Delaney Gallagher Answers Questions, Gives Details about Long Johns for St. John’s

Delaney+Gallagher+Answers+Questions%2C+Gives+Details+about+Long+Johns+for+St.+John%27s

Staff, Online Tritonian, Adviser

Where did you get the idea for this drive?  Is anyone else helping you with the organizational side of the project and the work you’ve put into it? 

“A friend told me about a need St. John’s Homeless Shelter had for socks. I wanted to take action, so I reached out to the Shelter Director. To my surprise, she redirected me towards an even greater need for long underwear. I was quick to jump on that opportunity and therefore created Long Johns for St. John’s. My biggest supporter and partner in this project has been my father. He has helped me to balance everything with my schoolwork, reach out to new contacts, and brainstorm ideas. In addition, Mr. Kreigl has been a huge help, along with St. John’s Director of Community Engagement (Alexa Priddy) and Director of Business Administration (Stephanie Kleman).”

Have you been involved with ASTRA a lot?  Done a lot of meals or service projects at St. John’s Shelter?   If so, what are some of the things you’ve done or ways you’ve learned about the shelter?  And what has motivated you to serve or reach out to do a service project?  Is it your faith?  The need for service hours? 

“I have always loved helping people in my community and the ASTRA club has been a great way for me to do so. Since I’m a sophomore, this is my second year in ASTRA. I’ve served meals for the homeless, volunteered at a Christmas bike drive, and experienced many other helping opportunities I will always cherish. I love spending my spare time helping others, so creating a donation drive for the homeless all winter long is a really great experience for me. I chose St. John’s Homeless Shelter because it has always been a major focus in the Green Bay community. I’ve served meals at the shelter and volunteered for them before, so I am happy to help out again! My faith has always been an important aspect of my desire to help others. I believe it’s very important for us to focus on the actions of Jesus and help anyone we can. I’ve really tried to incorporate that principle into Long Johns for St. John’s. It’s very heartwarming to see how willing people are to help when you give them that opportunity.” 

Who would you say is your mentor or inspiration, a person you look up to?

“My Catholic faith has always been an important part of my life. Although it may sound cliché, a large inspiration for this fundraiser was the work of Jesus. He was always so willing to help anyone, and I really try to incorporate His “Golden Rule” into my daily life. “To treat others how you want to be treated” has been a large aspect of this drive. I know the residents of St. John’s don’t choose to be homeless. If I was ever in their situation, I would want people to be willing to help me. That is why I’m trying to bring as many people warmth this winter as possible.”

So far, how has the response been?  

“The response has been decent, but we would definitely love to see more donations after this weekend! We are well aware this is a very busy time for everyone leading up to Christmas break and finals. That busyness creates an even better incentive for people to take some extra time to slow down and help others. Everyone needs to take a break sometimes and remember Christmas is a time to appreciate what we have and give to others who have less. Our Long Johns for St. John’s drive is a great way to do so!”

I saw a sweatshirt in the box yesterday.  Can people bring in sweatshirts too? 

“YES, anyone is free to bring in any donations for St. John’s Shelter. Anything to help warm up the residents is appreciated! We wanted to make this donation drive something that everyone can easily participate in, so we opened up the donations margin to any new and/or gently used thermal winter items for the shelter’s residents. That wider variety of donations options available makes it simpler and increases the chance of more people donating items. The shelter residents will be thankful to receive any type of donation and we are happy to help bring them any warmth possible this winter!”

Do you have more of a need for Men’s wear rather than Women’s? 

“We have a large need for both men’s and women’s thermal gear! The overall breakdown of St. John’s guests is 2/3 male and 1/3 female. There are an estimated 570 residents St. John’s will be serving this winter. It has been requested for us to bring in both male and female long underwear & thermal gear of all sizes for the residents. Our goal is to make sure all residents are warmed by our fundraiser!”

What would you like to say to the NDA community about your drive?  

“I would like to thank the NDA community for their support of this fundraiser. I’ve received such positive feedback and everyone has been so willing to donate and spread the word. There is definitely plenty more for us to do, so I’m excited to continue the fundraiser! As Catholics, I believe we have an elevated duty to help people less fortunate than us, and I tried to reflect that in my project. My hope is that others believe in the same principle and, especially during the giving season of Christmas, choose to make this winter more manageable for the less fortunate in our community. Our donations send a message to the residents that people care about them and want them to have a comfortable, warm winter. The NDA community has already been a great help, but there is definitely more everyone can do to help bring warmth to our community this winter season!”

And when is the last day to bring in items?

“We’ve been publicizing that the atrium will be open for donation drop off through Tuesday, but the donation drop-off bin will likely still be in the atrium for collection until Wednesday. We have eagerly focused on collecting as many donations as possible this past week in particular (Tuesday, December 15th through Tuesday, December 22nd). St. John’s Shelter likes to include their long underwear and thermal gear donations as part of their Christmas gifts to their residents. The joy of knowing people will be excited and thankful to receive long underwear and winter gear on Christmas really gives an incentive to collect as many donations as possible. In addition to this week’s donation drive, we will be continuing the drive collection throughout the majority of the cold winter season remaining. The need for warmth doesn’t stop all winter and neither will we!

“Since Long Johns for St. John’s is not specifically an NDA fundraiser, there are other ways and locations to give donations. As a part of the donation collection process, we are also collecting monetary donations. Due to NDA policy, we were not able to include the monetary donations as a portion of our donation collection through NDA. Also, we have additional donation drop-off locations which include Active Chiropractic in Allouez, St. Mary’s Parish in De Pere, Salon Forte in Bellevue, and beginning January 1st, all 5 Greater Green Bay Festival Foods locations are Long Johns for St. John’s drop-off sites!”

What has been your best experience so far at serving others?  

“I have had many experiences serving others throughout the years. I’ve served meals for the homeless, volunteered at a Christmas bike drive, and many other helping opportunities I will always cherish. I love spending my spare time helping others, so creating a donation drive for the homeless all winter long is a really great experience for me. Long Johns for St. John’s has by far been my favorite volunteer opportunity. We hope to continue this drive for future years as well, so I’m definitely looking forward to annually collecting thermal items for St. John’s Shelter!”

Thanks for all you’re doing!  Anything else you’d like to tell me?  Have any idea what you’d like to pursue in the future??

“I am so thankful for everyone’s support of Long Johns for St. John’s. It has already grown more than I expected and we have only been working on it for about 6 weeks! We hope to make this a yearly fundraiser during the winter months, and I think we are already on a great track to do so. 

I definitely know I want to continue helping others in my future. I still have some time to decide what I want to pursue, but I hope to study or get a job in criminology or law enforcement.”