Archive for January, 2013

Catholic Charities Provides Intra-Agency Orientation for Disaster Case Management

Friday, January 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities New York kicked off New York State’s coordinated disaster case management (DCM) program by offering a two-day orientation and training on January 10-11 for disaster case managers, supervisors, and other key staff.  This kickoff training event was held at Cardinal Spellman Center in lower Manhattan.

More than 50 Catholic Charities New York staff members along with staff from various social service organizations including Catholic Charities Brooklyn Queens, Project Hope and BronxWorks attended.

Training topics included disaster impacts, resources available to help New Yorkers hurt by Hurricane Sandy, the role of disaster case managers, and essential steps for providing disaster case management and how to coordinate with other agencies providing DCM services.  Representatives from FEMA, New York State Office of Emergency Management, Project Hope, and Catholic Charities provided feature presentations.

Ongoing trainings will be offered on a regular basis to delve deeper into the material presented in this initial training and to introduce new topics and resources as appropriate.

Free College Basketball Game Admission For CYO Players

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities CYO participants are celebrating CYO Day — Parts I, II and III – with free admission to local college basketball games.

CYO players celebrated Part I on December 29 when the Fordham Women’s Team faced off against Lafayette – and lost 54 -50.

Next, players attended CYO Day last Sunday, January 13, at Fordham University as the men’s team faced off against U. Mass- and lost again by just four points, 77-73.  CYO players and their families  received free admission to the game plus a pizza party.

CYO Day Part III finishes off this Sunday, January 20 for a Women’s Basketball game at Iona College against Lafayette.

Are you a CYO player and would like to attend?  Just wear your CYO jerseys and get into the game for free.

Martin Luther King Day of Service

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Martin Luther King Day, celebrated this year on January 21, is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” It is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.

  • If you are in need of volunteers for this day and would like assistance recruiting, please email:
  • Check out Catholic Charities volunteer website for volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

Pressing on for the Children

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

By Alice  Kenny

For more than a decade, Marjorie Suarez worked as a sergeant at New York University Department of Public Safety.  She supervised a staff of 80 officers and earned enough to provide a comfortable life for herself and her young son, Eugene.

But a freak accident that began with a fall and sprained ankle morphed into a chronic condition, complex regional pain syndrome, CRPS, left her wheelchair bound, unemployed and in constant pain.

The New York Times profiled her and the help she received during last year’s Neediest Cases campaign.  This year, it caught back up with her in this online video along with two other women helped by the campaign.

“This entire situation made me humble and opened my heart,” Ms. Suarez said.  “I see now that even a small gesture like saying “good morning” to someone – “how are you doing; how can I help you” — can change a day and turn a life around.”

Looking to Volunteer? Sandy Survivors Need You

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities is pulling together a team of volunteers this Saturday, January 19, to help with the physical clean up of four Staten Island homes badly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Tasks include removal of sheet rock & insulation, cleaning behind it and removal of flooring. Transportation will be provided.

Sign up or learn more.

Presidential Inaugural Committee National Day of Service

Monday, January 14th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

With the goal of creating a tradition, President Barack Obama  and others are participating in National Day of Service on January 19.

  • To have your volunteer opportunity posted on the Presidential Inaugural Volunteer,  please email for more information.
  • Check out Catholic Charities volunteer website for volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

Struggling to find meaning after the Sandy Hook school shooting?

Monday, January 14th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

It’s been less than a month since 27 people, including 20 children and six school employees, were shot dead in Sandy Hook Elementary School and the close-knit Newtown,  Fairfield County community is still struggling to find meaning in this almost unspeakable tragedy.

Listen to JustLove, the Catholic Channel, as Al Barber, President of Catholic Charities in Fairfield provides his personal account of the “tremendous spiritual hunger” he witnessed in this overwhelmingly Catholic Connecticut town and learn about support provided by Catholic Charities, the Church and the community.

“You pray and keep going and know that the good Lord is there,” he said. “He’s not casting us overboard and saying good luck with this one. He’s there every day and brings different challenges”

JustLove airs weekly on Saturday at 10 am EST on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio on The Catholic Channel 129.

Borrowed Hearing Aid Opens New World to Teenager

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Vladimir Gongora, 17, thought he was the only person who could not hear.

He grew up in Cuyantepeque, El Salvador, an isolated farming village nestled between mountains, that had no health center and, until recently, no road access for cars.

For Vladimir, there was also no school: Because he could not hear or speak, teachers shut him out, his family said.  For years he lingered by the school doors at recess, waiting for other children to exit, waiting for playmates. He communicated only with his two sisters and grandparents, using hand signals they had invented.

But now, as a student at the Lexington School for the Deaf in Jackson Heights, Queens, he has made friends with classmates who are also hearing impaired and is learning sign language and to read and write.

“He wants to work,” said his father, Jose Gongora, who never went to school, “and later get a car.  He dreams a lot, right?”

 Read his story published in The New York Times

Watch a video of him on The New York Times website

Learn about crucial help he received from Catholic Charities.

Mother & Severely Disabled Son Saved from Eviction

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Wilmarie Dominguez’ son, Nicholas, 12, was born with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and hypertonia. He cannot speak, see or stand.

Yet, Ms. Dominguez says, “he has given me a lot of strength.”

But this strength was not enough to combat her landlord’s threats to evict them. She sought help from Catholic Charities.

Thanks to Catholic Charities’ successful intervention, she can continue caring for Nicholas in their home, pureeing his food so that he can swallow it, changing his diapers and pushing him in his wheelchair to his myriad of medical appointments.

In her world, “there’s no me,” she says. “There’s just him.”

Read their story published in The New York Times.

Partnering to Serve Our City’s Immigrant Communities and Looking for Funding?

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Are you a faith or neighborhood-based immigrant and non-immigrant group collaborating on projects to sustain healthy communities through high-impact service projects AND looking for funding support?

If you are, you may be eligible for up to a $3,000 UnityNYC grant.

  • UnityNYC Grant Awards will tap into New York City’s diverse neighborhood groups to proactively address critical needs and promote opportunities that directly contribute to the public good.
  • Applications are being accepted from resident-led volunteer groups in all five boroughs.
  • Groups will be selected based on their demonstrated ability to unite residents from diverse backgrounds, mobilize at least 20 volunteers, and execute a well-planned project.
  • Preference will be given to groups operating in low-income, underserved communities.

Partner with one or many groups, come up with an idea, and apply.

But you need to move fast.  The application deadline is January 31st, 2013.

To access the application, check out the Citizens Committee for NYC’s website:

Thank you for your partnership and ongoing commitment to our city’s immigrant communities.

In unity, we will continue to make NYC the greatest city in the world!

Contact for more information.