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World Care Benefit & Celebration: A Success Story


Editor’s note: Development Associate Sam Hardwick shares his unexpected impression of FMS’ 2018 World Care Benefit—the impact of which is still being felt a month later! 

On Friday April 27th, FMS held its annual World Care Benefit & Celebration in which I had a hand in helping host. If you have ever been a part of hosting a big event like this, you know that it often comes with various stresses, minute details and various situations where you find yourself saying, “we’ll just play it by ear.” For me, this meant ironing a seemingly inexhaustible amount of tablecloths, purchasing a vast array of wines, and finding items for our silent auction. In the midst of taking care of these little details, its often hard to see what it’s all for. “Why am I ironing my fifth tablecloth of the day?” “Who even knows the difference between Merlot and Pinot Noir?” “What in the world is a Pilates?” These were just some of the questions that ran through my mind while performing my various duties before the event.

A collage of some of the prayer pledges made by the event’s attendees.

But as the night of the event started, I began to see what it all was for. I saw people gathering around tables(with beautifully pressed tablecloths, if I do say so myself) talking and laughing with one another, enjoying their food and wine. I saw many people walking around the silent auction, ooo-ing and ahh-ing at the different items they could bid on. As the program began, I watched my fellow volunteers, Rose and PJ, speak and get everyone to laugh with their introduction and reflection on their time of service. I listened to our San Damiano Servant Leadership awardee, Sarah Bertrand, reflect on her experience as a servant leader. I became a witness to the stories of mission that our newly returned missioner, Allison Dethlefs, shared. I watched Fr. John O’Conner and one of our returned missioners, Kristen Zienlinski-Nalen, deliver their heartwarming remarks about our Anselm Moons Award Recipient, Fr. Iggy Harding, and the impact he had on their time on mission in Bolivia. Finally, I was able to hear Fr. Iggy reflect on what it means to receive this award.

All these wonderful things I was able to help happen. No, I don’t deserve the bulk of the credit (that would go to our great Associate Director, Meghan Meros and Executive Director, Liz Hughes) but I am proud to say that I helped make that night happen in all the small ways I did.

Recently, I was talking with someone who said that if you think of the big picture all the time, it is easy to get overwhelmed. At the beginning of the process of planning an annual event, it can often feel overwhelming. “How am I going to get this all done?” But if you focus on what the next step will be, and what you need to do to accomplish that step, you quickly find yourself walking towards your goal. There’s a nice parallel there with annual event planning and this journey of life we are on. If we just take life step by step without always focusing on the whole picture, we might just find ourselves walking to the big annual event in heaven.

Reflection question: What are some ways you can focus more on your next step instead of worrying about the whole picture?

After graduating from Providence College in May 2017, Sam decided to heed his call to service by joining FMS through the DC Service Corps. With a passion for data and an economics degree in hand, Sam will be serving as the development associate during his year of service. Additionally, during his time, Sam will also be volunteering at A Wider Circle, an organization in Silver Spring that helps those in need find furniture. Sam’s biggest hope during his year of service is to develop a stronger faith that is integrated into all aspects of his life.