White Sox Skipper, Volunteers Share Thanksgiving with Mercy Home Family
The boys and girls of Mercy Home recently gathered to express their gratitude and break bread at our annual Thanksgiving feast. Members of the Chicago White Sox organization, including team manager Rick Renteria and his wife Ilene, along with Blue Plate Catering made the night extra special with their volunteer efforts, inspiring words, and delicious food.
Father Scott Donahue kicked off the evening with his own words of gratitude, before leading everybody in prayer.
“We thank you, Lord, for the gifts that you have bestowed up each of us, simply as gifts. Gifts not to be held onto, but gifts to share with others,” he said. “We do thank you tonight for the generosity of others, who make this mission of Mercy Home, for over 133 years, possible.
Next, several of our young people stood to talk about gratitude and Mercy Home’s second annual Love Chicago campaign, a project that challenges our kids and coworkers to complete random acts of kindness during the month of November within the Mercy Home community or Chicago community at large. So far, our youth have made care packages for the homeless, cooked meals at a shelter, and written letters to veterans and sick kids in the hospital, among other acts of kindness.
“Gratitude is love. When you feel it, you have to give it, or you are just wasting it.[…]When you are so full of love, you have to spread it around. And that is our hope for all of you this Thanksgiving season,” said Deandre, a young man in Daley Home. “We hope you can reflect on what you have with gratitude and love. We hope you can share what you have with others. Happy Thanksgiving.”
As everyone passed around plates of delicious turkey and all the fixings, Father Scott stood up to recognize the Renterias, who flew in from California specifically for our Thanksgiving event.
“We are very, very grateful to you for having us. […]It was very easy and quick to make the decision to come out and be with you. You inspire us,” Rick said.
He added: “Life is structure. Life is discipline. Life is love. And when you put those things together, you got a good chance of sharing that joy with others. And truthfully, at the end of the day, when we’re all filled with joy and serving each other, it’s a great place to be.”
Father Scott also welcomed Chairman of Mercy Home’s Board of Directors, Johanna Rahal, her husband Bobby Rahal, and their two daughters.
As our kids and coworkers passed around desserts, Father Scott shared a story about a former youth, now a successful, well known chef, who recently came in on his day off to volunteer in Mercy Home’s kitchen. Father Scott ran into him and asked him what he was doing.
“He looked at me and said, ‘What I’m doing here is giving back. What I’m doing here is paying it forward.’ Those were his words,” said Father Scott. “That’s the heart of what we’re about at Mercy Home.”
The White Sox Pride Crew then took advantage of everyone’s sugar rush by hyping the crowd with minute-to-win-games and a raffle drawing, featuring prizes such as autographed photos, baseballs, and team apparel. As the night came to an end, each of our kids received a White Sox fleece blanket.
We were honored to have this event featured on the MLB website.