Donor Stories – Mike and Joan Conway
Every client, volunteer and donor has a story when they walk through the doors of Catholic Charities. Though all different, they all have one thing in common – a core belief in the importance of helping those in need and the effect it has on one’s life. It’s those core beliefs that bring people together and for Mike and Joan Conway, it’s resulted in a decades-long commitment.
Both Mike and Joan were products of large Catholic families and today, Mike is the sole owner of Ashwood Construction and Ashwood Development. Heavily involved in community betterment programs and charitable organizations, the Conways first became involved with Catholic Charities more than 15 years ago when a good friend, Richard Spencer, invited Mike to the organization’s largest annual event, Harvest of Hope.
“Similar to any passion, Richard wanted to bring his friends in and this was the perfect time to do it,” Mike said. “Now years later, I share that passion for Catholic Charities and I look forward every year to gathering my friends at that same fundraiser so that they too can learn about the good work being done.”
With food for the hungry, clothing for the cold, emergency assistance for those who have lost their way and several other services, the Conways have come to understand the real work of Catholic Charities and how it affects our community. “They [Catholic Charities] have a true interest in seeing people do better and getting them back on their feet. We sometimes don’t realize how close to home these issues exist, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes – it’s everywhere whether we choose to see it or not.”
Mike believes in putting his faith into action and in quoting Mother Teresa he says… “At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.’”
The Conways have witnessed the impact their generosity makes to the clients served at Catholic Charities – one of the reasons they continue to give year after year. “God gives to you to help others. I am blessed with more than I need so at the end of this life when I stand up before God, I want to be able to show something for that.”