Catholic Charities Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

November 21st, 2014
07_StCatholic Charities, along with Catholic parishes and schools has long welcomed immigrants to our country and most especially to New York. We have helped new Americans adapt to their new home with a sense of dignity and respect. Given this experience, we have been at the forefront of advocating for legislation that  comprehensively reforms a broken immigration system to create fair and humane resettlement and integration for those coming to our country. Because of this, we have been saddened again and again by the failure of Congress to pass such critically needed legislation.In light of this failure, we are encouraged by President Obama’s executive action that deals with one part of immigration reform that is at the heart of Catholic Charities advocacy – the unity of the family.  By this order, millions of children who are citizens or permanent legal residents of the United States will be protected from suddenly having their parents taken from them and deported. Vulnerability and fear is reduced for millions by this action.  Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York highlighted this point from his own personal experience:

“Let me tell you a tale of two Sundays that I personally witnessed. The first Sunday a family of four was praying in my parish church. The next Sunday it was a family of three. The father and breadwinner was deported for a minor infraction that occurred almost a decade earlier.  The wife and mother was alone and the children now without their father.  No one benefited – not the family and not the nation.”  An executive action might have protected the unity and ensured the stability of this family.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York stands at the ready to help eligible immigrants respond to this new opportunity.  We will provide accurate and timely information through our New Americans Hotline.  We will also assist immigrants to comply with the provisions of this executive order so they can obtain the new protections and authorizations it affords.

While we are positive about the protections afforded vulnerable families by this executive order, there is undoubtedly more work to be done.  We continue to maintain that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary and thus advocating for such will be an ongoing part of Catholic Charities’ efforts.

Young and Rubicam Teams Up with Developmentally Disabled

November 20th, 2014

With breakaways, drop kicks and punts, eight volunteers from the international marketing and communications company, Young and Rubicam, teamed up with 20 developmentally disabled adults at Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Center gym earlier this month for a day filled with soccer drills and games.

Organized by Catholic Charities Director of Volunteer Services Staci-Jo Bruce, the event enabled volunteers to provide a meaningful day for the developmentally delayed adults, all passionate soccer players, served by Catholic Guardian Services, an affiliate of Catholic Charities.

Meet the Homeless. Hear Their Stories

November 19th, 2014

EOPGraduationCeremonyDinner2014-Sfrederick-30Speaker’s Night
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 6:15PM

You are invited to join us for a memorable evening of sharing and reflection.

Fordham University, Lincoln Center
Second Floor Chapel – Room 221
113 West 60th Street (corner of 9th Avenue)
New York City

Hear the stories of people who have experienced homelessness. Their Experiences.  Their hopes.

This presentation will feature homeless men and women who will share the stories of their experiences and their efforts to rebuild their lives. They are participants in the Education Outreach Program (EOP), a program of Catholic Charities Department of Social and Community Development.

For more information, please call Alison H. Kelsick, MSW at 212-371-1011 ext. 2450 or George B. Horton, ext. 2480.

Goya Foods 300,000 Pound Donation Helps Catholic Charities Feed Our Neighbors

November 18th, 2014

PRNewsFoto/Goya Foods

Tapping into an unprecedented outpouring of support, Catholic Charities teamed up with Goya Foods and Catholic Charities organizations from across the nation to feed and care for hungry and homeless families and immigrant children in need.

Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, yesterday donated 300,000 pounds of food to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York’s Feeding Our Neighbors campaign, to support a vast network of food pantries and emergency food programs throughout the archdiocese.

Catholic Charities also distributed donations of food and handmade blankets donated from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and stuffed animals donated by Catholic Charities Chicago to unaccompanied minor children who fled violence and abuse and recently arrived in New York.

“I am proud of Feeding Our Neighbors as a truly united effort by Catholic Charities to fight hunger in New York and help those in need who are struggling to put food on their tables,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.   “We are very grateful for the ongoing support from our parishes and schools in addition to the new partnership with Goya this year.”

Begun in 2012, 100 percent of contributions to the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign have helped support food pantries in New York that serve non-Catholics and Catholics alike after the holiday season has left them bare.

Goya’s immense donation, 300,000 pounds of food all told, is enabling the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign to extend its reach beyond the New York area to support other Catholic Charities agencies in communities that are providing services to unaccompanied minors arriving from Central America.

In fact, 100,000 pounds of the donation will be delivered by Goya throughout the United States in the weeks ahead to include the following Catholic Charities agencies:

  • Ft. Worth, TX
  • Galveston-Houston, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Washington, DC
  • Southern Arizona
  • Brooklyn and Queens, NY
  • Rockville Centre, NY

Food will also be distributed to the regions of Central Florida and Southern California by agencies of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York said he is especially pleased with the expansion of the program to include the needs of unaccompanied children throughout the country.

“The goal of Feeding Our Neighbors is to inspire New Yorkers to answer the basic call to help feed our hungry neighbors.  Through the support of Goya and our network of Catholic Charities programs in communities across the nation, we will make a significant impact on children across the United States who are hoping to reunify with their families and loved ones.  In addition, we will extend even further to meet the needs of these children through collaboration with the National Latino Evangelical Coalition in distributing this donation of food.”

 Join us in Feeding Our Neighbors, our Archdiocesan-wide drive to replenish food pantries supporting non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

 

It’s National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week

November 17th, 2014

foodBy Alice Kenny

It’s National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week!
Held each year the week before Thanksgiving, this is a great time for us all to remember what we are thankful for
— and a perfect time to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness.

What can I do?

  • Volunteer at one of our local soup kitchens.
  • Volunteer at one of our nearby food pantries.
  • Join us at our St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day.

Find out more ways to help.

Watch Talented Foster Children Take to the Stage

November 14th, 2014

talent showJoin our affiliated agency, Cardinal McCloskey Community Services (CMCS), at their 12th Annual inspirational and fun “Taking-the-Stage” Talent Show.

Watch as talented children and young adults in foster care programs shine!

Help us celebrate their talents!

Since 2002, the annual Taking the Stage talent show has impressed audiences and continues to provide an artistic outlet for at-risk children and teens.

All performers are youngsters served in CMCS programs and dedicated many hours perfecting their talents and rehearsing for the show.

The afternoon is a powerful reminder of the obstacles our youth, our future, continue to face.

Yet is is also a tribute to their indomitable spirit and the unwavering support CMCS gives so that they can achieve their goals and lead successful lives.

At the Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford, NY

Doors open at 1:00 PM.

Also, check out the Art Gallery, open from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, to see participants’ original art work and literary pieces.
Click here to purchase tickets! Click here to learn more.

City Teens Tour College and Dream Big

November 13th, 2014

By Alice Kenny
Shepard_Hall_1Underprivileged teens from Washington Heights received a guided tour of City College of New York last week, thanks to La Plaza Beacon After-School Program.

Fifteen students learned the history of this college, founded in 1847, in the Howard E. Willie Administration Building. Momentum and interest grew as they next toured the Grove School of Engineering, the North Academic Building, the book store, the library, the computer labs and the Marshak Science building. Finally, they toured stone-hewn Shepard Hall, the castle-like building where students graduate and dreams become reality.

Participants peppered tour guides and teachers with questions about careers choices and about the bottom line, the availability of scholarships and financial aid.

La Plaza Beacon is part of Catholic Charities’ Alianza Division. During after-school hours, La Plaza Beacon’s school-based community center transforms a local school into a thriving neighborhood center. It provides a safe, supervised place where youth go for recreation, cultural activities, homework help and tutoring.

“We accomplished the main goal of our visit,” La Plaza Beacon  Director Leonardo Ivan Dominguez  said, “that with education the sky is the limit.”

Attacked & Blinded, Former Cab Driver Struggles to Care for His Family

November 12th, 2014

photo

After fleeing ethnic persecution in Guinea, K. Arafan Koita was brutally attacked three years later while working as a livery driver in New York City.

Mr. Koita lost his vision in the attack, New York Times Reporter Corey Kilgannon reports in this just-published Neediest Case, but partly regained it after being hospitalized.

These days, Mr. Koita finds sporadic work delivering African art with a friend from Guinea, and hopes to get off public assistance so he can support and be a role model for his children, he said.

Left legally blind, he is haunted by a feeling of powerlessness when it comes to supporting his wife and three children.

Mr. Koita, who speaks French, also sought out the Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind, to improve his English, and for help resolving complications in getting social service benefits. He registered for computer training and for help finding a job.

The children share a tiny bedroom crowded with sagging beds that make sleeping uncomfortable, and the apartment has been without heat and hot water for two months. The landlord has been slow to respond, Mr. Koita said as he stood over a hot plate in the kitchen, where the family often heats large pots of water for bathing.

“I need to be strong,” he said. “For them.”

Read Mr. Koita’s full profile in The New York Times.

Help us help the Koita family and fellow courageous New Yorkers.

   

After Sleeping with Her Baby on the Subway, Homeless Woman & Child Rebuild Their Lives

November 10th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.37.33 PM‘Amina Gilmore spent one of her first nights of homelessness on the No. 1 train, guarding her 1-year-old son as he slept,’ writes John Otis in this New York Times Neediest Cases story published on Sunday. ‘The next day she went to class. Even as her life shifted and balances wavered in a few short years, Ms. Gilmore kept her eyes fixed on her goal…’

Unsure of where to turn, Ms. Gilmore (a college student thrown out of her mother’s home) spent the night riding the No. 1 train to the end of the line and back.

‘I was sleeping with one eye open,’ she said…

The next morning, they made their way to a storage center, where they changed clothes in the locker unit she rents. She dropped him off at day care and went to class. There, she broke down and cried. Her professor took her to a social worker at Monroe College who helped her find a hotel that night and then a spot at the Elinor Martin Residence for Mother & Child in New Rochelle, an affiliate of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.

Read the full New York Times story here.

   

Put On Your Santa Cap & Join Us

November 7th, 2014

_MG_4687Looking for a great volunteer opportunity this holiday season?

Join us as we don Santa caps.
Shop for Catholic Charities clients in need.
And make the season bright.

Please save the date for our St. Nicholas Shopping Day –Saturday, December 13, 2014 –At K-Mart on Astor Place.

You will be part of a nearly 500-elf team shopping for more than 4,000 Catholic Charities clients to provide them with winter necessities. Without you, this would not be possible.

In addition to our volunteer efforts, we are also asking for your help to raise the funds necessary to purchase these winter necessities.

Please consider making your gift today in order to help us reach our goal of raising $250,000!

Thank you for your continued support helping New Yorkers in need this Christmas season!