FORT WAYNE, Ind (www.incnow.tv) - A local couple, set to retire not too long ago, was drawn back to their charity work because of a deep desire to help the poor.
Time for my special report, "The Extra Mile."
Cheryl and Mike Mowan's journey has taken them through so much... from happiness in helping others, to personal struggles with their health.
Cheryl was diagnosed with breast cancer in December and just went through chemotherapy.
Mike's had his own health concerns.
But they still see the need. The need to bring their St. Therese Parish and others in their church together in Fort Wayne so people can help and be helped.
With a posse of volunteers, they've taken the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store on South Calhoun out of the red and refurbished it all... from the light bulbs to the heating and cooling systems.
They raised the money through a few grants but mostly through improvements in sales... of all kinds of things like clothing, household items and vehicles.
They give people who need it a ride to a doctor's appointment.
Cheryl and Mike talked about the recognition and their goals for the future, including keeping the store and staff of eight flourishing.
Cheryl Mowan says, "Well, we were both shocked. We were both shocked. I think I gasped out loud and was just amazed. But then I'm familiar with the award so my next thought was wow, this is really neat."
Mike Mowan says, "This is not just us. It's these 422 members and the other parishes that contribute. And all the volunteer hours, so I think it's honoring them."
Cheryl says, "I knew it was good for me to stay busy to be honest. Even the doctors said don't back off from what you're doing. Keep trying to keep busy. And it was a good distraction from your looking inward and feeling sorry for yourself."
Mike says, "I have three grandsons. They come and work at our food bank. They worked all summer on their own time, and we're trying to instill that spirit for the younger people."
The two are working on a new web page and social media to try and bring in younger volunteers.
A Charity Fest is scheduled for Saturday, October 5, if you'd like to help them raise some money.
Call 456-3561 if food and music by Spike and the Bulldogs sounds good.
If you know of others who go The Extra Mile, go to the Features tab on our web page to nominate.
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