By Michael Turnbell
When we share the mission of Food For The Poor and the plight of families in desperate need, we never know who may be listening or whose heart may be moved.
Longtime FFTP speaker Fr. Tony Palazzolo had one such experience in September at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Cropwell, Ala.
Each weekend, members of the charity’s Speakers Bureau – Catholic and Episcopal priests and Lutheran pastors – travel to churches around the United States, sharing the charity’s mission.
Following the last Mass that Sunday in Alabama, a man came up to Fr. Tony and gave him his contact information with a simple request: He asked Fr. Tony to call him in one month and tell him the amount raised by the parish for FFTP. He pledged to match that total.
The parish raised more than $3,000 for Haiti. The parishioner rounded that up and sent a check for $5,000, which was matched by another FFTP donor, resulting in a total gift of $10,000.
The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was touched by Fr. Tony’s talk and his passion for serving poverty-stricken children and families.
Looking back on his own life, the donor said he’s been successful and received many blessings and wanted to do something to help others.
“There are many poor countries around the world, even in our own hemisphere, and they need our help,” he said.
Fr. Tony said every one of us is a part of a global village, where just one person can positively impact the lives of many others in very real and meaningful ways.
“You never know what is going to happen when a certain assignment is given,” Fr. Tony said. “There is a definite reason why I was sent to that parish that weekend. It may be that I was meant to assist someone in confession. Or that someone needed to hear what I was going to speak about. Or it could be someone I met on the airplane. There is always a reason.”