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By Carol A. Erpelding, St. Joseph SVdP Conference

Barb Rainbolt blessed us by joining the St Joseph Conference of SVdP in 2017. Faith was her guiding star, and it quickly became a force nourishing the spirituality of our Conference. Barb had a fierce dedication to the mission of SVdP and a love for the neighbors she served through her home parish of St Michael’s as well as the other four parishes of our combined Conference.

A true trailblazer, Barb began stocking the break room at St Michael’s with food items for a make-shift food pantry. No person needing food was to be turned away on Barb’s watch. During the workday, evenings or weekends, Barb could be found handing out food to neighbors in need. She had been known to give away her lunch to a hungry neighbor until she began bringing two lunches in case a hungry neighbor came in. Soon the parish of St. Michael’s got involved and the cabinets began to fill, standing ready to assist anyone. That support spread quickly to include St Bernard, St Joseph and, ultimately, government subsidies and Dare to Care. A United Way grant provided needed refrigeration equipment.

Ironically, it was the day of preparing Thanksgiving baskets for distribution that a stroke took Barb’s ability to actively help with our mission. Many have picked up the baton and St Michael’s is now a full food pantry properly equipped to serve neighbors in need. Community volunteers and St. Michael’s parish staff continue to assist our neighbors diligently.

With her everlasting courage and spirituality, Barb continues to set an example for us all in how to live our faith and continue to trust in God, family and community. It is with gratitude and love we nominated Barb for the volunteer award for the Southern Indiana District. The entire St. Joseph Conference of SVdP – Corydon continues to pray for and support the fighting spirit and courage exemplified by Barbra Rainbolt and her family.