Families are the backbone of our volunteer corps at Franciscan Charities.

They get their start simply, with parents bringing a child or two to help prepare and serve meals, read to younger children in our literacy center, work our coat drive or hand out gifts at our holiday toy drive.  Then it grows from there – parents bring neighbors, who bring their kids. Kids bring coaches and teammates, or scout leaders and members, or school leaders and classmates.

Many of our volunteers have been with us for more than a decade, and like other families, we share in our struggles and shine in our successes.

That family pride certainly extends to Mickey Gall, who’s been helping out at our soup kitchen since he was 13, along with his mom Jean Marie and his younger sister Jamie.

Now a rising star in the UFC fighting world, Gall still makes time to help out whenever he can with our meal service and visit with our Newark guests, as well as with his mom, who’s now director of our soup kitchen operations.

Mickey Gall with his mother Jean Marie, sister Jamie and a soup kitchen client volunteer

Visits with our guests have been cut short since the COVID-19 outbreak forced the closing of the soup kitchen dining room but, as Gall notes in a recent UFC article highlighting his service there, meal service continues. “My mom’s making to-go lunches all day every day, so guests can still show up and get their meals that way,” he told writer Thomas Gerbasi.

“The majority of us are lucky, we have food and phones, and this and that,” Gall said. “But it’s very humbling when you see people coming in there just to get something in their stomach. And they’re bringing their families. I have some friends who grew up like that and it’s tough to see.”

As is the family way, Gall continues to support Franciscan Charities, sponsoring meals for a family of four during our COVID-19 operations. And he’s jumped out on social media to encourage his friends and followers to do the same.

“Everyone is struggling right now and those less fortunate than us are having trouble EATING!” he wrote on his Twitter feed.

“Let’s help our brothers and sisters who are can’t afford food.”

You can join Mickey Gall in helping to feed our Newark neighbors by clicking HERE.

And read the full story on UFC.com HERE.

“It is in giving that we receive.”