Laurie Mills’ nomination of Susan Holbrook for the Medfield Foundation volunteer awards
Susan is an amazing person. She is so dedicated to helping those in need, both in Medfield and the broader community.
In January 2009, while volunteering at Cradles to Crayons, she noticed that there were many donated socks and underwear that needed packaging. The staff and volunteers in the giving factory did not have the time to get all this done in a timely manner. She approached the leaders at Cradles to see if she could take those items back to Medfield and have church volunteers help with sorting and packaging. They were happy to have UCC partner with them!
Since that time, this program is a major part of UCC Medfield, the broader community (including a Cradles to Crayons club at Medfield High School) and Cradles to Crayons. Many, many families are involved in packaging these items with their children. It has given our community an opportunity to involve our children in something that’s helping others in need without having to drive into Boston to do so. This has grown into a huge ministry. In 2017, UCC Medfield and the broader community packaged 6,800 sock packs, 2,700 underwear packs and 2,000 newborn cap packs. She has a mini factory set up at the church!
Last year, Susan found another need. Men and women living in homeless shelters are in desperate need of hats and scarves for the cold winter months. Susan formed a group call “”Knitting for Others”” to help fill this need. This group meets weekly and hand knits gorgeous and warm items. Her goal was to deliver 250 items to the Woods Mullen Shelter by the end of 2017. And she reached that goal! The women were so grateful to receive these beautiful items.
One or two times per month, Susan serves lunch to the residents at Woods Mullen Shelter in Boston. She drives a homemade lunch into Boston, serves the ladies and plays bingo with them.
She collects items for bingo prizes such as warm socks, new underwear and toiletry items. The ladies have so much fun with bingo and really appreciate a prize that is useful to them.
For many years, Susan has been the leader of a bible study group at UCC Medfield. Susan does a wonderful job leading this group of 15-20 people. She is very thoughtful about what studies the group should do and spends many hours researching new studies to provide a nice variety throughout the year. Every week, from September to May, she prepares the bible study content and facilitates the group discussion. Many times the discussion can get emotional and personal, and Susan shows such compassion and understanding. Her leadership has kept many members of this group together for years, supporting each other through life’s challenges and celebrating life’s joys.
A common theme in many of the bible studies is finding ways to shine god’s light in the world. Susan truly embodies this. She is always thinking of different ways we can help those in need and then moving into action. Susan gets things done selflessly and show’s us how to do the work God has called us to do.
I can’t think of a more deserving person for this award. She has made our community so much richer by involving church members and community residents is many initiatives to help others. I am so blessed to know Susan and grateful to call her my friend.
Susan Holbrook’s comments on her nomination
I was overwhelmed and humbled earlier this week when I received the news that I was nominated by Laurie Mills for recognition of my volunteer work in the Medfield community. My volunteer work with the Cradles to Crayons organization over the past 12 years has been and contInues to be very fulfilling particularly with the growing support of the whole Medfield community. My most recent work at establishing a Knitting for Others Ministry at UCC Medfield has been incredibly fruitful with over 500 items knit for those in need in our community and throughout Massachusetts. Recent excitement has centered on several elementary age students learning to knit so they can be a part of this as well. I have been blessed to facilitate a weekly women’s Bible study for the past 15 years or so and treasure my time learning and growing in faith with such incredible women.
Medfield Foundation volunteer awards April 8
The public is invited to the reception to honor all the nominated volunteers at 3PM on Sunday April 8 at The Center.
Roche Bros. and Brothers Marketplace sponsor
The Medfield Foundation volunteer awards are made possible through the sponsorship of Roche Bros. and Brothers Marketplace, as well as a contribution for Rockland Trust.