OLM has since its foundation as a parish always taken seriously its responsibility of Christian charity. As a matter of fact, for many years we sponsored the annual "St. Patrick's Charity Ball" and disbursed the monies raised to many worthy local charities.
Ever since the wave of immigration came to Spain, we began a new challenge: How to help the increasing number of needy people right in the midst of our own community. We have a significant portion of our own parishioners who are living in very difficult situations. They have no place to live (some live with the Red Cross and others live on the street). Some have no papers (currently Spain has almost stopped granting residence and work permits). They often have basic needs such as food, clothing, and transportation.
Therefore, we at OLM have made a commitment to:
1) Monthly non-perishable food collection.
Every second Sunday of the month and all Sundays in Lent we accept donations of food for the needier of our parish. As the gifts are prepared, people carry up to the altar their gifts of food. Later on, when all have departed, the food is distributed amongst the neediest of our own parish privately.
2) The Giving Tree Project.
Every year we place a small Christmas tree up on the altar with special ornaments. These ornaments have the name of a needy child or a needy member of our own parish. We continue to work with the Nazaret Asociation(San Blas). This group is dedicated to improving the lives of children who suffer because of family financial and/or addiction difficulties. Our parish purchases them a Christmas/Three Kings gift in order to bring a little more joy into their holidays.
We also have the names of our own parishioners who are sometimes in need of special clothes items such as underwear, socks, jeans, or shoes. Each year the number of named ornaments grows, we are up to around 200 now.
3) The Language Program.
Every Sunday offers Spanish for our immigrant parishioners. We believe the provision of language skills is a crucial step in helping new arrivals to Spain to help themselves. The program is under the direction of Sofía, an OLM parishioner. Any expenses that the program has are covered by OLM.
4) The Good Neighbour Fund.
Parishioners sometimes wish that 100% of their donations go directly to the neediest causes. We have created a special account in a local bank in which 100% of the funds will be used to help immigrants who are in dire straits in Spain. The monies are used to purchase bus passes, emergency food, and other basic necessities. If you wish to make a contribution to this account, you may do so by bank transfer. Please click here for the bank details: Good Neighbour Fund.
5) Annual Book Sale
We also have an annual Book Sale in which we sell Books, DVDs, and video games for a very small price. All proceeds are used to help the parish, especially the immigrant members of our parish. Please check the calendar for Book Sale dates. Normally they take place in October or November.
All our materials are donated by parishioners and local schools.
If you are interested in purchasing any leftover books that may remain, please call the parish office. We sometimes donate leftover books to other worthy charitable organizations.