ALLOUEZ — The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey weighed heavily on the mind and heart of Deanna Scholz of St. Mary Magdalene Parish, Waupaca. She doesn’t have a close personal connection, just a desire to help the victims of the tropical cyclone that produced nearly 50 inches of rain.
“I was feeling like I needed to do something,” she said. “I prayed about it.”
Scholz contacted three dioceses in Texas to find out what assistance is needed. She connected with the Diocese of Victoria, which has 50 parishes serving more than 100,000 Catholics in 10 counties in the southeastern part of the state. Coordination with the diocese is ongoing.
Based on need, a clothing drive was organized at St. Mary Magdalene Church. Pants, jeans, shirts, shorts, blouses and children’s and baby clothes are being collected. Items may be dropped off in the Holy Family Room between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily through Sept. 15.
Scholz will travel to Texas with another volunteer.
“We don’t need jackets or any warm clothing,” said Scholz in a phone interview with The Compass. “It is warm there. No swimwear. No one wants used underwear or sleepwear. We are collecting monetary donations to purchase new underwear and sleepwear. If you can bring packaged underwear, we can use it. I’m hoping to leave here on Sept. 17 and be back by the end of the month.”
The mission for Scholz extends beyond delivering clothing. She is working to arrange for portable showers for use by the victims.
“They can get a hot shower and a new set of clothes,” she explained. “If they can get a shower and leave behind dirty clothes, we can recycle them or destroy them. We can wash the clothes. Procter and Gamble sends Tide trucks down there with washers and dryers.”
Cleaning supplies and boxed fans are also needed.
Scholz is originally from Milwaukee. A year ago, she permanently relocated to her property in Mount Morris in Waushara County. She drives approximately 25 miles to attend Mass and volunteer at St. Mary Magdalene. She discovered the church five years ago with her late husband, Tom.
“We had gone to Fleet Farm (in Waupaca) and were not going to make it back for Mass,” she explained. “I saw the steeple and said, ‘Let’s go here.’ We arrived a half an hour early. Fr. Amal (Roche, administrator) came out and said Mass. Following Mass, I looked at my husband and said, ‘We are not going back to (our former church).’ (St. Mary Magdalene) is such a beautiful church. My daughter is getting married here in December.”
The people of the parish make it her home, she added.
“It’s a lovely parish with lovely people,” she said. “Everyone helps one another. There are a lot of volunteers helping me sort the clothes. I’m not doing this myself. This is not me. This is the whole community.”
Scholz hopes to see her shower plan through, but if she ends up making the trip to drop off supplies, that’s what she will do.
“I need help,” she said. “I found a company that has the showers. I asked them to donate them, but was met with silence. I don’t know how much they cost. I need the diocese (Victoria) to help us, so we can help them. I just have to be patient at this point. I am just trusting that God will put me where he wants me. I will give people down there hugs if that’s what they need.”
For more information about assisting Deanna Scholz’s service trip, contact her at (920) 622-5535. more information about assisting Deanna Scholz’s service trip, contact her at (920) 622-5535.