August 2, 2019

PRESS RELEASE: “Mission of Hope” Volunteer Impact

Volunteers from Ohio church brought their “journey of faith” to Pittsburgh for a week of spiritual retreat and hard work at Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh


PA, August 2, 2019: 

Seventeen volunteers from St.
Joseph Catholic church in Strongsville, OH who call themselves “Mission of
Hope” descended on Pittsburgh the week of July 14th with a single goal:
to help. This multi-generational group of volunteers provides “traveling
retreats” for its members, as they set out to local and out-of-town sites to
complete skilled rehab work—cleaning, painting, dry walling, electrical work,
plumbing, carpentry, and landscaping—for communities in need.

The group spent a week with the Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, a non-profit organization that provides homes and support services for people with intellectual disabilities in the Pittsburgh region. Accompanied by their pastor, Father Bob McWilliams, the volunteers visited the Emmaus headquarters and residential home in the South Side, as well as Emmaus homes in Brookline, Mt. Lebanon, and Scott Township. They tackled an assortment of projects, including painting a resident’s bedroom, renovating a bathroom, staining decks and renovating a patio at the Emmaus homes, and projects in the Emmaus bowling alley and office space.

According to Emmaus’s Director of Community Relations, MiRan Surh, “the group was just amazing. They had a plan, they worked so hard, and they got everything done.” Ms. Surh noted that the volunteers had an opportunity to meet and enjoy refreshments with some of the Emmaus residents as well. Following the trip, Mission of Hope made a donation to the Emmaus Community. According to Mission of Hope Trip Facilitator Kathy  McConnaughy, the visit was about more than just work. It was also a “journey in discipleship.” She said that the group spends several months fundraising for supplies and “preparing themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually for their journey of faith.” Work days also include time for prayer services, Mass attendance, and daily devotions. This trip was one of twelve the group has embarked on since 2007. According to Mission of Hope, “the purpose of our mission experience is not only to provide labor, but to be a spiritual journey for our missionaries.” Their mission was accomplished at the Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh.               

For more information, please contact MiRan Surh at 412-381-0277 or   

The Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing permanent homes, support services, and advocacy to persons with intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilities in the Pittsburgh region.
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