At our recent Mission Mass in Leeds Archdiocese, we were able to say a big ‘thank you’ to Kevin, who has been a Missio Red Box Local Secretary since 1978! He shares the ups and downs of the journey with us…
‘I took on the Local Secretary’s job in 1978 when Teresa, the previous collector, became ill. At the time, there were only about 10 Red Box holders in the whole parish.
‘Gradually, after various appeals by Mill Hill Missionaries, the number of Red Boxes
increased and I persuaded about 10 helpers to become collectors of up to six or eight boxes. Starting from an annual collection of £60, our income rose to the dizzying heights of £2,200.
‘Some collectors give me their collections in cheques. Twice I misplaced one lady’s cheque and had to phone her, convey my apology, and ask for a replacement. A few months later I phoned her about a different matter. Her husband answered the phone, I asked for her and he said ‘You’ve not lost another one, have you?’ Imagine my spluttering denial!
‘I’ve built up so many friends through this work both collectors and Red Box holders. Often when I call to collect, the reply will be: ‘I don’t know where the Red Box is’ or ‘There’s nothing in the Red Box, but I’ll give you something out of my purse or pocket’. Over time when some collectors or Red Box holders say they cannot continue, I always accept their decision and thank them verbally or in writing for all their previous support.
‘Sometimes I definitely feel it’s hard to keep doing this. But it’s God’s work; it’s necessary and the collections are helping this missionary work. I’ve been helped by so many people and think fondly of those no longer with us.’
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