MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Martha and Bill Hegeman of Conway, were recognized by Catholic Financial Life (CFL) with the inaugural Archbishop Listecki "Servant of the Poor" award for outstanding service to people in need.
The Hegemans volunteer with the less fortunate in the Conway area in a variety of ways. Five years ago, they were recruited by CFL to volunteer for an area flea market that operates like a nonprofit thrift store. They work every Friday, selling donated items to area families in need of low-cost clothing, school supplies or toys for their children. Annual donations to the operation have totaled as much as $300,000. Families in need receive vouchers through the local Catholic parish that can be redeemed for $50 to $100 of merchandise at the flea market.
Named for the Most Rev. Jerome E. Listecki, the archbishop of Milwaukee, Wis., the award was established to honor Catholic Financial Life members who exhibit an ongoing commitment to serving the needs of the poor, as well as the spirit of prayerful giving demonstrated by St. Vincent de Paul, known as "The Apostle of Charity." CFL also presented the award to four members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which has had a partnership with Catholic Financial Life since 2008.
The Hegemans and the other recipients of the award were honored at CFL’s national convention. Catholic Financial Life President and CEO Bill O’Toole and Archbishop Listecki presented each recipient with a signed, limited edition print depicting the life of St. Vincent de Paul, the patron of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The artwork, by artist Rev. Anthony Brankin, pastor of St. Odilo Parish of Berwyn, Ill., was commissioned by Archbishop Listecki.
With $4.9 billion of insurance in force and assets of $1.2 billion, Catholic Financial Life (www.catholicfinanciallife.org) is the second largest Catholic nonprofit financial services organization in the United States.