Everybody Can Give: Spotlight on Sister Leona

No matter your age, job, background, or anything else—everyone can give. Just ask Sister Leona Riebel, age 102.

After more than 40 years in the classroom and other ministries, Sister Leona retired in her home state of Kansas at The Wichita Center of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She spends her days exercising, chatting with friends, in prayer or mass, and knitting—a lot of knitting.

Beginning in January each year, Sister Leona knits almost two hats each day through October, with some larger hats taking up to 8 hours to complete.

“Well, I have a lot of time to fill,” she replied, laughing, when asked how she knits so many. She creates hats in all different sizes and colors, her favorite to create being young children’s. Thanks to her selfless dedication, more than 400 people will get to choose one of these special hats to take home during distribution for HumanKind Ministries’s Operation Holiday (OH).

Each year Operation Holiday serves between 10,000-16,000 low-income families and individuals with food, grocery gift cards, pet food, winter wear and blankets, and more. Through a partnership with US Marine Corps Toys for Tots, HumanKind is able to distribute toys for children 14 and under. Youth aged 15-17 receive gifts through HK’s Teen2Teen program.

Operation Holiday truly is a community effort, and we could not do it without incredibly generous and dedicated individuals like Sister Leona. As faces light up with excitement as they shuffle through the hat bin, searching for their favorite hat, it is not only evident how important Operation Holiday is to so many—but also how important Sister Leona’s contribution is. Sometimes the best gifts aren’t the largest or most expensive, but the thoughtful ones made with love.

On behalf of all of us at HumanKind and all those we serve, thank you, Sister Leona! Your dedication and commitment is an inspiration to us all.

Please consider joining Sister Leona in making a difference in someone’s holiday season by volunteering, donating new or gently used coats, blankets and other basic needs, or making a monetary donation. Make your gift or learn more today at OperationHoliday.org

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