“It was a lot of visiting. We visited almost everyone in the parish,” said Charlotte Carley speaking of her work as chair for the capital campaign at Holy Trinity Church in Mont Belvieu.
Holy Trinity has outgrown its facility. The parish has planned a church expansion that will increase seating capacity from 225 to 500.
A capital campaign needed to raise the money for the expansion.
For the gift of her time with that capital campaign, Carley was recognized with the 2015 Msgr. Richard DeStefano Faithful Steward Award at the MCM Elegante on Aug. 21.
The first thing Carley had to do as chair of the capital campaign was put a team together.
“You find people who are passionate about what they do. It’s hard to find people who are passionate about asking people for money,” Carley said.
“When you find that group, and they’re passionate about it, it’s good. We have a great core team,” she said.
Once the team was assembled and ready to ask for gifts, the prep work began.
The stewardship effort began with updating the 400-family list of Holy Trinity parishioners.
“We had to figure out who our parishioners were,” Carley said. “We had to figure out who moved.”
Once Carley and Father Joseph Khanh Ho, pastor at Holy Trinity, had an updated list of parishioners, it was time to visit each of them and ask them to give to the campaign.
“James Prochazka and his wife Cindy visited some of them. Father Ho visited some, and I visited some,” Carley said of the committee members.
So many visits were made that the retired Prochazka was not able to travel.
“We kept James and his wife from taking any trips,” Carley said jokingly.
Many of the families were visited twice.
The first visit was to speak with the family about the building fund and ask them to prayerfully consider their gift.
A few knew what they could do and committed on the first visit. Others needed time to consider their gift.
“Then we would visit the second time to ask for a commitment,” Carley said.
At first Carley visited families that she personally knew, then she started with those she had not met.
“It was good to get out and meet those people. They told us about problems at the church we did not know about,” Carley said.
One parishioner told Carley that the sound in the cry room was bad. The parish had it fixed.
The visits were also very effective in raising funds.
Within a few months, the parish had $2 million in pledges and had collected more than $500,000 of the pledged amount.
Carley’s gift of time is not limited to the capital campaign.
She is also a lector and an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, and she volunteers to count the money from the parish’s weekend collections.