In April of 2017 our Board Members and others were studying about the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy during a HeartsAFire book study and decided to come up with a project that reflected the ideas we had been studying. One idea was to form a giving circle that allows us to help people in need through established charitable organizations. We will share the gifts of time, talent, and treasure that we receive from God. We will collectively give our gifts of prayer, service and financial support to a different charity three times a year.
This group is a little different from most giving circles. Jesus took the few loaves and fish in John 6:1-15 and fed thousands. He made it clear that it is the immensity of His power that makes the difference. He can do amazing things when we offer our gifts to Him.
What will God do with the gifts you share as a part of Mercy Calling?
Established April 2017
Mercy Calling is just that, a calling to all men, women and children to show mercy to others in Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hernando Counties in Florida. We choose to serve God and others by providing for those in greatest human need by pooling and awarding our gifts to charities championed by and awarded by our members. All charities under consideration must be in line with the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
Our combined gifts are given to an area charity for a specific purpose with the realization that when we give our gifts to God it is not the size of the gift that matters; it is the immensity of His power that makes the difference. Mercy Calling aims to give the glory to God for His intervention in easing the burden of people in need. Gift pledges are determined by the member and can be financial, prayer and service.
The charitable organization receiving our gift will be chosen by the Mercy Calling membership at its meetings and the financial gift must be used for a specific project that will be outlined to the membership during the presentation. Chosen charities must be a registered 501c3.
Meetings will be held once in January, April and October from 9:00-9:30 am at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 2348 Collier Parkway, Land O Lakes, FL 34639. Please check the website for day and time of meetings. Once you become a member an email or phone call will give you a reminder of the meeting day and time.
Up to three charities will be considered for our gift during each meeting. The charities will be selected by a random drawing of those submitted charitable organizations’ “Fact Sheets” and then the chosen charity champions will make their presentations.
Member Benefits and Responsibilities:
1. Each member will be able to choose one or more of the following commitments: a monetary gift of a suggested amount of $35 or more, prayer for the charitable organization chosen and a commitment of service to the chosen organization at each of the three meetings per calendar year. It is understood that members will continue their commitment each year after that until the member communicates to the Coordinator that he or she no longer wishes to be a member.
2. If a member is unable to attend a meeting, they may give their check to another member who is able to attend the meeting or arrange delivery to the coordinator within a week of the meeting.
3. Every member is given the opportunity to champion a cause at each meeting. Members must be present in order to champion a cause. Once a member has championed a cause that receives funding, that member must wait one year before submitting a cause for consideration again. Moreover, that member must continue to support the causes selected by the organization during that waiting period.
4. The Mercy Calling members randomly selected to champion a cause are given five minutes to make their presentation at the meeting.
5. Mercy Calling members then vote by ballot for the charity they would like to see receive the gifts. Each member is given one vote and must be present to vote. The charity receiving the most votes of those presented will receive the collective gifts with each of the members writing their check out directly to that charity. Members are asked to write their check out to the winning charity, pray for or do service for the winning charity whether or not it’s the one they voted for and even if they have not attended the meeting. Please send your check, prayer commitment form or service commitment to:
Our Lady of the Rosary
Attention: Mercy Calling
2348 Collier Parkway
PO Box 1229
Land O Lakes, FL 34639
6. If a member’s name is drawn to present but that member’s charity is not chosen to receive our gifts, that member will remain eligible to put their name in the drawing again at the next meeting.
7. Any member uncomfortable with public speaking may designate another Mercy Calling member to speak on their behalf. However, members wishing to submit their cause into the drawing must be present.
8. Donations are tax deductible, depending on the IRS status of the charity.
9. Members are encouraged to invite prospective members to any meeting. If the prospective member wishes to make a commitment to the organization, they may vote and contribute at the first meeting as long as they has filled out and signed the Commitment Form.
10. Donations from non-members are welcome.
11. The contract with Mercy Calling is not a legally binding contract.
1. Once selected to receive our gifts, a charity must wait one year before being considered to receive again.
2. National charities will be considered only if the money is specifically designated for use in Pasco and/or Hillsborough County, Florida. The purpose is for 100 percent of the gifts to stay in our designated area.
3. Charities receiving gifts may NOT use Mercy Calling members’ names or information for any reason including selling or giving the names to the public in any way.
4. Charities receiving our gifts are encouraged to send a representative to the subsequent meeting in order to let the members know how the gifts were used and to thank them for their support. Special attention is to be made to watch for the hand of God in the organization once selected. Tax letters must also be sent to the members by the winning charity. No further solicitation of funds is to be done by charities receiving our gifts.
5. Charities “championed” by members are excluded from consideration if they promote controversial practices. All Charities under consideration must be in line with the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching as listed here:
a. Life and Dignity of the Human Person
i. The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia. The value of human life is being threatened by cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of the death penalty.
ii. Catholic teaching also calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.
b. Call to Family, Community, and Participation
i. The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and policy, directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined.
ii. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
c. Rights and Responsibilities
i. The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency.
ii. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities–to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.
d. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
i. A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
e. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
i. The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected–the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.
i. We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world.
ii. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that “if you want peace, work for justice.” The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.
g. Care for God’s Creation
i. We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan; it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.
Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Board Member Elections and Terms:
Founding Board Members: Margie Dickson, Pat Goodrich, Betty Montgomery, Annette Murphy, Beverly Olsheski, Cheryl Hammond, Mary George: Coordinator
Current Board Members are:
Marge Dickson(2017) Pat Goodrich(2017) Betty Montgomery(2017)
Annette Murphy(2017) Vicki Luna(2018) Jean Luker(2018)
Coordinator: Cheryl Hammond(2018)
Our email address is: MercyCalling@ladyrosary.org
1. In February of each year nominees for the two open Board positions will be submitted, by the current membership via email or in writing, to the Coordinator. Each nomination must be accompanied by a one paragraph biographical sketch and a list of reasons why the nominee should be considered for the Board. A member nominating someone for a Board position will contact that nominee in advance to make sure they are willing to serve. There are no limits on the number of three year terms a member can serve, if re-elected, however, there will be a mandatory one year break between each three year term. Nominations will be open between the second Monday in February and the second Monday in March.
2. Elections will take place between the first Monday in April and will conclude at 5:00 pm on that Friday. Election results will be tabulated before the April meeting each year with the winners being notified and prepared to assume their Board position at the October meeting. Meanwhile, those Board members whose terms are up will take leave of their duties at that time. Votes may be cast in writing or via email to the Coordinator.
3. Elections will consist of a ballot of the names of all nominated and willing to serve. Each member will have the right to e-vote for two of the people listed on the ballot. The two members receiving the most votes will be the new class of Board members and will serve for three years.
4. The Coordinator is considered a Board member and will be considered for election every three years. This position does not require the one year break between terms. In years when the Coordinator is up for election, a separate ballot will be emailed to the membership and each member will have the right to e-vote for one person to fill the position. The Coordinator nominee with the most votes will assume the position and serve for three years.
5. If a Board member steps down for any reason, that seat will remain open until the following April when the election will take place. If there is not a clear winner, a drawn straw will decide who fills the vacated seat. EXCEPTION: There is an exception if the Coordinator steps down. If the Coordinator should have to vacate their seat, the remaining Board members will hold email nominations and voting ASAP in an effort to fill the seat PRIOR to the next meeting.
1. The Coordinator must be familiar with the organization’s By-laws and procedures.
2. The Coordinator must have an active email account she checks on a regular basis.
3. The Coordinator will send an email reminder to members 2 weeks prior to each meeting.
4. The Coordinator will preside over the meetings and any Board meetings.
5. The Coordinator will send a follow-up email after meetings to the members summarizing for those who were unable to attend.
6. The Coordinator will collect the members’ checks, record gifts, and maintain records for the organization.
7. The Coordinator will deliver or arrange for pick-up of the members’ checks to the chosen charity as well as review with them the requirements associated with the donation.
8. The Coordinator will arrange to have our website updated.
9. The Coordinator will check with OLOR on a regular basis for mail and checks (when needed).
10. The Coordinator, or another Board member, will be available to promote Mercy Calling by speaking to different groups when the opportunity arises.
11. The Coordinator will arrange for the meeting dates and arrange for the use of the meeting room.
12. The Coordinator will contact the winning charity inviting a representative to the next meeting who can inform the membership how the gifts were used and to extend their thanks to the members for their contribution. The representative will report on the gift of time supplied by Mercy Calling members and answers to prayers they received over the expanse of time since receiving our gift.
1. Board members must have a working email address that they check regularly. (This is necessary since communication is done via email.)
2. Board members will be required to respond in “email meetings” as the Coordinator deems necessary.
3. Board members will be required to attend a “face-to-face meeting” once a year if the Coordinator or three Board members deem necessary.
4. The current Board members will also form the By-laws committee and will oversee any needed changes to the By-laws. Any changes to the By-laws must be ratified by two thirds of the Board members. This can be done via email to the Coordinator.
5. The Board of Directors will actively support the recruitment of new Mercy Calling members and be familiar with the organization’s policies and procedures.
6. The Board of Directors must each be willing to serve a three year term.
7. Board members will assist at the meetings including meeting and greeting as members arrive, answering any questions members and prospective members may have, collecting and counting of the ballots, and/or presiding over a meeting if the Coordinator is unable to attend.
Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church
Attention: Mercy Calling
2348 Collier Parkway
PO Box 1229
Land O Lakes, FL 34639