African missionary sisters living in Alaska were gifted a hefty donation from local supporters of the Catholic faith throughout October and November. Supporters of the sisters created the fundraiser to fund repairs for their community home in Anchorage.
People raised $27,258 for the Anchorage-area members of the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, a religious missionary congregation from Africa. The funds financed the repair of the sisters’ failed septic system at their small, communal home in Anchorage, as well as costs for engineering, permitting, and future maintenance, according to the GoFundMe page created by supporters of the sisters.
“Their home is quite old,” the page stated. “Major repairs like this are well beyond their means, and with winter coming, they need your help!”
The page notes that the sisters are known throughout the Anchorage area for their visible fellowship and ministry in the community.
“I go about and smile with people, and sometimes I dance. I sing with people,” said Sister Angela Omoareghan, “just to be [a] living joy and hope [to] let them know there is hope.”
Within four days of starting the fundraiser, the page organizer said donors almost raised one-fourth of its $25,000 goal, noting that permits were being acquired. By Oct. 18, donors rallied together to surpass the halfway point of its goal.
By Nov. 2, the Municipality of Anchorage issued a permit for the project and engineering work had been completed, the page said. Two days later, organizers of the fundraiser received an “influx of hand-delivered donations,” which pushed them well past their goal.
On Nov. 14, the page organizer announced the project had been completed. The organizer mentioned there were a few “surprises,” but the contractor was able to resolve the issues thanks to additional funding provided by donors.
“The sisters are back up and running and are thrilled with the result,” the organizer said on the page. “Thank you again for your incredible generosity during this fundraising campaign.”
The GoFundMe page has been left active in case more people want to donate. The page notes further donations “will be earmarked by the sisters for future maintenance.” The page is still active as of Nov. 25.
The fundraiser saw a total of 73 donations of varying amounts from individuals and organizations. The largest donation was $5,000 from an anonymous donor, with the second highest being $2,500 from the Knights of Columbus’ St. Paul Miki Council.
“The Knights believe in the work the sisters are doing, and we are proud to support them,” said the Knights of Columbus on the page.
“We love you,” commented Dorothy Lazar to the sisters on the page. The page also noted of a donation from a young boy named Luke who contributed 27 cents “of his own money.” The page said he recited “The Widow’s Mite” to Sister Genevieve Osayame as he handed her the donation.
Twenty-eight out of the 73 donations were anonymous with the last one arriving on Nov. 16, according to the page.
“God bless all of our donors,” the organizer said.