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SCUFFY breakfast kicks off 2019 drive

Fr. Mike Keucher refers to Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day, a journalist and social activist, during his speech during Wednesday’s SCUFFY kickoff breakfast.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

When Fr. Mike Keucher found out that the kickoff to the 65th Annual Shelby County United Fund For You drive was starting on Ash Wednesday, his initial thought was “what were they thinking?”

“Now, I think the lord had a good idea,” said Keucher as the guest speaker during the kickoff breakfast at Maxim Events in Shelbyville.

He related the kickoff to the drive with the ashes placed on his forehead. The ashes are a reminder that they are the origins of all life, he said.

He relayed the Biblical story of Josiah in 2 Kings. Josiah became king of Judah at 8 years old when his father was murdered by servants after he and Josiah’s grandfather had led Judah into ruins during their reigns.

“The way Josiah raised up his nation was by his heart,” he said. “It was by his love for God, his love for other people, his love for his brothers and sisters, that he was able to raise up this place and to really breathe new life into it.

“Thanks be to God, Shelbyville is not in ruins, but I will tell you, as you all know, there is a lot of brokenness,” he continued. “There is a lot of woundedness. There’s a lot of poverty. There’s a lot of people who are alone. There’s a lot of problems, and maybe that’s true everywhere. We can’t fix everywhere, but we can fix here. We can do our piece. We can do our little part.”

SCUFFY’s goal this year is $840,000, an increase of $10,000 from last year’s goal. The 2018 drive went well over that goal, bringing in $851,270.44.

The organization supports 12 local agencies that help the community, such as Project Clothes For Kids, Meals on Wheels and Turning Point.

“We can look to these ashes as a reminder of the fact that on the other side of this campaign, all the work that’s going to go into it and all the wallets that will be opened, the hearts that will be opened, is going to be a different community on the other side,” Keucher said. “And it’ll be a little bit better, a lot bit better. There will be new life in it.”

He cited Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day, an American journalist and social activist in what is wrong with the world.

Mother Teresa attributed every problem in the world to forgetting that we all belong together, he said.

“We’ve forgotten that we’re one family, that we’re all brothers and sisters and we’re all in it together, such that when someone else is having a hard go, it should bother me,” he said. “It should stir me enough to help them out.”

Day said too many people have not been loved enough.

“Our job is to love,” he said. “Our job is to put more love into the world. The question we will be asked at the end is, ‘Did you fill the world with love? Did you help people out? Did you remember that you belong to other people?’ And I think everybody in this room does. The amount of good that this campaign is going to do for the larger human family in Shelbyville, the new life that will come to everybody will be quite an incredible thing.”

Keucher went on a mission trip to Guatemala, which he admitted he expected to give more than receive. But through his interaction with disabled children at an orphanage playing soccer and getting to know them, he got more out of the trip than what he gave.

“And that’s what Jesus is saying,” he said after reading a passage from Mark 10. Even when we give, we give, we give, we give, and then we give some more, he always gives back more. That’s just a miracle. We remember we belong to each other, we put love into the world, and we give, but we also get back.”

This year’s theme is “Lifting Others Through Community Service.”

Drive Chair Eric Glasco said he decided on the theme after thinking about what each of the 12 agencies have in common.

“The more I thought about it, the more I thought it’s about lifting others,” he said. “You have some like the Boys Club that lift kids to their potential, that help them to achieve what they can. You have others that lift us out of dark times in our lives, or are there for us, or lift us up when we need somebody to be there, whether it’s through a meal or activities at senior services.”

Call SCUFFY at 317-398-6231 to make a pledge or provide a donation through credit.

2019 SCUFFY Pacesetters

n Ryobi Die Casting USA – $50,578.32

n Westside Pub and Grub – $3,000

n Runnebohm Construction – $23,626.16

n First Financial – $3,700

n Plymate Inc. – $16,400

n The Fiddlers Three/Maxim Events – $1,000

n McNeely Stephenson – $25,969.76

n Shelby County Co-op – $2,897.60

n Hendricks Elementary – $4,722