We are fortunate to have extremely generous donors and volunteers who give their time, energy, support and resources to Catholic Charities. As part of our donor and volunteer appreciation campaign, we are recognizing individuals and organizations who share God’s love and spread Christ’s light by partnering with Catholic Charities. Because of our donors and volunteers, we are able to bring vital, lifesaving services to our neighbors in greatest need. Here’s Mariah Taylor’s story:
Mariah has been giving back to the villagers at Kenton Women’s Village since day one. She had been hearing about the anticipated Kenton Women’s Village before it opened and the day the villagers first moved in, she showered them with food and gifts as they arrived at the village.
She didn’t stop there. Mariah makes the villagers Thanksgiving dinner every year and has been doing so since Kenton Women’s Village opened. She is from the South and loves making the villages roasted turkey, cornbread dressing with smoked oysters, candied yams, green beans, veggies, black eyed peas, and red beans and rice in addition to peach cobbler, chocolate cake with nut and coconut filling, and lemon cake with homemade butter cream lemon frosting for dessert. Her turkey gravy is a huge hit every year – so much so that a villager, who was helping Mariah carry in the turkey gravy one Thanksgiving, dropped the entire container when she heard what it was because she was so excited!
Mariah says the village is her family: “my relationship is one of being their sister; to some their grandma.” Beyond her home cooked meals, Mariah stops by each week delivering food from the Farm to Family and Self Enhancement Inc. programs at Woodlawn School outlet. She has also taken the villagers to the seaside to ride the beach bikes and to Tillamook to go to the ice cream factory.
When asked why she gives and donates her time to Catholic Charities of Oregon, Mariah sums it up in a short phrase: “It’s all about Him.” She explains further: “When I think of Him and all he has done for me, my soul cries ‘Alleluia.’ We are pilgrims passing through this life, preparing to meet Him face to face one day. We have to do whatever we can, as best as we can, to do God’s will.”
Mariah shared a profound message about truly being and believing that you are “your brother’s keeper.” She was taught from a very young age, and being from a family of 24 other siblings, that everyone is your brother and sister. “Who is my brother?” she asked. In reply she shared: “That person, or people who are in need.”
Mariah says it’s all about being brothers and sisters to each other and realizing that if we are washed in His blood, we are blood brothers and sisters….not stepchildren. “We only have one life – it will soon be passed, but only what’s done for Christ will last. When we stand before Him and see Him face to face, that’s what it’s about. We are all in ministry and it’s called Kingdom building…reaching out, and touching others, and sharing with Him the good news. It is about Jesus and not I.”
Thank you, Mariah. At Catholic Charities of Oregon we wouldn’t be able to deliver lifesaving services to those in greatest need without people like you. You #Inspire Us.