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Fuchsia folder holds thank-you letters and blessings

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Executive Director Sister Ann Casper signs what she hopes are the last thank-you letters to be transported in the historic fuchsia folder. Her new folder is navy twill.

Have you ever had an article of clothing that long ago had served its purpose, but you just couldn’t bear to part with it? How about a fuchsia-colored, plastic folder? Well, probably not … but that’s what I can hardly bear to part with! After all, before I became director of our Mission Advancement office in 2001, Sister Denise Wilkinson, outgoing director, had used it and before her, Sister Dawn Tomaszewski.

That fuchsia folder, now held together with tape at its tattered corners, was used for more than 30 years. Its purpose? To hold donor thank-you letters while awaiting the director’s signature. No wonder that fuchsia folder is truly like an old friend! That’s a lot of letters over 30 years!

I was bantering with Sisters Denise and Dawn about “retiring” this folder, when the latter interjected: “just think of how much good energy and good wishes have been held within that folder — lo, these many years! We are so blessed!” “Wow,” I thought, “she is so right!”

I can recall annual phonathon appeals, after which the folder would be bulging with letters, in such great number that we had to commandeer a second folder! I remember that same fuchsia folder being stuffed with letters, enfolding the generosity of our donors’ year-end giving. In fact, hardly a calendar day goes by that the folder doesn’t contain some letters.

I also thought about all the times I have been moved and humbled when reading the donor’s prayer intentions on the response form sent along with their gift. Their acknowledgement letter would receive a little extra attention as I assured them of the prayers of the sisters for whatever person or situation they mentioned. And never in my 15 years have I felt that was a false promise or just words on paper. I knew the sisters would pray — I knew that I would pray.

No, the fuchsia folder has no material value. It certainly wouldn’t command a price on eBay. But to me — to the sisters — it’s priceless for what it represents: all of our benefactors who partner with us in making the Providence mission possible. Maybe I’ll part with it but I’ll keep it for posterity!

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Sister Ann Casper

Sister Ann Casper, SP, retired as the executive director for Mission Advancement for the Sisters of Providence in 2018 and currently serves as minister of Providence Community Cemetery at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Sister Ann has ministered in various scholastic and administrative positions in Indiana and North Carolina. She also was a member of the Sisters of Providence leadership team, serving as General Secretary.

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1 Comment

  1. Rita Clare on October 24, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Ann, yes, that fuchsia folder is priceless because of all it represents in the generosity of our many, many donors and the hours you, Dawn and Denise spent in signing your name and often writing a note on your responses to our donors. God bless you and all our devoted, generous donors.
    S. Rita Clare

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