Project Outreach, a non-profit, charitable organization which strives to improve the nutrition, living conditions, health and education for the impoverished in Fayette County, celebrated its fortieth anniversary and honored its founder, the late Sister Elaine Wicks, OSF, in Fayette County this past Saturday, October 6.
Over 150 people were in attendance including; volunteers, outreach recipients, friends and family of the founder, the mayor of Fayette County and the Most Reverend Bishop Martin D. Holley, D.D.
Five Sisters of St. Francis from Rochester, Minn., Springfield, Mo., and El Paso, Texas, who were classmates of the late Sister Wicks, attended the celebration to honor their fellow Sister and friend.
Sister Wicks founded Project Outreach in 1978. She ministered to the poor in Fayette County and founded a health clinic and food and clothing ministry. She passed away from cancer in 1998, and for the past 20 years, Shona Moore, a Secular Franciscan, with the assistance of her husband, Deacon Phil Moore, has administered the outreach project. The organization delivers food to the poor monthly, along with nutrition education, and assists in a clothing ministry. One of the most successful projects the outreach program organizes every year is a school supplies drive. This past August, 700 school supplies, hygiene items and backpacks were given to students in need in both Fayette and Shelby Counties. Additionally, the program gives book scholarships to incoming college students to assist in their education.
The organization continues to assist generations of children break the cycle of poverty, including Danielle Franklin, who is a former recipient and is on the board of directors for the charity.
“I am one of the children who have been impacted from this ministry,” Franklin said. “I received school supplies from Project Outreach and my family received food. I was one of the college students who received a book scholarship. I’m a first generation college graduate in my family and now I’m a pharmacist. I want to give back to the organization, which gave me a start. I want my son to see how important it is to give to others.”
During the presentation, Fayette County Mayor Skip Taylor honored Project Outreach and Sister Wicks by declaring October 6 as Sister Elaine Wicks Day.
Additionally, Bishop Holley thanked Project Outreach volunteers for the work they do to improve the quality of life for others.
“I’m grateful for Sister Wicks’ work in the Fayette County community,” Bishop Holley said. “She changed the lives of many and continues to do that through each Project Outreach volunteer. The laity is called to empower others and share the gift of evangelization through organizations like Project Outreach.”
Project Outreach distributes food to 550 families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season every year.
For more information on Project Outreach or to contact for volunteer opportunities: