NEW YORK – The mission of Mychal’s Message – a non-profit organization dedicated to continuing the work of Mychal Judge, OFM – was in true spirit this Christmas season, giving coats to the homeless, food to the hungry and presents to those in shelters.
More than 300 coats were distributed before Christmas to guests of the St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street breadline in Manhattan. Along with new coats, which guests could chose, they received hats and scarves, according to Kelly Ann Lynch, founder of Mychal’s Message.
On hand for the distribution were Jerome Massimino, OFM, who blessed the coats; Michael Carnevale, OFM; and Michael Harlan, OFM, who live at the friary adjacent to St. Francis of Assisi Church.
Lynch’s annual coat drive brought in more than $10,000, enough to buy more than 400 coats for those in need, she added. Lynch and her mother, Sharon Hickey, purchased the new coats, from stores in Ohio, and Gettysburg and Lancaster, Pa., home of Lynch.
In addition to delivering coats on Dec. 18 to the Manhattan church, Lynch brought coats to a homeless shelter near her home in Lancaster. In an early morning Christmas visit, even before her three children opened their gifts from Santa, the Lynch family brought festive doughnuts and beverages, and presents for families at the shelter. Lynch said it is important that Mychal’s Message keep a local presence, in addition to its New York-based work, since much of Mychal’s ministry was community-based.
Birthday Party Stocks Soup Kitchen
An especially touching donation came to Lynch in the form of birthday gifts to celebrate her recent 40th birthday. At a Dec. 15 surprise party, Lynch was elated to find that in lieu of gifts, the 100 guests had been asked to bring donations for the St. Francis Inn soup kitchen in Philadelphia, a program of the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry.
“For my birthday, I got Pinesol, diapers, socks, long underwear, and soap,” laughed Lynch. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more.” At press time, she was looking forward to delivering the supplies the week of Jan. 7, and reclaiming her garage, where the donations took up the space of one car.
In addition to the birthday party, the family arranged for a Mass to be celebrated by Cassian Miles, OFM, a family friend for many years.
Sales of Children’s Book
Proceeds from sales of her book, He Said Yes, continue to help fund Mychal’s Message. Lynch has sold more than 4,000 books since the September release of the children’s book. Now in its second printing, Lynch estimates selling more than 1,000 copies alone though Mychal’s Message. Proceeds from sales made through Mychal’s Message, which Lynch estimates at more than $3,000, go directly to the organization.