Blessed
Bloomers XVI

The Steven
McDonald
Project

ONGOING
PROJECTS:

3 O'clock Coffee

Prayer Bears

Jubilee Scholarship

Blessed
Bloomers For Babies

Tiny Treasures

Sharing the Message

Lancaster Hometown
PROJECTS:

Mychal's Bread

 

PROJECT
GUIDELINES

 

 

The basic needs of the homeless and poor present themselves to us as we strive to walk in Father Mychal's footsteps.  Each project is inspired by a specific need - a cold woman on the street, a man with no shoes, a baby three days in the same diaper, or a man with a can of food with no way to open it.  We attempt to meet those basic needs while restoring dignity with love.  And each time we do, a new project is born!

Through the generosity and love of donors from across the country and around the world, Mychal's Message has collected and distributed over 200,000 new items to the homeless and poor - items such as diapers, toothpaste, socks, underwear, hats, gloves, blankets, winter coats, teddy bears, sneakers, pencils, rosaries, bananas, baby formula, pillows, towels, umbrellas, soap and one can opener!  A complete list of items distributed can be found here

These items have been distributed in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Florida, Oklahoma and Iraq.  Donors have come from across the US and around the world.  Through our projects, we have seen - and we believe - that one person can make a difference.
 

Blessed Bloomers XVI
dedicated to Patti Ann McDonald
through December 2017

Mychal’s Message began with one pair of socks and a 12-year old’s idea to collect them in lieu of gifts as she celebrated the anniversary of her liver transplant in 2002. As the socks were distributed to the homeless that cold February day, it was a man, with a little round face, who leaned in to ask, “You don’t happen to have any underwear, do you?” Blessed Bloomers was born.

For most of us, our dresser drawers are filled with socks and underwear, but for the homeless and poor who live in shelters and on city streets, most have only what they are wearing. Imagine what it must be like not to have a clean pair of underwear or socks to put on. This is the reality that these men and women live with each day.

This year’s project is named in honor of Patti Ann McDonald, the recent widow of NYPD Det. Steven McDonald. She and Steven were married on November 9, 1985, just eight months before the terrible shooting in Central Park that left Steven paralyzed and in a wheelchair from July 12, 1986 until the day he died on January 10, 2017. Much has been attributed to Steven’s survival over the almost 31 years he lived after that shooting, but it was Patti Ann’s devout faith, unconditional love for her husband, and her commitment to him that enabled Steven to experience such a well-lived life.
In the words of Conor, Steven and Patti Ann’s only son, who spoke at Steven’s eulogy, “My dad’s rock was the most beautiful, most loyal bride, my mother, Patti Ann. Their marriage was true love. My dad once told me that during the incident in Central Park, his thoughts were all about Mom. He knew he had to fight to see her again, and fight he did. My parents created the most phenomenal life out of such darkness. It was due to their unmatched unconditional devotion and love for each other which I witnessed since the beginning of my life.” Steven and Patti Ann chose to “light one candle” rather “than to curse the darkness” (The Christophers’ motto).

And so, we dedicate this—our sixteenth Blessed Bloomers collection—to Patti Ann McDonald who continues to inspire those around her. Mychal’s Message will collect and purchase new T-shirts, socks and underwear for the men and women who need them most.

How You Can Help:
Your tax-deductible donation of $9.11 will provide a package of Blessed Bloomers. Each package will contain one boxer and one brief, one T-shirt, two pairs of socks, and two mints and a prayer card.

Online donations are accepted through Network for Good. Please click the link below and specify "Bloomers 16" in the "Designation" line on the Network for Good website.


You may also choose to make a donation by check. Please send your donations to:

Mychal's Message
P.O. Box 6404
Lancaster, PA  17607
 

 

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The Steven McDonald Project
Shannon’s Anniversary Project
through September 2017

In the springtime, nature surrounds us with life and beauty. Color abounds. Fragrance fills the air. It’s special to feel the sun on your face. The less fortunate are busy surviving each day. Their world is filled with the stress and strife of finding fundamental necessities—food, shelter and safety. In an effort to help these men and women feel special, to feel loved and at peace, to feel warmth and comfort when they find a place to rest, Mychal’s Message has embarked on a project like no other before. It will take very little for us to help these men and women feel special.

Recently, we were blessed to meet Crystal. Crystal was lying face down on a cement sidewalk in New York City. We were fairly certain she didn’t feel special that day, but to us she was special. She especially changed some of our messengers that day. She was seen with love. Mychal’s Message purchased a soft clean white pillow and put it under her head that day in September. It was like fresh spring air, like a blooming daffodil. Crystal smiled. She thanked us. And then she offered us in return the only thing she had—an orange. It was a special moment.

In this new project, Mychal’s Message will purchase solar foam ridged mats for the homeless and poor to be given in September when spring and summer are gone and the nights get cool. The mats—warm, comfortable and lightweight (a little over 1 pound each) have “a heat reflecting solar surface with heat trapping valleys,” using the body’s own heat to keep the mat and the person using it warm. They are rated as one of the most comfortable sleeping mats on the market.

This project, named in honor of NYPD Steven McDonald will honor his memory by sharing Steven’s message of love with others. On a card Steven distributed during his many visits to others, he shared a message entitled “You Are Very Special.” That message will be tucked inside each one of the sleeping mats. Steven was a dear friend of Father Mychal Judge and a longtime supporter of Mychal’s Message. Therefore, the mats will be distributed on the morning of the Walk of Remembrance this year, the Walk founded by Steven in honor of Fr. Mychal, always held the Sunday before 9/11—held this year on September 10, 2017.

How You Can Help:
Your tax-deductible donation of $25.00 will provide a solar foam ridged sleeping mat and the message Steven shared with others, “You Are Very Special” printed on a card with the Prayer of St. Francis on the back.

Online donations are accepted through Network for Good. Please click the link below and specify "Steven McDonald Project" in the "Designation" line on the Network for Good website.


You may also choose to make a donation by check. Please send your donations to:

Mychal's Message
P.O. Box 6404
Lancaster, PA  17607
 

 

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Ongoing Projects

3 O'clock Coffee
Dedicated to the tradition and memory of Uncle Lee Pointer

It’s 3 o’clock somewhere! Coffee drinkers understand the need for our 3 o’clock coffee boost. Sometime around 2:00 or 2:30, we start to feel the need for that dark hot 8 oz. cup of black nectar. Some cups are sweet, some are creamy. Some like it strong and black. Some like Columbian. Some like de-caf, Some like perk, drip or press. When the smell of brewing coffee makes its way to our senses, we feel warm all over.

This project is dedicated to our own Uncle Lee who was an avid supporter of us and our work with Mychal’s Message. For Uncle Lee, everything stopped at 3 o’clock for his coffee break. His had to be hot and always freshly brewed. We recently brought about 40 pounds of coffee to Saint Francis Inn in Philadelphia, PA, a place near and dear to Uncle Lee’s heart. The coffee shelf below the kitchen was empty. No coffee for the guests. No warm, hot, sweet or creamy cup for them. So, this empty shelf has inspired us to this new and ongoing 3 o’clock coffee project.

How You Can Help:
Your tax-deductible $10 donation will provide a 3 pound can of coffee that will allow half of the 400 guests at St. Francis Inn to have a cup of coffee. Your tax-deductible $20 donation will provide enough coffee for all 400 guests at the Inn to have a cup. Please, as you pour your coffee today and have cream or sugar to make it ‘just right’ for you, won’t you help us provide coffee to the men and women at St. Francis Inn? Help us to give them the comfort and love that the Franciscans put into every cup they serve.

You may also send containers of unopened ground coffee.

Online donations are accepted through Network for Good. Please click the link below and specify "Uncle Lee" in the "Designation" line on the Network for Good website.


You may also choose to make a donation by check. Please send your donations to:

Mychal's Message
P.O. Box 6404
Lancaster, PA  17607
 

 

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Prayer Bears

Because Fr. Mychal knew the important task of a Teddy Bear
February 2005 - ongoing

Decsription:  When the Teddy Bear project first came to us, we had no idea that it was something our dear Father Mychal had already planted in our souls.  Soon after 9-11, a
Pennsylvania woman began sewing teddy bears.  After placing one of our prayer cards with each one, she gave them away to homeless children living in shelters.  As our own friend and artist, Scott, was working on illustrations for a children's book last year (coming soon!), he painted a picture of Father Mychal with a man suffering from AIDS.  He was given a reference photo to work from, and then painted Father Mychal handing the sick man a teddy bear.  As Scott painted, he had no idea the story behind the teddy bear.  (Father Mychal used to order them in bulk quantities to give away to those suffering from AIDS.  He wanted them to have something to clutch when they had nothing or no one to hold on to.)  Weeks later, Shannon received a special gift from someone on our mailing list - a handmade teddy bear - to thank her for all the work she had done with the homeless.  Soon thereafter, another woman got involved and began sewing teddy bears as well.  As time passed, more women got involved and began purchasing them.  Some women even hand-knitted little hats and scarves to put on their bears.  Teddy bears were given away to children living in shelters in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.  Because Father Mychal believed how important the task of a teddy bear was, so then do we. 

(photo) Every child needs a teddy bear.
Shannon with a teddy bear on her  2nd birthday -- a day the doctors said she would never live to see.
 

Objective:  With your help, we will give teddy bears to homeless children living in shelters throughout the year.  In this project, we will collect new (store-bought or hand-made) teddy bears.  One of our prayer cards containing Fr. Mychal's prayer will be attached to each bear, making it a "prayer bear."  It is our hope that the words, "Lord take me where you want me to go" printed on each prayer card will help the bears get to where the Lord (and Fr. Mychal) wants them to go.

 

How You Can Help: 

Donate Bears!
Send your teddy bear (bears can be hand-made or store-bought and may be any size, color or fabric)  to:

 

Mychal's Message
P.O. Box 6404
Lancaster, PA  17607
 

 

Donate Funds
If you'd prefer, you can also donate funds to be used for this project. Donations are accepted through Network for Good. Please click the link below and specify "for Prayer Bears project" in the "Designation" line on the Network for Good website.

Results to Date: As of January 2009, over 1,100 teddy bears have made their way to our mailbox.  They have been distributed to homeless children living in Lancaster, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, NYC, and impoverished AIDS victims and their children at Francis House in Camden, NJ.

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Father Cassian A. Miles, OFM, Jubilee Scholarship Fund
Combining Faith with Education
Ongoing

On February 25, 1961 good friends Cassian A. Miles, OFM and Mychal F. Judge, OFM were ordained alongside other friars into the priesthood at the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery in Washington, DC. To mark the 50th anniversary of that day, Mychal's Message is pleased to announce the Father Cassian A. Miles, OFM, Jubilee Scholarship Fund.

Father Cassian was born Francis Augustine Miles in Weekhawkin, NJ. He entered St. Joseph's Seminary in Callicoon, NY in 1951, was first professed as a friar in 1955, and entered the Order of Friars Minor in 1958. With an early interest in journalism, it's no surprise that Father Cassian then served the Holy Name Province Communications Office for 35 years, providing editorial direction for the award-wining The Anthonian magazine for much of that time. His service in the Order of Friars Minor also includes teaching English, Religion, and Adult Education.

It is evident to those who know and love Father Cassian that his steadfast faith and unwavering love of the Eucharist are integral parts of who he is: a daily communicant who has celebrated Holy Mass each day since his ordination, a friar who has dedicated his life to serving God and others, and a priest who has devoted years to parochial ministry.

Father Cassian also shares a passion to educate, evidenced by his early interest in writing, years spent teaching, his work with the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Program, and endless hours spent proofreading and editing the works of others.

Mychal's Message is pleased to mark this 50th jubilee anniversary to the priesthood by combining the gifts of faith and education of Father Cassian A. Miles. With your help, the Father Cassian A. Miles, OFM, Jubilee Scholarship will be awarded annually to help provide a Catholic education to a student in need.

How You Can Help: 

Donate Funds
Your tax-deductible donation will help fund a portion of a Catholic school education for a child in need. All donations will be gratefully accepted and donor cards will be supplied for donations made in memory or in honor of someone.

Online donations are accepted through Network for Good. Please click the link below and specify "Scholarship Fund" in the "Designation" line on the Network for Good website.



You may also choose to make a donation by check. Please send your donations to:

 

Mychal's Message
P.O. Box 6404
Lancaster, PA  17607
 

 

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Blessed Bloomers for Babies
January 2002 - ongoing

Description: Through a conversation with Fr. Michael Duffy of St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, PA when we were distributing socks, we learned that one of the greatest needs among homeless families is diapers. Imagine a child having to go sometimes 3 days with no diaper change. For some homeless mothers and fathers who can't afford diapers, this is the reality.

Objective: With your help, we plan to collect and deliver disposable diapers to shelters and centers serving homeless mothers, fathers, and children, so that all children will have dry, clean diapers.

How you can help:

Donate Bloomers
Please send your donations of disposable diapers:

Mychal's Message
PO Box 6404
Lancaster, PA  17607

Donate Funds
If you'd prefer, you can also donate funds to be used for this project. Donations are accepted through Network for Good. Please click the link below and specify "for Blessed Bloomers for Babies project" in the "Designation" line on the Network for Good website.

Results to date: With the help of St. Leo the Great Church's Armata Bianca (a children's rosary group) and members from Steadfast (a contemporary music group), more than 15,000 diapers were collected in the first few months of this project (2002). Among the first to receive the diaper donations were Mom's House in Lancaster, PA and St. Francis of Assisi Church in Long Beach Island, NJ. Additional diapers were delivered to the Interfaith Shelter in Harrisburg, PA (run by Catholic Charities); Project Rainbow in Philadelphia, PA (run by Sisters of the Holy Redeemer); Fox House (run by Sisters of Charity), South Bronx Pregnancy Centers (supported by Father Benedict Groeschel) in New York City, and the Mother Seton Outreach Program in Emmitsburg, MD.  As of January 2006, more than  17,500 diapers have been collected and distributed.  During 2005, a generous family donated $25 each month for the purchase of diapers for babies in need.  On September 17, 2005, 15 cases of diapers were packaged as “Blessed Bloomers for Babies” and given to St. Francis Inn, Kensington, Philadelphia, PA.

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Tiny Treasures
February 2003 - ongoing

Description:  Mother Theresa once said, “Do small things with great love.”  In this project, we will collect “small things” - personal-size toiletries - and distribute them to the homeless. 

Many homeless men and women have no soap or shampoo when showering at the shelters.  They are grateful for the clean water, but they deserve more - to feel clean and refreshed and good about themselves. Imagine not being able to brush your teeth.  Imagine dry, cracking skin in the cold of Winter without lotion.  We will collect soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, body lotion and other toiletries.  These “small things” will bring “great love” as they are received as “Tiny Treasures” for the homeless.

Objective: “Do small things with great love.”  Collect and distribute “small things” in the form of personal-size toiletries to homeless shelters. We are collecting soap, shampoo conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, powder, deodorant, lotion, or any other toiletries. These “Tiny Treasures” will bring “great love” to the homeless.

How You Can Help:

Donate Treasures
Send your donations of Tiny Treasures to:

Mychal's Message
PO Box 6404
Lancaster, PA  17607

 

Donate Funds
If you'd prefer, you can also donate funds to be used for this project. Donations are accepted through Network for Good. Please click the link below and specify "for Tiny Treasures project" in the "Designation" line on the Network for Good website.

Results to Date:  As of August 2007, more than 13,700 personal size toiletries have been collected and distributed. These “tiny treasures” as we call them are so important to those who are in need of a toothbrush, a shaver, or a can of deodorant.  We have seen how these simple, inexpensive items have literally changed the lives of the homeless and poor.

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Sharing the Message
A project created especially for our donors
Ongoing

Description: Your tax-deductible donations allow us to continue sharing Father Mychal’s message with others – a simple, interdenominational message that has crossed barriers and continents. That message, printed on our prayer cards, T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, CDs and tote bags has reached tens of thousands of men, women and children, allowing them to heed Father Mychal’s words and let the Lord take them where He wants them to go. Visit our Sharing the Message page for additional details.

Objective:  Provide a unique way for YOU to help US share the message: Mychal's Message through clothing and other merchandise.

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Lancaster Hometown Projects


Mychal's Bread

A Lancaster hometown project
Ongoing

Description:  The work we have done in New York City and Philadelphia has made us aware of the homelessness right in our own community.

Objective:  In this project, Mychal’s Message will use the money raised from local fundraisers (lemonade stands, concession stands, etc.) to bring special meals to our local shelters. 
On May 11, Father Mychal’s birthday, we held our first concession stand at a local elementary school play, where we raised $60.  That money will be used to bring a McDonald’s Night to Crispus Attucks Shelter in Lancaster, PA.  We hope it is the first of many.

How You Can Help:  Since this is a local project, we simply ask for your prayers.  If you would like to hold a concession stand in your town, please contact us for details.

Results to Date: 
February 14, 2009 – Domestic Abuse Shelter, Lancaster, PA. Wrapped gifts of candy, hair accessories and personal care items were given to the Domestic Abuse Shelter as Valentine’s Day gifts for the residents who live there.

January, 2009 – Catholic Worker House, Lancaster, PA. Dozens of men’s and women’s winter coats were provided to Catholic Worker House for distribution to homeless men and women during their week long overnight shelter program.

December 25, 2008 – Crispus Attucks, Lancaster, PA. Residents were treated to muffins, donuts, milk and orange juice on Christmas morning, along with gifts and toys for the children and individually wrapped gifts for the men and women.

December 24, 2008 – The Vineyard, Lancaster, PA. Christmas stockings filled with personal toiletries, socks and gloves were given to the residents at the Vineyard in Lancaster. Several residents who were without a coat also received a warm new winter coat.

October, 2008 – Hands on House, Lancaster, PA. Mychal’s Message provided a day of fun for 100 kindergartners at one of the poorest schools in Lancaster City. Students were transported by bus to the Hands on House Museum in Lancaster where they spent the morning learning, playing and simply having fun.

September, 2008 – Homeless Student Project, Lancaster, PA. Dozens of children’s and teen’s winter coats were provided to the Lancaster Homeless Student Project for distribution to students registered in their program.

December 25, 2007 - Crispus Attucks, Lancaster, PA. Residents were treated to muffins, donuts, milk and orange juice on Christmas morning, along with gifts and toys for the children, and candy bars and McDonald's gift certificates for the adults.

May 1, 2007 - Crispus Attucks, Lancaster, PA. Residents at the shelter were treated to sausage and meatball sandwiches, candy bars, cookies and muffins.

December 25, 2006 - Crispus Attucks, Lancaster, PA. Residents were treated to muffins, donuts, milk and orange juice on Christmas morning, along with gifts and toys for the children as well as gifts for the adults.

December 25, 2005, Crispus Attucks, Lancaster, PA.  At 7:00 a.m. on Christmas morning, $200 worth of new children’s clothing and $350 worth of wrapped Christmas toys were delivered along with 40 $5 McDonald’s Gift Certificates and candy bars to shelter residents for Christmas.   4 dozen donuts, 1 dozen muffins and orange juice was also delivered for breakfast on Christmas morning.  “Clarise,” a mom of 4 children explained how she lost her apartment the day before due to a fire.  She had no money and nowhere to go.  It was difficult explaining to her 8 and 10 year old sons that they would be in a shelter for Christmas  We told her that Santa didn’t forget those children, and God certainly hadn’t forgotten her.  The boys received remote control cars and a game and her 2 small daughters received dolls in strollers.  Through the generosity of Mikie Madden’s mother (“Mikie’s Gift,” December 2004), Clarise also received a $100 Walmart gift card.  “Without Mychal’s Message,“ a resident told us, “those children would have had nothing to open on Christmas morning.“  Two other children at the shelter received gifts as well. 

December 14, 2005, Crispus Attucks, Lancaster, PA.  A Pizza night was held through the generosity of funds raised by the 8th Grade Class of St. Leo the Great, Lancaster, PA.  Approximately 35 men, women and children enjoyed pepperoni and cheese pizzas, soda, homemade cookies and candy canes.  And blonde-haired, fair skinned 18 month old “Hailley” was all smiles as she enjoyed her cheese pizza and candy cane that night. 

August 2, 2005, Crispus Attucks, Lancaster, PA.  A McDonald’s night was held where approximately 50 men, women and children all enjoyed Big Macs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, McChicken sandwiches, French fries, salads, and even McDonald’s cookies.  Everyone was grateful, and one guest told us, “It is so nice to feel full.”  A little girl called “Peaches” was celebrating her 2nd birthday that night, and we were especially grateful to be a small part of it. 

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Mychal's Message logo and all graphic design graciously donated by M. Scott Oatman Graphic Design and Illustration.  Website development and maintenance donated by UtterClarity.
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Mychal's Message, Inc. is registered as a charitable organization with the Department of State's Bureau of Charitable Organizations under the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, 10 P.S. Section 16.2 et seq., and is authorized to solicit charitable contributions under the conditions and limitations set forth under the Act.  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Bureau of Charitable Organizations