Last weekend, after months of preparation (on the Sisters’ and Katie’s part mostly) we held our very first, and incredibly successful, Taste of St. Cloud fundraiser.  The deal is we get multiple restaurants, bakeries, gyms, yak farmers, etc. to donate goods so that we can invite people to donate money to the program while they enjoy said contributions from the community. We had nearly 500 guests attend, about twice as many as we’d anticipated from the start, all squeezed into a venue that comfortable seated only 300. Nice. But there was plenty of insanely good food, a silent auction & our faces plastered all over the wall, aka lots to enjoy!  There was a ton of mingling on our part so that people could get a deeper scope of what they were supporting.  Even though all of us are sincere introverts and are naturally uncomfortable in these types of situations, we all got our fair share of encouragement and ridiculously delectable Cold Spring Bakery cupcakes,  so it all evened out.  Most who were there seemed incredibly happy as well (though it very well may have been the sugar rush from those cupcakes).

For all of us volunteers though, hardly anyone from our work sites supported us.  I don’t think it was from a lack of advertisement either, as I made sure all of my coworkers knew about it through word of mouth, fliers, even by sending out an email against company policy (by mistake of course).  My supervisor did come, and I was really grateful to see her there, but no one else… and since she bought her ticket through the Sisters, I ended up selling zilch.  I was perplexed when others kept avoiding my invites, most of them ignoring the fundraiser entirely.  Before this past weekend, I always felt that my being there was kind of a big deal, which says a lot about my ego, I know.  It took a bruising through the whole ordeal, and I walked into the Coyote Moon Grille on Sunday feeling like my coworkers didn’t respect me or didn’t really consider me a viable component to their team.  Then of course, came the creeping doubts I sometimes have about the incongruity of my placement, of my general uselessness and all the failures I have there that my coworkers undoubtedly witness.  I wondered, do they really see the FCV program as a beneficial part of their lives?  Do they simply see me as some temporary, annoying fixture that they don’t give a second thought to?  If that’s the case, it would make sense that the only people who are in such big support of us are those who have actually never seen us stumbling and failing at our placement sites and who only look at us as saints who are serving the poor and marginalized.  Right?  Why would my coworkers support the program if they know it just means having another inconsequential, full-time addition next year?  These are the stupid things I think about.

Anyway there are substantially nicer things to occupy my mind right now, like how undeniably cute this group shot is.  We hopped on a few golf carts at the Grille where our fundraiser was held (which was – surprise! – located in the middle of a golf course) and took a group shot, which we’ve never had before, at least none so charming.

FCV group shot

We, without permission I believe, hopped on these carts for a really sweet photo of the whole group in our dazzling green tees. This is definitely a favorite.

We are all a good bunch and I love sharing my life with the Sisters – I will miss them terribly when we’re gone, so I need to be sure to soak up my time with them over the next two months.  I will always appreciate these ladies, each of them uniquely, mostly for their quirks or flaws than the righteousness you’d come to expect from religious women.