Mary Potter & Company Hosts Fund-Raiser

April 13, 2012

Group Works with Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation

For more than 20 years the women of Mary Potter & Company have coordinated Gifts from the Heart, holiday time gifts, grocery money and blankets for the less fortunate of the South Bay communities.

Recently, for the first time in its history, Mary Potter & Company held a fundraiser to build a new reserve – and the featured silent auction item was a trip for two aboard the Goodyear Blimp! Funds have dwindled because of the poor economy while the number of families in need has increased.

“We’ve gone from helping families in need by buying that special Christmas toy to providing for working families who have lost their homes,” said Scarlett Billis, chairwoman of Gifts from the Heart. “We’ve seen our program go from filling wants to filling needs.”

The event included a raffle as well as the silent auction, with minimum bids for the Blimp ride starting at $1,000.

Named for the founder of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary, who sponsor the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro, Mary Potter & Company is dedicated to helping the poor. It is under the auspices of the Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation.

The group of about 50 women team each year with employees and physicians at Providence Little Company of Medical Center Torrance to collect gifts for the families. Members provide blankets for up to 50 families each year and purchase $50 grocery cards. Their plan this year is to increase that contribution to $100 because “$50 doesn’t go as far anymore,” Billis said.

“Each family can request a special toy for their children,” she said. “I can tell you so many stories about our families that will put at your heartstrings.”

A local shelter, six churches and the Sisters of Charity in Rolling Hills choose families, and then the women get to work. At the hospital, various departments contribute by adopting families and collecting gifts.

“The employees are great,” she said. “They are so enthusiastic about the families they adopt and love buying Christmas presents for them.”