Our Begging Tradition

The Little Sisters’ tradition of begging was set forth by our foundress, Saint Jeanne Jugan. To provide for the needs of the aged poor, she traveled the roads of France on foot seeking alms. She was recognized by the begging basket she carried.

Knocking on doors, she asked for money, but also for gifts in kind: food, clothing, wood, wool, or whatever was needed for the Home. Jeanne always thanked her benefactors by praying for them with heartfelt gratitude. She also thanked God for their generosity, as she placed her total trust in Divine Providence.

This tradition of relying on the charity of those in the community has been maintained by generations of the Little Sisters. Today’s “collecting” Little Sisters are often known by our “begging van.” Every day, two of us go to markets and businesses seeking food, commodities and monetary assistance to offset operating expenses. We also appeal in Catholic parishes on Sundays as a way to build friendships and support.

The home relies on the generosity of donors to cover the roughly $2.4 million annually that is not covered by State and Federal funding. Each year these donations are provided to our home from gifts, bequests and donated commodities. We rejoice in the generosity and love that flow in support of our work.

“This is why God always blessed me, because I was always thankful to Providence” ~ Saint Jeanne Jugan