Last month I received an urgent SOS call from the director of our largest Marist Brothers’ retirement facility. Their 40-year old stove had finally quit! For some time, it had been limping along. Only two of four burners worked and only one of the two ovens heated up. Now both ovens where out cold. Kaput!
What could I do? I had to replace the stove quickly. Many of our elderly and disabled Brothers are on special medical diets due to diabetes, heart conditions, or kidney disease – and to prepare physician-ordered meals, the facility cook needs a working oven!
I had to get cooking and find a new stove fast. And since this retirement facility houses 22 elderly and disabled Brothers—which means 66 square meals a day—a standard range would lack sufficient cooking power! So I price shopped and found a commercial-grade, 6-burner, 2-oven stove on sale. Even on sale, though, the price came to $7,899!
Hot on the heels of that purchase came another bill—$1,800 to bring the facility’s gas line up to code. The original gas line was dangerously undersized for the new range, and no one would install the new stove unless we first updated the gas line.
That brings the grand total to $9,699 – thousands of unbudgeted dollars that I do not have. I know that may sound like a lot of money for a stove, but you must remember…this appliance is on the job from sunup to sundown. It’s the best possible price for a stove that serves our Brothers’ daily needs and can withstand the test of time.
I urgently need your financial support—and as soon as possible!
Making matters worse, the Brothers are devastated about the cost for this emergency purchase. With Christmas right around the corner, I worry that their distress will dampen the season’s spirit. Our elderly and disabled Brothers look forward with such joy to the celebration of Our Savior’s birth.
To hopefully lift the mood, I declared the new range a special early Christmas gift. But the Brothers are too smart! They know the $9,699 expense puts us in dire financial straits.
Your Christmas donation to help cover the new stove’s cost is the only way to give the Brothers’ peace of mind and pull us out of financial crisis mode.
Because I believe in my heart that you will help us, I’m sending you a thank you gift—a small but meaningful token of my gratitude for your generosity and kindness. As you read the prayer card in celebration of the birth of Christ, I hope the words inspire you to remember the true Christmas spirit—giving to those less fortunate, remembering those who need our help, and nurturing life in those dear to us.
In this Christmas spirit, I ask you to remember our elderly and disabled Marist Brothers this season, for your donation will mean the world to them. While they understand that a new kitchen stove was absolutely necessary, they feel terrible about the cost. With your help, we can pay off the $9,699 and make this a very Merry Christmas for our Brothers.
Remember, whatever amount you can afford counts. It’s a lot like the nickel I tucked in with my letter. Don’t think of it as 5¢. Instead, imagine how little by little, bit by bit, nickels add up—just as every donation adds up. If everyone in our Marist Family sends what they can, soon enough we’ll have the $9,699.
Just as you are here for our elderly and disabled Brothers, they are here for you, too. Please take a moment to write your prayer intentions on the enclosed response slip and send it back to me along with your donation. If you send everything right away, the Brothers and I will be able to include your special intentions in our Christmas Novena. This is something we look forward to doing for you.
In closing, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind generosity. I can’t wait to hear from you! And in the meantime, I send my warmest heartfelt wish that your Christmas is filled with great joy and peace. May God bless you for caring so deeply about our Marist Brothers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Br. Hugh P. Turley, F.M.S.
Director of Development