Father John's Go-To Logistics Guy
It was the day before Pope Benedict’s historic Mass at Nationals Park during his visit to Washington, DC in 2008 and Monsignor John Enzler, then the Vicar of Development for the Archdiocese of Washington, had a problem.
Tens of thousands of bags had been assembled for each guest attending the huge outdoor Mass, including bottled water. But he didn’t know how to get those bags into the hands of the attendees. So he picked up the phone and called John Kane.
That’s just one example of many where John Kane answered the call. Since then, Father John has of course moved on to Catholic Charities, and he has turned to Kane Company several times for help with some of the unusual opportunities and challenges we faced.
“When Father John launched the first coat drive, he called me to figure out a way to get all of these coats – I think there were 8,000 of them – from the 98 parishes to one location,” Kane said. “We dispatched several hundred collection bins and our trucks to drop them off at each parish and then collect the bins later.”
Another time, Kane Company helped store thousands of couches donated from the luxury suites by the Washington Redskins until they could be distributed to offices or homes of clients.
“When someone wants to donate a big TV to our shelters or some furniture. When we needed to get bins for an interfaith food drive into neighborhood community centers. When we helped a family move out of their home when eviction was inevitable and into a smaller home, John was there to help us make that happen,” said Father John. “My go-to guy is always John Kane. These kind of calls come out of the blue, and often with very little time to react. Whenever I call to get help, John always says yes.”
All of this done, by the way, free of charge.
|Kane Company has been vital to many last minute and unique
special projects Father John has taken on.
“That’s just how my father taught us to be,” Kane said with a simple shrug. His office at the Kane Company’s newest facility, located just outside of the beltway in Lanham, MD, overlooks rows and rows of storage in the warehouse. “We have some supplies for the upcoming Catholic Charities Gala here, as well as a dental chair right now.”
As he walks through the warehouse, he talks and jokes with nearly every employee he passes. Over the years, he has hired several former clients of Catholic Charities, offering “fair wages for a fair day’s work.” The company specializes in figuring out the details in any major move for a company. Last year his company helped set up more than 26,000 hotel rooms across the country, all the way down to tiny details like placing the soap in the soap dish.
No wonder when Father John needs someone who can figure out the details, John Kane is the first person he calls.
Wrtten by Erik Salmi, Catholic Charities DC blog