Labors of Love ministry receives support through donations

“You formed my inmost being; You knit me in my Mother’s womb. For such handiwork I praise you. So wonderfully you made me, Wonderful are your works!” – Psalm 139:13-14

SCHERERVILLE – Spring has finally come, bringing with it some warmer weather, but one parish group at St. Michael the Archangel knows that people are in need of comfort and warmth all year round. 
Sharon Przbylinkski is the coordinator of the Labors of Love Ministry, formerly the Prayer Shawl Ministry, which consists of people who crochet and knit useful items for those in need. Members make hats and scarves for adults and children, blankets, adult bibs, adult slippers, walker caddies, loveys, and twiddles, among other items. And they are always open to new projects.
“I lead a remarkable group of women who assemble twice a month to share their God-given talent to create helpful, needed and beautiful items for the less fortunate in the area and beyond,” Przbylinkski said.
Eve Duray joined this group when she retired in 2019, having read about the group in the Northwest Indiana Catholic. She said she enjoys the fellowship of other women and has developed new friendships and learned new skills.  
“The group is united in their goal of producing unique, hand-made items that remind the recipients that they are valued and special,” she said. 
Labors of Love was grateful to recently receive a grant of $1,850 from Walmart. Przbylinkski called it “a wonderful community gesture that will enrich the lives of many.”
“The grant will aid us in our mission, which is to provide social interaction for our members who then provide handmade items to individuals who are experiencing difficulties in their lives,” she said. “Our goal is to make their lives a little easier and hopefully brighter.”
The ministry has provided blessing bags and blankets for 75 previously homeless veterans at Safe Haven Veterans Apartments. Members answer requests for handmade rosaries and commemorative gifts for new baptized babies in the parish in addition to filling needs for hats and scarves for local school children, and partner with the local Lions Club and the Good Samaritans to supply Christmas blankets and more. 
Duray explained that the group occasionally has personal contact with recipients, as it did with residents of Safe Haven Veterans’ Apartments in Merrillville. Members brought each of the residents a handcrafted blanket for their new living space.  
“The veterans expressed gratitude that someone cared enough to make something for them,” she said.
Other past recipients of the ministry’s handmade items have included Meals on Wheels, Women’s Care Centers, Phil's Friends, nursing home and assisted living residents, people struggling with homelessness, first responders, Schererville and Lake County Animal Control and Safe Haven Baby Boxes located at the Schererville Fire Department.
“Our donations are always gratefully received,” Duray said.
“Every dollar donated to us goes back into the community,” added Przbylinkski, “and this year we are able to expand by helping fill the needs of children without blankets through the Linus Project, and also connect with veterans who served our country and are signed up for the Honor Flight to Washington D.C.”
Labors of Love happily accepts monetary donations, gift cards, yarn and fleece. Meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon in St. Patrick Hall at St. Michael the Archangel. For more information, contact Przbylinkski at or call the parish office at 322-4505, ext. 8245 and leave a message.


Caption: Eve Duray, Sharon Przybylinski and Labors of Love Co-ordinator Betty Eaton gather supplies during a meeting of the Labors of Love ministry at St. Michael the Archangel in Schererville. (Provided photo)