WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – The 11th Annual Shining a Light on Hope Gala will be held in a new light this year; virtual. It is recognizing the work of dedicated community members more than ever, who humbly gave of their time day in and out, when needed the most. 

Catholic Charities West Virginia saw a year like no other: A spike in food insecurity and emergency assistance for rent and utility bills. 

We’re still down about half the volunteers we would’ve seen before the pandemic. We really want to honor those individuals who continue to support us despite dangerous conditions potentially for themselves. 

Mark Phillips, Northern Regional Director for Catholic Charities W.Va.

When the pandemic started, I was on the way to my office and I thought I bet a lot of the older volunteers that come in would not be coming in.

David Rose, recipient of 2021 Charity in Action Award

So, for the last 13 months, David Rose has spent three to four hours a day, Monday through Friday, packing over 300 meals six days a week.  

Volunteerism comes easy to Rose, who is married with a full-time job. 

And for others honored for their charity, it’s in their name. St. Vincent is known for taking care of the poor, so in the same breath, St. Vincent de Paul Parish School is being recognized for their annual collection of cans of food. 

We’ve raised as much as two tons in the past.

Paul Hudock, Pastor of St. Vincent Parish and School

St. Vincent School eight graders, since 1995, have come here and cooked and served.

Christine Anghe, 8th grade teacher at St. Vincent de Paul Parish School

From about 30 people with the parish giving of their time, to packing food starting in middle school, work at the Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center does not need to be pushed on Sunday. 

It’s not something I have to preach and teach about too much because that desire is already there among our people.

Paul Hudock, Pastor of St. Vincent Parish and School

The art of volunteerism comes naturally for those honored; instilled by role models at a young age. 

“I was brought up in a home where I volunteered and it’s just been passed on,” said Rose.

I’m thrilled for them and I’m proud. Many of them continue years beyond out school to help out or to realize the importance of service. 

LauraJenn Rossell, Principal at St. Vincent de Paul Parish School

The Gala will be held virtually Tuesday night. You can catch the broadcast on WTRF at 7 PM.