Archive for July, 2013

Heat Wave Hits New York City

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

During the afternoon hours, temperatures could actually exceed the 100-degree mark at some point between Thursday and Saturday, reports Michael Walsh in today’s Daily News, and the next few days are not expected to be much better.

AccuWeather forecasts that temperatures in the city could reach 97 degrees Thursday, 94 degrees Friday and 92 degrees Saturday. But during the afternoon hours, when the sun is at its highest, the temperature could actually exceed the 100-degree mark.

Everyone is encouraged to drink plenty of fluids and wear light-colored, lightweight clothes. Senior citizens and people with respiratory difficulties are advised to avoid strenuous activities and seek cooler environments. Pets or children should not be left unattended in a car at any point.

“Make sure you drink lots of fluids. You can get dehydrated quickly, even if you’re not exercising,” said Tod Bania, an emergency medical doctor at St. Luke’s & Roosevelt Hospitals.

Bania encourages people who typically exercise outside to take a few days off. If they absolutely must exercise outdoors, he suggests doing it early in the morning or late in the evening.

Catholic Charities cooling centers at 120 Anderson Avenue in Staten Island along with cooling centers through New York City will remain open through Sunday, 7/21, due to continued high temperatures and heat indices.

For cooling center locations & hours  or for more information on avoiding heat illness, please visit www.nyc.gov/oem or call 311. For the latest weather information, visit www.weather.gov/nyc.

Scholars follow in the footsteps of their namesake, Pierre Toussaint

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Donning blue Catholic Charities t-shirts, 18 Pierre Toussaint scholars and three of their friends recently swept floors, painted doors, washed windows and donated their time to make the Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Community Center shine.

Pierre Toussaint scholars are graduating seniors from various schools in the Archdiocese of New York who demonstrate active involvement in a church or faith community.  They also score high on academic achievement.  And they demonstrate a commitment to serving others, similar to the scholars’ namesake, the Venerable Pierre Toussaint.

Mr. Toussaint was born a slave in Haiti in 1766 and died a freeman in New York City in 1853. He touched the hearts of many by living his life, he said, ‘to be an apostle of goodness to everyone he met.’ He was instrumental in raising funds for the first Catholic orphanage, starting the city’s first school for black children, providing funds for the Oblate Sisters of Providence, (a religious community of black nuns), and raising funds to build the Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. With  money he earned as successful entrepreneur he purchased the freedom of others instead of his own.

He was declared a “Venerable” on Dec. 17, 1997 by Pope John Paul II, for the virtuous life that he led, placing him on the path to becoming North America’s first black saint.

The students apparently lived up to their scholarship’s namesake.

“We adults are seeing the best youth come forward through the Pierre Toussaint Scholarship program,” said Catholic Charities Kennedy Center Assistant Director Ted Staniecki, “and I know my mind is at ease seeing the wonderful potential being developed for the future of our society.

 

Congress Debates Immigration Reform; Catholic Charities Focuses on Dignity of Work

Friday, July 12th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities has long helped victims who have undergone the horrendous humiliation of human trafficking regain their dignity through one of the most basic of human activities, work.

We now extend our Dignity of Work program to those waiting to be certified as victims of human trafficking as well as certain crime victims who hold U-Visas.

Those eligible receive:

  • Employment preparation services, including employment readiness classes
  • Resume assistance
  • Mock interviews
  • Financial resources for employment training
  • Social services

Finding work in the U.S. can be hard, and many immigrants and refugees are drawn to America for the opportunity to better themselves. Catholic Charities helps those who want to be employed, but find it difficult to know where to start.

Catholic Charities agencies can help refugees, asylees, Cuban/Haitian entrants and victims of trafficking develop a resume, learn a skill, practice interview skills, and learn how to search for a job. They can also set up job interviews through a wide network of employers who have come to rely on the good judgment of our staff in matching employment needs with qualified workers.

At Catholic Charities NY, in any given year:

  • 2,176 families provided with expert counsel and safeguarded from exploitation
  • 28,332      calls for help answered promptly with accurate information in 18 languages
  • 478   breadwinners helped to obtain authorization to work
  • 324   immigrants reunited with their families
  • 457   individual refugees resettled
  • 72    immigrants taught English and civics
  • 42    asylum seekers provided with legal representation

Dignity of Work is an initiative of the Anti-Trafficking Program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Do you need help?  Call our New York State (NYS) New Americans Hotline: 1-212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS).

Step Ya Game Up

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Have what it takes to compete in a Hip-Hop dance competition?

Join Hip Hop Generation Next ‘13 competition, STEPYAGAMEUP.

Individual dancers compete for cash prizes and “bragging rights” in this global conversion of world-class dancers in all hip hop dance styles.

Presented by Catholic Charities affiliate Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education and Dancing in the Streets

When? July 20 and 21

Where? 928 Simpson St., Bronx, NY 10459

Want more info? Call (718) 589-2230

Check it out.

Volunteer for Catholic Charities and Live Longer. Seriously.

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that older adults who volunteer for at least 200 hours per year decrease their risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure, by 40 percent. The study, published by the American Psychological Association’s Psychology and Aging journal, suggests that volunteer work may be an effective non-pharmaceutical option to help prevent the condition. Hypertension affects an estimated 65 million Americans and is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.

So, once again, Catholic Charities is here for you.  When it comes to volunteer opportunities, you name it; we’ve got it.  From coaching a basketball game, to painting a mural, to running the ING NYC Marathon, our cup runneth over with ways you can help.  And ways to extend your life!

Find a volunteer opportunity just right for you.

Join Catholic Charities ING New York City Marathon Team

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Get the experience of a lifetime. RUN the 2013 ING New York City Marathon with Team Catholic Charities New York!
If selected, here’s what you’ll get:

  • Guaranteed entry into the 2013 ING New York City Marathon
  • Personal fundraising website on Crowdrise
  • Weekly fundraising tips
  • An official Team Catholic Charities New York runner’s singlet
  • Team Kick-off Reception
  • Complimentary access to ING New York City Marathon Training Program
  • Being a part of a mission that helps children and families in need
  • Two million fans cheering you on!

Know someone who’s eager to run the ING NYC Marathon? Forward this post to them and tell them about this special opportunity.

Find us online:

  

Burned Down, Rebuilt and Cherished, New Community Center Both Reality and Miracle

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

By Alice Kenny 

At a grand-opening event marked by laughter, tears and gratitude, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan blessed the Catholic Charities Community Center on Adams Street last Friday, June 28.

“Isn’t this place something,” Cardinal Dolan said. “The word miracle’s been used and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. When you come in here you feel right at home…There’s a warmth; there’s an embrace…That’s what we like and that’s what people need and deserve.”

The building was bought by Catholic Charities in 2009 and was being renovated with a $2.1 million state grant after a fire on Dec. 21, 2010 wracked considerable damage to the three-story former St. Peter’s School building. The roof collapsed and there was smoke and water damage throughout the 18,000-square-foot structure.

On Friday, after offering his blessing, the cardinal splashed holy water and joked, “This is a fire retardant, too.”

The Catholic Charities center, formally known as the Father Edmund Burke Ulster County Catholic Charities Community Center, is at 6 Adams Street on a property perched above lower Broadway in the Kingston’s Rondout District. Fr. Burke, formerly the priest at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on lower Broadway, attended Friday’s ceremony.

The center was about a week away from opening when the 2010 fire set back the renovation effort. Following a second round of renovations, the center now is home to the offices for Ulster County Catholic Charities; a food pantry run by the group; the Agri-Business Child Development agency that offers early childhood education and social services to farm workers’ families and other eligible families; and a large gymnasium for Catholic Youth Organization sports programs. The gym hosted Friday’s ceremony.

Rebuilding the center relied on teamwork and hard work. Thomas J. Kelly, Regional Director of Ulster County Catholic Charities, extended special recognition to Johann Huleatt on behalf of the Bruderhof Community and Community Playthings for their gift of equipment and toys for the renovated waiting room and Tom Urtz and Lew Foote on behalf of ShopRite Supermarkets and the Wakefern Group for their donation of wire shelving and refrigeration units used in the center’s new food pantry.

“Who goes to Catholic Charities?” Cardinal Dolan asked a crowd that included Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, New York Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Kingston Mayor Shane Gallo and a host of others.

“People who have no where else to go,” he answered. “That’s what this is about…You got somebody hungry; You got somebody who needs legal help, … immigration help …a loving, safe, tender place for their kids. You need some place where our people can recreate. They come here because there’s a magnificent diversity of ways that we welcome people as family. We honor their human dignity. We recognize them as a child of God.”

 

Heroes Honored at the 77th Annual CYO Club of Champions Tribute; Crucial Funds Raised for CYO Youth

Monday, July 1st, 2013

CYO Honorees (L-R) Haeda Mihaltses, Rod Gilbert, Cardinal Dolan and Tim Brosnan

Fox 5’s”Good Day New York co-anchor Greg Kelly emceed as representatives from Major League Baseball, the New York Rangers and Mayor Bloomberg’s Intergovernmental Affairs office were honored at the 77th Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Club of Champions Tribute and Dinner last Wednesday, June 26, at The Waldorf=Astoria.  Attended by more than 400 people, the event raised more than $600,000 to help fund inner-city community centers, parish-based athletic, cultural, volunteer and scouting programs and other initiatives throughout the Archdiocese of New York.

“The Club of Champions dinner celebrates CYO’s legacy and future of building today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders,” Monsignor Kevin Sullivan said.

Timothy J. Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Major League Baseball, received the CYO Club of Champions’ Gold Medal, which is awarded annually to an individual who has provided inspiration and leadership for the youth of New York City.  Rod Gilbert, Director, Special Projects, Community Relations Representative of the New York Rangers, received the John V. Mara Sportsman of the Year Award, given to individuals who exhibited exceptional sportsmanship throughout their careers.  And Haeda Mihaltses, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, received the Terence Cardinal Cooke Humanitarian Award for their outstanding commitment to youth.

Honorary Co-Chairs of the event included His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Mrs. Margaret F. Grace, Mrs. Wellington T. Mara, Commissioner Bud Selig and Mr. Roger Staubach.  Dinner Co-Chairs include:d Elizabeth Comerford, Mitchell Modell and Joseph Niciforo.

“The generosity of our honorees, Tim Brosnan, Haeda Mihaltses and Rod Gilbert and their colleagues and friends is greatly appreciated and critically needed,” Monsignor Sullivan added.  “Through CYO, tens of thousands of New York youth of all religions participate in healthy and wholeness sports, cultural and other recreational activities throughout the year.”

All proceeds from the event support CYO programs that serve thousands of children and young people –non-Catholic and Catholic alike– throughout the Archdiocese of New York.

CYO supports the work of hundreds of parishes throughout the Archdiocese of New York to administer organized athletics programs for more than 24,000 children and youth ages 4 to 21 in the Archdiocesan region. Strongly rooted in local communities, CYO programs are organized around parishes with parental participation at the local level.  In keeping with our mission, CYO Athletic Programs serve youth without regard to race, ethnicity, gender or religion.  Through this broad array of recreational and spiritual growth and development opportunities, CYO promotes lives of promise, accomplishment and hope for young New Yorkers.