Archive for November, 2012

Sandy Recovery: So Much Going On You Need a Road Map

Friday, November 30th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

After Hurricane Sandy tore through Staten Island, visits to this, the least populated and accessible of all New York City’s five boroughs, have multiplied in ways not seen since the Verrazano Narrows Bridge connected it to the rest of the city

“There is so much going on at the same time that you need a road map,” said Joe Panepinto, who, as director of Catholic Charities Staten Island Services is helping lead the hurricane recovery response.

Yesterday, US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis flew in from Washington DC to visit with day laborers who are assisted by Catholic Charities and have been active in hurricane cleanup efforts. Mayor Michael Bloomberg drove over from Manhattan to announce interim property tax relief for storm-battered homeowners at the Staten Island Disaster Relief Center manned by Catholic Charities staff and others every day, Monday through Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  And Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari along with FEMA hosted a town hall meeting attended by Catholic Charities staff and packed by residents still reeling from the super storm.

Now as the immediate shock from Sandy’s devastation lessons, government leaders, local residents, Catholic Charities, parishes and communities are rolling up their sleeves to focus on the difficult issue of ensuring long-term recovery.  Catholic Charities is manning the front lines.

Want more information? Contact us at

Donating DOs and DON’Ts; Click here to make your donations count

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts already received plenty of towels, toys and toiletries. But real need remains. Join our relief efforts.  If you’d like to help, please consider donating the items below that are in short supply:

  • Brooms (regular and push)
  • Mops
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Duct tape
  • Vinegar
  • Extension cords
  • Crowbars
  • Scrapers
  • Shovels
  • Hammers
  • Sledge hammers

Catholic Charities is manning the front lines at Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Centers in Staten Island.  For drop-off locations, contact us at

Text SANDY to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation.

Employed, but Trapped by Homelessness

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Aquiya and Renee Jackson with Caseworker Letticia Batista in the background

By Alice Kenny

Aquiya Jackson is a college-bound high school senior. Her mother, Renee Jackson works as a sales clerk at H & M clothing store.

Together, they represent the new face of homelessness; families with working parents unable to earn incomes high enough to pay New York City rents.

Click here to read their story published in The New York Times and learn about important intervention they received from Catholic Charities.

Disaster Recovery is a Long Process: Catholic Charities is There for the Journey

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Only a month after Superstorm Sandy, families throughout the Archdiocese of New York are starting the long road to recovery. Once the immediate needs were met, the focus turned to getting survivors back on their feet and returning as much as they can to normal lives.

A year after Hurricane Irene hit, there was still plenty of work to be done. On Make a Difference Day on October 27th, Catholic Charities Disaster Case Managers Dan Buzi and Salif Banse worked with two IBM volunteers to clean up branches and other yard debris that had been knocked over by Hurricane Irene from the homes of two senior women. The women, who had been both physically and financially unable to attend to the work themselves, were extremely grateful for the help.

As Jeanne M. Touhey wrote in the Poughkeepsie Journal, regarding the help she’d received from Catholic Charities, “Last year the aftermath of Irene left me with downed trees and brush in my yard. After months of trying to clean it up and injuring my back, I was the grateful recipient of the help offered … I am humbled by your generosity.”

To help with clean-up from Sandy, sign up to volunteer with disaster recovery:

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan Rings NYSE Opening Bell

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Photo: Ben Hider/NYSE Euronext

By Alice Kenny

His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, rang the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday, November 26, 2012 following the Cardinal’s Committee for Charity (CCC) 2012 Wall Street Breakfast.  The NYSE hosted the breakfast for the Wall Street division of the Cardinal’s Committee for Charity, which provides financial resources and counsel to help solve the problems of New Yorkers in need, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

The event included a conversation between Larry A. Silverstein, President and CEO of Silverstein Properties, Inc., and Daniel Henninger, Deputy Editor of The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page on the future development of the financial district.

The annual breakfast, which took place in the historic Board Room of the New York Stock Exchange, has raised during its eight-year history nearly $4 million of much-needed funds to support families and individuals in greatest need who are served by The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.

Volunteers and Staff Ignore Rotting Debris to Help Hurricane Victims Rebuild

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Donning face masks, work gloves and sheer determination, Catholic Charities staff worked with 24 volunteers it had mobilized to remove sheetrock, flooring and furniture in Midland Beach Staten Island homes destroyed by the super storm.

They ignored smells of rotting food and sewage, said Damian Buzzerio, one of the Catholic Charities staff members who joined the crew, to stuff garbage bags with debris left from the Hurricane’s destruction.

Catholic Charities Staten Island staff identified homeowners who needed help to recover from the hurricane.

Click here to watch a video of their efforts.

#GivingTuesday: A New Holiday to Start the Giving Season

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

By Chelsee Pengal

After the rush of shopping and deals post-Thanksgiving, a more meaningful celebration has taken shape to kick off the giving season. On Tuesday, November 27th, charities, families, businesses and individuals are all coming together to join in acts of giving.

As a partner of the #GivingTuesday initiative, Catholic Charities New York is raising funds and food for this year’s Feeding Our Neighbors campaign.

Thousands have been helped by emergency food after Sandy. At the same time, hundreds of thousands don’t have enough to eat every day. Help us raise 1 million meals for needy New Yorkers by contributing to Feeding Our Neighbors. Do your part to make the spirit of #GivingTuesday last throughout the year.

How to participate:

  • Spread the word about #GivingTuesday on Facebook and Twitter
  • Make a quick $10 donation to Feeding Our Neighbors by texting “CCHOPE” to 85944


Shop Catholic Charities Cyber Monday $ale

Monday, November 26th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Save money while helping support those we serve at Catholic Charities.

Donation Line: 718-292-9090 or email:

Donate Your Vehicle:

Shop Online Anytime:

A Widow Struggles to Pick Up the Pieces

Monday, November 26th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Beaulah Smith sat on a hospital bed beside Isaac, her husband of 40 years, as a team of doctors explained the grim state of his health.

Terminal colon cancer. Inoperable.

Mr. Smith died three weeks later, on Feb. 2, 2012.

While grieving, Ms. Smith simultaneously fought her own life-and-death battle with ovarian cancer.  The two contests broke her heart and depleted her savings.

Click here to read her story published this past Sunday in The New York Times and learn about support and intervention that Catholic Charities provided.

Catholic Charities Staten Island Spearheading Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities Staten Island has taken a leadership role partnering with nonprofit organizations to speed services and support to residents of this borough devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Joseph Panepinto, director of Catholic Charities Staten Island Services, said he’ll meet Nov. 27 with various nonprofits on the Island to assess available resources and needs in the community.

“We want to see what everybody’s capacity is,” said Panepinto, a native Staten Islander. “For me, it’s personal. We will not see anybody go cold or hungry.”

Click here to learn more.

To contribute to ongoing recovery efforts:

Text SANDY to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation.