Archive for August, 2013

Riding Leprechaun Buses; Running for Team Catholic Charities

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

By Ed Gallagher

Many lives have been forever changed and even destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. It heightened my resolve to live life more fully and not procrastinate on my dreams and goals. These two devastating events, one natural, one man made, exemplified the dichotomy of life:  Life is truly fragile, but it is also amazingly resilient for those that survive.

I have never run a marathon, but it has always been on my “bucket list”. I figured I’d better do it sooner than later as I know it won’t get any easier as each year passes.

I grew up as a competitive swimmer, starting at age 5. I started running cross country in high school to get in shape for the winter swim season. I instantly fell in love with many aspects of running; the challenge both mental and physical, the solitude of training and camaraderie of race day. It gives me time to think about issues at work and home, put life into perspective and be a better husband, father, friend and employer.

I stopped running for many years as I got involved with family business and started a family. I am president of The Leprechaun Transportation Group, a small group of passenger transportation companies providing school bus, transit, commuter and charter motor coach service in the Hudson Valley and beyond. It is a third-generation family-owned enterprise started by my grandfather in 1934. My hope is that it becomes a fourth-generation family business.

My wife, Mary Jane, and I live with our four children; Katie, 15, Caroline 14, Eddie, 12, and Joseph, 9, in Montgomery, NY.  We are members of Most Precious Blood parish and our kids have attended this parish school.

I began running again a few years ago to be able to keep up with my kids, lose my “spare tire” and be fit mentally and physically.

Meanwhile, several years ago Sr. Joann Dress, CEO of Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County, approached me to become a board member. I agreed with little understanding of the full extent of their work.  From day one, I have been thoroughly impressed with the board’s and staff’s dedication, passion, focus and operational efficiencies of this organization. They touch so many lives in this community.  You can’t help but be drawn to help with their mission.

Running as a member of Team Catholic Charities allows me to fulfill a personal goal while also fulfilling a charitable goal.

I truly appreciate this opportunity.

Help support Ed’s ING NYC Marathon campaign. Click here to find out how: www.crowdrise.com/CatholicCharitiesNYC2013/fundraiser/edgallagher

Donors and Devastation: Connecting the Dots

Monday, August 5th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Driven in on flatbed trucks, dropped off from backpacks and carted in on wagons, donations for Sandy survivors began arriving in Staten Island after Super Storm destroyed nearly everything in its wake.

As donors pulled in, many making their first visit ever to this island floating between Brooklyn and Bayonne, they faced the same key question.  Where could donations be safely stored so they would be disbursed quickly to those most in need?

Catholic Charities stepped forward immediately to offer its cavernous gym at Mission of the Immaculate Virgin Mount Loretto in Staten Island.  Now serving as a makeshift warehouse and distribution center organized and staffed by Catholic Charities, the gym is stocked with heaters, dehumidifiers, tools and supplies. Most resources are limited as donated stock can change daily.

The donation center illustrates yet another support system cobbled together by social service and government agencies, corporations and private donors to help Sandy survivors rebuild their homes and lives.

“What’s available today may be gone by tomorrow,” says Catholic Charities Community Development Coordinator Lourdes Ferrer. “With Disaster Case Management things are constantly evolving.”

Statewide, more than 5,000 of Sandy survivors receive disaster case management services.  Managed by Catholic Charities, the New York State Disaster Case Management Program whittles down the complex system of disaster support by providing survivors with a single point of contact to access a broad range of resources.

Catholic Charities hired two full-time staff members to oversee the donation center and ensure fair distribution of its wares.  The agency also partnered with other Staten Island bases organizations to assure that all residents affect by Sandy, have access to the donated items and materials.

“When disasters happen, people just want everything fixed so they can get back to life as it was, but sometimes that’s not possible; sometimes there are no quick fixes,” Ms. Ferrer says.  “Disaster case managers play a very important and difficult role in the recovery process.  They have to maintain people’s confidence and keep them calm while walking them through a recovery process that can take years.”

  • If you were affected by Superstorm Sandy or know someone who was, contact your Case Manager to access needed materials.
  • If you do not have a case manager, contact the Sandy Referral Line at 855-258-0483.

Why I’m Running the NYC ING Marathon with Team Catholic Charities

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

By THOMAS S. CARNEY, Major, New York Air National Guard

I‘m delighted to represent Team Catholic Charities NY Archdiocese for the 2013 NYC Marathon. I’ve been a competitive marathon runner for over 35 years, having run my first marathon at the age of 19 at the 1978 Boston Marathon. I’ve covered a total of 88 marathons as of June 2 of this year (2013), which have included 40 of the 50 US states plus Washington, DC. My ultimate goal is to compete in all 50 states as well as several Canadian provinces and perhaps one overseas marathon. I’ve also run a total of 5 ultra-marathons (more than 26.2 miles), which included four 50-K runs (31 miles) and one 50-miler. I also compete as a triathlete.

I began competitive running while in high school (cross country and track) and found that it gave me a competitive boost in other sports (such as basketball and bike riding). Over the years, I’ve belonged to several different running/triathlete clubs and have always enjoyed the camaraderie that goes along with such an association. I’ve found running to be a way of life (even though I’m not logging as many miles as I did in my early years) and still enjoy both the physical and mental benefits that come with all around fitness. It’s also helped me maintain perfect fitness test scores and deal with stressful situations throughout my military career.

Among all charitable organizations, I’ve always espoused the values and good work that Catholic Charities have provided for countless thousands of people throughout all dioceses and archdioceses nationwide. As a lifelong Catholic and 20+ year member of the Knights of Columbus, I’ve always felt that Catholic Charities and other social organizations associated with our faith have provided a channel by which we can live and practice our faith through charitable good works; I also believe it to be equally important that such charitable good work benefits those of all religious backgrounds, not just Catholics. Thus, I’m proud to be part of this year’s team.

 

If you would like to help support Tom’s ING NYC Marathon campaign,  please send your donations here:  www.crowdrise.com/CatholicCharitiesNYC2013/fundraiser/thomascarney1