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Believe in the mission of SSND

Meet our donors Darrell and Irene Eiden

Darrel and Irene Eiden, donors of the School Sisters of Notre Dame share their story of become friends with SSND. Darrell Eiden met Irene at a diner in Melrose, Minnesota, where Irene was a waitress. Since Darrell was finishing college, he’d enlisted with the Marines in 1957. As he was preparing to leave, Irene asked Darrell if he would write to her while he was gone. She then asked him for his address, but since he wasn’t sure where he would end up, he took Irene’s address with him instead. For the next two years, the duo communicated through mail. In 1959, Darrell completed his tour of duty with the Marines and returned home. He and Irene married in May of 1960.

The couple welcomed eight children into the world. As their children grew up, they all attended Epiphany Catholic School in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. It was while the children were at the Catholic school, and through the couple’s volunteer work with the Church of the Epiphany, that they began to know the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND). Although Irene’s friend warned against getting too close to the sisters, on the chance that the sister would get missioned to a different location, Irene and Darrell thoroughly enjoyed the sisters’ company. For them, forming a friendship with a sister brought immense joy to their life and their family. Irene stated, “It was worth the possibility of the sister moving. The joy, fun and friendship of the sisters would be worth any pain that came from them moving.”

In 1984, the couple officially committed themselves as SSND associates. Irene went back to college at St. Catherine’s University, St. Paul, Minnesota. For 30 years, Irene volunteered at Peace House Community, in Minneapolis, which provides a refuge from the chaos and dehumanization of life on the streets.

As active donors to SSND, Darrell and Irene believe in the mission of the sisters. Darrell stated, “We will always believe in the mission of SSND and the good work they do in our communities. Besides, when you give money to the SSND, the money always goes toward a good thing and how can you beat that?”

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