Last school year, Marian had the opportunity to have the Sheltering Tree as a service site. Sheltering Tree is an organization that helps house people with developmental disabilities.
Marian was first introduced to Sheltering Tree by Sr. Margaret Buchta. “The associates there [Sheltering Tree] are a part of our community. They do a lot of activities with us. They have our same charism. There’s a really rich relationship between us and the Sheltering Tree,” Buchta said. Buchta herself has visited Sheltering Tree many times to volunteer. “One time, they had a fundraiser and a couple of the residents baked cakes. One young woman made a beautiful cake and they auctioned it off. They really were very good,” Buchta said.
Sheltering Tree’s main focus is to give people with developmental disabilities independence in an affordable fashion. It was founded in 2008 by Tom and Shirley McNally. The McNallys had a son with Down syndrome and wanted a place where someone like their son could learn to be independent in a safe environment. Sheltering Tree has many programs for adults including help with job searches and community involvement. There are two facilities in Omaha and there is a third facility currently under construction. They have been fundraising for the past few months to raise money for a fourth one.
Senior Mariesa Beal was the service leader for Sheltering Tree’s service site last year. Although it does not currently have a service site leader, Marian girls are always welcome to volunteer with the Servites or by themselves.
The girls and the residents would do multiple activities together such as playing board games and arts and crafts. Beal loved playing card games with the residents.
“We played UNO a lot with the residents and it was always so much fun,” she said.
Senior Emma Garriott has also volunteered there in the past. “Sometimes we did a set craft or different games like pool. We also painted nails which was fun to do,” Garriott said.