Each year ICSC recognizes individuals for their unique and extraordinary witness to Christian Stewardship as a way of life by honoring them with the Christian Stewardship Award.
Eric and Diane HolmDiocese of Orlando, Florida
By definition, a Christian steward is one who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cultivates them responsibly, shares them lovingly and returns them with increase to the Lord. This year’s recipients of the ICSC Christian Stewardship Award, Eric and Diane Holm, of the Diocese of Orlando, Florida, fit this definition well. The Holms are members of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Altamonte Springs, Florida, where they are active in parish stewardship efforts. As entrepreneurs in the food industry, they are successful owners of 27 Golden Corral Restaurants in Florida and Georgia.
Eric and Diane have shared their vibrant success generously with others. In 1992, they established a community charity called Helpings from the Heart. Now in its 20th year, this charitable endeavor provides free Thanksgiving meals to the needy. Directing between 1,200 and 1,500 volunteers each year, they serve over 25,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day. It is, arguably, the largest single meal program in the U.S. for those in need. It is certainly Florida’s largest community Thanksgiving meal. Eric and Diane also offer free meals to armed forces personnel and veterans around Veterans Day each year as a token of their gratitude for the heroic service and sacrifices made on behalf of the United States.
Ronald McDonald House is another beneficiary of Eric and Diane’s love of neighbor. Its mission is to provide a “home away from home” for parents and families of seriously ill and injured children. Through Eric and Diane’s support of the All Star Acoustic Jam, a country music event, they helped raise over $1 million for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Central Florida.
Together with their daughter, Danielle, Eric and Diane support Camp Boggy Creek as well. Diane serves on the board of directors of this medical camp that assists children ages 7 – 16 who suffer from chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
Eric volunteers as a logistics officer for Orange County and Florida law enforcement agencies in Orlando. If a community emergency arises, such as a disaster wrought by a hurricane, he coordinates food distribution. He also serves on the board of directors of the Catholic Foundation of Central Florida and the board of advisors for the Salvation Army. The Holms invited fellow parishioners into their home to share with them the good works of the Catholic Church in Central Florida during the Diocese of Orlando’s Alive in Christ Campaign.
Eric and Diane continue to share their own blessings with others, and in doing so, offer a compelling witness to Christian stewardship.
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