Good Shepherd Thrift Shop
111 E Orange Ave, Lake Wales, FL 33853
Open, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.
The Good Shepherd Thrift Shop sells gently used clothing and other goods at affordable prices. The shop depends upon donations from all members of the community, so please feel free to stop by and donate items. If you prefer, you may leave items on the parish hall stage.
Polk Avenue Elementary School Partnership
Our parish provides a backpack of food for twelve students each weekend who would otherwise have little or no nutrition. Parishioners may donate food or money in support of this program; a basket is placed just inside the front door of the church. (Please note that all cans must have pop-up lids as we cannot be sure that the students have access to a can opener. If you would rather donate money, we are happy to do the shopping!)
We also provide moral support to the teachers and staff through occasional breakfasts and lunches before school begins in August, on Valentine's Day, and during Teacher Appreciation week in May. Another way to help is to mentor a student. This involves meeting with a student (designated by the school) once a week at their lunch time.
Honduras Mission Partnership
Parishioners of "El Buen Pastor" (Church of the Good Shepherd) now have their own church building, thanks to our long-standing partnership with the congregation. Since 2008, groups from our parish have been visiting Santa Maria and supporting them in many ways. From purchasing land for a church, to providing scholarships for high school students who could not otherwise continue their educations, to planting a vegetable garden and fruit trees, to helping establish a sewing coop, our legacy of love continues. On annual visits to Santa Maria, Father Tom Seitz, Jr. performed many baptisms and gave words of encouragement to the parish family. Our teams hosted Vacation Bible Schools (not an easy task when most don't speak Spanish!) and played outdoors with the children.
We hosted a very special visitor, Isis Contrares, and her mother Olga for five weeks in 2009. Isis, a recipient of care through the Gift of Life program, had surgery in Tampa to repair a hole in her heart. Isis charmed us all with her winning smile, her eagerness to play despite a language barrier, and her frequent hugs.
In 2010 the church property was purchased. By 2013, a bathroom and septic system were constructed and by 2014, construction on the church building itself began in earnest. When our mission team visited in summer of 2015 the building was nearly complete. Team members helped with priming the walls of the new church, and planted a rose garden. An altar, lectern, credence table, pews and other items for the church were made by a local carpenter.
June 26th, 2016 was a memorable day for our partnership. The Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen, Bishop of the Diocese of Honduras, consecrated El Buen Pastor. Over three hundred people gathered from all the nearby congregations for the special event, which included the confirmation and reception of over 30 new members.
None of this would have been possible without the generous financial support of our church members. Also, our yearly golf outing designates all profits to our continued mission in Honduras. We thank all of the participants for their support. And we thank SAMS missionary Jeannie Loving for overseeing our group in Honduras each year. We thank God for his continued blessings on our partnership.