Giving is important to the Hraban family who often practices gratitude.
"Everything we have is a gift from God,” said Janet Hraban, who lives in Windsor with her husband, Jerry, and three daughters. “We are simply giving back to God what is already His.”
After the pandemic hit, the family thought about things they could do while staying at home. Hosting a supply drive at their parish, Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Windsor, became their mission. The church created a flyer and promoted the donation drive through its bulletin and Flocknote. The Hrabans joined another family in posting signs and balloons and setting up a 6-foot distanced donation drop-off via a drive-thru outside the church.
“We figured out a way to do it safely,” she said. “We definitely were in the midst of fear at that point and the church was closed, so we weren’t sure anyone would want to participate. But, as usual, we saw our community at Our Lady of the Valley come together.”
Within two hours, cars dropped donations or checks amounting to about $4,000 worth of supplies, including underwear, socks, bath towels, hygiene items and more. At the end, they delivered a van and truck filled with supplies to Guadalupe Community Center in Greeley to benefit those experiencing homelessness.
“Specifically, during the pandemic, we felt very lifted in the sense that people were not fearful to come and give,” Janet said. “I think that’s great.”
The Hrabans, who own an insurance marketing company, have volunteered and given regularly to Catholic Charities, especially The Mission in Fort Collins and Guadalupe Community Center. When they first moved to Windsor from Omaha about 8 years ago, they volunteered to meet new people in the community. On Thanksgiving Day, they volunteered at The Mission in Fort Collins. That turned into regular cooking and serving meals at The Mission, with Jerry becoming a board member. They have also hosted birthday parties where guests were asked to bring gifts for families staying at the local shelter. They’ve also given financially, including supporting The Mission during the pandemic.
“We feel good giving to an organization that we know well,” she said. “We like to give to Catholic Charities because we feel they are efficiently run, and they know what they are doing.”
The Hrabans hope that other individuals and families of goodwill see the opportunities to give back through Catholic Charities.
“It boils down to a philosophy of wanting to give back all that you’ve been given,” she said. “Scripture calls those that have the opportunity to take care of each other.”