Category Archives: Service Opportunities

Service Project for Saturday

We have a service project planned for this Saturday 10/19 at St Mary’s in which we will assist 2 parishioners with some gardening tasks at church. We will meet at church on Saturday and the project usually lasts about 2 hours at the most. Time as of now is either to start at 10 or 12 noon. As soon as I know the start time, I will send that out. If you have questions or interested, please contact


Cleanup Service Project

We are planning on a service project coming up on Saturday, October 19th, in the afternoon. The service project is cleaning up/gardening at St. Mary of the Assumption Church. We usually do this project in the early afternoon and work for about an hour or two. Currently, the exact time we would be cleaning is not set; it will depend on whether there is a wedding at the  Church that day. Please contact Elizabeth Ryan ( if you are interested in participating or if you have questions.

April Meeting Summary: Tom Shea

Tom Shea

A few years ago, Tom Shea had a difficult choice to make.  When his first career selling building materials came to an end after the market crash in 2008, Shea had to figure out his next step.  He received tempting job offers from a few nonprofits, but few of them really offered an opportunity to work with people one-on-one.  In the end, Shea chose to be the director of external affairs at the Mary Campbell Center, a loving home and residence for children and adults with disabilities.  “If you can find something where you can bring your heart to your job, and engage other people’s hearts, it’s very rewarding,” he said.

The Mary Campbell Center was founded in 1976 with the goal of providing a home-like atmosphere and a supportive community for people with disabilities.  Currently, the center houses 67 residents of all ages and circumstances.  In addition to providing a variety of therapeutic and education services for their residents, the Center also hosts a Children and Youth program and a respite program for individuals with special needs.  “It’s a remarkable place,” said Shea.

One important lesson that Shea has learned from working at the Center is that “there is no limit to what anyone can do or achieve.” Despite a number of odds, many people with disabilities are able to accomplish amazing feats.  From completing marathons to flying a helicopter, residents at the MCC have achieved difficult goals.  However, even small victories are something to celebrate.  “To see someone who’s never put their face in water because they’re afraid, to watching them swim to the bottom of a pool on their own…it’s allowed me to appreciated the potential that everyone has, regardless of their ability,” said Shea.

Regardless of your strengths or limitations, Shea feels that it’s a matter of your attitude and your environment.  When a person is surrounded by compassion and encouragement, they become more willing to challenge themselves and take risks.  The staff at the MCC “bring a joy and a presence to the residents every day,” said Shea.  Conversely, working with the residents has taught Shea to see grace in every person that he meets.  “I never used to feel that the person bagging my groceries mattered,” he said.  “But now, they make my day.  And I make their day.”

Want to learn more about volunteering at the Mary Campbell Center?  There are plenty of opportunities to lend a hand, either behind-the-scenes or hands on. Please contact MCC’s volunteer coordinator, Sean Chandler: (

To view more photos from our Speaker & Supper event, visit our Flickr page here.

November Supper & Speaker

After a brief hiatus due to the weather, SMYPP Supper & Speaker will be back up and running on Sunday, November 18th, from 4 pm to 7 pm.  This month, our speaker will be Meg Kilmer, who will be focusing on the topic of New Evangelization, a charge from the Pope to Catholics to spread the Good News.

In addition to our usual activities, we will also have a Christmas Giving Tree.  Members are encouraged to take a tag and buy a gift for a child/person in need. Gifts are due to St. Mary’s on Saturday December 15th. We ask that the gifts be wrapped.

We will also be discussing our second annual Christmas Party, which will take place on Sunday, December 16th at the Elizabeth House in Wilmington.  This year, we will be using a potluck format, so we will have a sign up sheet at the meeting for members to bring food or beverages.  Help us make this year’s celebration a success!

Fall Service Projects Update

This fall, SMYPP has two main service projects to give members the opportunity to give back to their community and help others in need. This Saturday (11/10), SMYPP will be traveling to Philadelphia for a day of service at the St. Vincent de Paul Center. We will plan on carpooling and leaving around 8:00 AM from Wilmington and/or Hockessin. We will participate in habitat-type work (ie, general house repair) and will visit with the retired priests and brothers. We may possibly tour a Miraculous Medal Shrine located at the site  Breakfast and lunch will be provided. We should be back in Delaware by 4:00. Please contact Liz ( to RSVP-so we can organize carpools or if you have any questions.
Could you imagine a Thanksgiving with no food? Neither could we. SMYPP is sponsoring a family for St. Mary’s Thanksgiving Drive. Please consider donating to this worthy cause. Items must be delivered to St. Mary’s on Tuesday, November 13th. If you cannot make it to St. Mary’s on that day, you may also deliver them to Lottie, in Wilmington, anytime prior to the 13th.  We will need the following:

3 Turkeys
6 boxes of stuffing
6 large jars of turkey gravy
9 cans of string beans
6 cans Cranberry sauce
3 large boxes instant mashed potatoes
3 dozen eggs
3 1-pound butter
3 large cans of juice
3 packages of rolls
3 cakes
3 pies
9 cans of, or bagged fruit

Please e-mail Lottie ( if you are interested in participating. Be sure to include which item(s) and how many (of each) you will bring. If you do not have time to shop, monetary donations are also accepted.

Upcoming Service Projects With SMYPP

Service Project #1

On Saturday, October 27th, SMYPP will help with fall cleanup at St. Mary the Assumption Church. We will meet at Church at 1 pm and clean up until approximately 4 or 4:30 pm (prior to everyone arriving for 5 pm Mass). If anyone has gardening tools at home, please bring them with you.   Let us show St. Mary’s how appreciative we are for their support of our group by helping them maintain the grounds around the church!

Service Project #2

On Saturday, November 10th, SMYPP will be traveling to Philadelphia for a day of service at the St. Vincent de Paul Center. We will plan on leaving around 7:30 am so we will arrive at the center to start our day of service at 9 am. Some of the activities may include habitat type of work and visiting with the retired priests and brothers. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the center. We will plan on leaving Philadelphia around 3 pm.  After we finish, we will have an activity (bowling, a movie, or dinner maybe) for those who are interested.

Since we will be traveling to Philadelphia and unsure of the parking situation at the center, we will probably plan on organizing carpools possibly from UD, St. Mary’s, and Wilmington. If you are planning on attending the day of service, please RSVP to Elizabeth Ryan ( by October 20th since she needs to provide an approximate number of attendees to the center.

Blue Gold Bingo Night at Padua Academy

Our very own Ms. Anna Muto (Chemistry teacher at Padua) has invited us to attend Blue Gold Bingo Night at Padua Academy on Friday, March 2 at 5:30 pm.  Tickets are $10, which includes 5 bingo cards, 3 raffle tickets, one food item and one drink.  Proceeds benefit the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens (DFRC), a local nonprofit that specializes in raising both money and awareness for programs that assist those with intellectual disabilities.

If you know in advance that you would like to come, please email Claudia Coons so she can save space at a table. If you decide at the last minute, you are more than welcome to come as well.

March for Life With SMYPP

On Monday, January 23rd, the St. Mary’s Young Professionals Project will join with St. Mary of the Assumption Parish to travel to the March for Life in Washington, DC.

We will attend 8:30 am Mass at St. Mary of the Assumption, then depart from St. Mary’s at 9:30 am. We will return to St. Mary’s at 8:00 pm.

The cost is $25/person or $5/student.

If you are interested in joining us, please email Thomas Bounds ( by no later than Saturday, January 14th.

SMYPP Joins the St. Mary’s Youth Group in Leaf Raking

On Saturday, November 12th, members of the St. Mary’s Young Professionals Project: Claudia, Martha, and Tom, teamed up with the St. Mary’s Youth Group to rake leaves for elderly St. Mary’s parishioners. Afterwards, everyone headed to the DeGennaro’s home, where a campfire and s’mores were enjoyed by all.  To see more photos, visit our Flickr account here.

SMYPP intends to team up with St. Mary’s Youth Group again soon. Be on the look-out for future gatherings and, if you have any ideas or suggestions, please let us know!

November Meeting Annoucement and Seaman Center Donations

St. Mary’s Young Professionals Project (SMYPP) will be holding our monthly meeting this Sunday, Nov. 20 at St. Mary’s of the Assumption in Hockessin. Cocktails and socializing will begin at 4:00 followed by dinner and guest remarks from our speaker, Shana Maguire, Director of Admissions for Padua Academy. We’ll conclude the evening by 7:00 with desserts and further discussion.

Also, for this meeting, we will be collecting items for the Seaman’s Center’s Christmas at Sea program for sailors who will be arriving in Delaware during the month of December. If you would like to bring something to help these people enjoy Christmas, please find a list of needed items here:

  • Knitted hat and scarf
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Shampoo
  • Chapstick
  • Deodorant
  • Razors
  • Comb
  • Playing cards
  • Cough drops
  • Sewing kit
  • Soap
  • Warm socks
  • Hand lotion
  • Candy
  • Stationery and pens
  • Warm gloves