift.
When your donation arrives, every Marist Brother will want to thank God for your support. So please write your prayer intentions on the enclosed donation response slip and send the slip along with your gift. I will make sure your intentions are remembered in prayer.
It would be so wonderful to think of my elderly and disabled Brothers all warm and comfy around their new TV system this winter. Your support is vital, though. I hope I can count on you.
God bless you for caring so deeply,
Br. Hugh P. Turley, F.M.S.
Director of Development