To provide to those marginalized; food, water, clothing, shelter, and friendship, to counsel them on becoming independent, and to be vocal advocates for those who do not have a voice. The mission must be supported with a well-organized, growing, financial sound ministry.
The beginning of the Brown Bag Ministry is a very interesting story of how the thoughts and prayers of two people, Patricia Hartley and Mary Jo Bukowski, followed in response to the Cursillo message of the Apostolic Action in our environment. The Hearing of "Feed the poor....." has driven these two special women since early 2005. Initially 25 bag lunches were prepared in Patricia's kitchen and delivered to one location in Raleigh. This ministry has now grown to over 2,500 bags delivered to multiple locations and the preparation of a hot meal twice per month. This ministry has provided blessings to many people - not only those being served, but reaching abundantly to those doing the serving.
Our Ministry touches the lives of many organizations. The Knights of Columbus, Y-Guide Tribes, Scout Troops, and various church groups have begun to volunteer with Brown Bag Ministry on an annual basis. The preparation and distribution provide important life lessons to these children.
The Brown Bag Ministry has also developed "Specialty Bags" which consist of basic necessities, such as soap, wash cloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, just to name a few. These bags are now distributed on a regular basis to the less fortunate in our area.
The response from our community has been wonderful. We are so grateful for all of the donations and offers of support for this ministry for without the efforts of our community we could not fulfill our obligation to help those in need.
The Brown Bag Ministry continues to raise money to expand outside of the Triangle. Brown Bag Ministry currently operates in Apex, Durham, Raleigh, Wake Forest, and Wendell.
ABC11's Person of the Week:
Mary Jo Bukowski
"The Brown Bag Ministry, a group of volunteers, who prepare and distribute donated food, feed the group.
It started four years ago with Mary Jo Bukowski's determination to feed the poor."
Apex, NC Chamber of Commerce:
Citizen of the Year: Mary Jo Bukowski
"Bukowski was named Citizen of the Year during the Apex Chamber of Commerce Award Ceremony on Sept. 29 at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.
More than 160 people attended the annual event that included music, food, and an entertaining auction hosted by Apex resident J.C. Knowles."