Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

By James Bowe

I chose to run for Catholic Charities because it addresses such a wide array of human needs regardless of religious background.  Catholic Charities feeds the hungry, provides job training and resources to help people get back on their feet, and offers children and youth better opportunities to learn and grow, among many others.

After graduating from college and hanging up the sprinting spikes, I started to run longer distances and eventually found that running became a sort of escape while simultaneously allowing me to push myself and to continuously challenge myself to run farther and faster.  I made it a goal to run a marathon so now I am running the 2014 NYC marathon for Catholic Charities.  I’m looking forward to challenging myself through training and adding another reason to why I am running:  I am doing it to help raise money for individuals served by Catholic Charities.

While I have not yet run a marathon, I ran four years of varsity indoor and outdoor track and field at Colby College, primarily competing in the 400m dash and 1600m relay.  I also participated in a sprint triathlon in college.  After college I focused on longer distance running and competed in a 5k for WCS in the Bronx Zoo in 2011, the Chicago Rock and Roll half marathon in July 2013 and the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge (3.3 miles) in June 2014.

I am training specifically for the marathon for 18 weeks running five to six days per week.  I will be racing in the Bronx 10 mile at the end of September and participating in NYRR long runs in August and September.  Additionally, I will be doing runs with the midtown Nike store running club two to three days per week.

My family and I have been involved with Catholic Charities for some time (primarily in DC where I grew up) so I was able to first hand witness the difference Catholic Charities makes in so many ways for so many individuals.

It is really inspiring to know that I am running for an organization that touches so many lives, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, with a high level of dignity and compassion across an array of human needs.  I am especially inspired by the many programs and services that are designed to set individuals up to lead a better life, whether it is a child who now has a nurturing after school environment or an out-of-work mother who is given training to get her back in the workforce and enabling her to support herself and her children.

Here is a link to my fundraising for Catholic Charities page:  https://www.crowdrise.com/TeamCatholicCharities2014/fundraiser/jamesbowe

 

Congratulations Team CYO – New York!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
CYO Track_Pedro Bravo

Pedro Bravo (R)

By Alice Kenny

Outstanding CYO track and field athletes throughout the New York Archdiocese converged in Orlando, Florida. last week to beat the heat as well as competitors from across the nation.  They ran so fast, jumped so high and threw javelins, discus and shot puts so far that many qualified to participate in the upcoming Junior Olympics in Des Moines, Iowa.

In this Samson against Goliath reckoning, 45 members of Team CYO New York faced off against 12,000 top athletes to bring home 10 medals from the national AAU Team Championships.  Nine of our athletes, including eight from Westchester County and one from Staten Island, won these honors at the weeklong event held at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

Some of the standouts include Westchester County’s Caroline Davis.  This Holy Family CYO member initially scored first-place and broke the turbo javelin meet record in the process.  Then, on her next throw, she broke her own record with a throw distance of 84 feet.

Meanwhile, Pedro Bravo from Iona Prep ran a smart, calculated race, pushing himself to the limits at the finish line to capture the 8th place medal.  This qualified him for the Junior Olympics in the 1500 Meter Race with an impressive time of 5:00 in the 12-Year-Old Boys Division.

Then there was Shari Brown from Blessed Sacrament in Staten Island who brought home a medal for her eighth-place finish with a triple jump distance of 21′ 9”.

And what about Liliana Gray from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the only athlete to medal in two events.  She earned a seventh-place finish in the Turbo Javelin with a throw of 38’2″and an eighth-place finish for a 16’ 6″ shot put throw in the Ninth-Grade Girls Division.

“Our 45 athletes represented the Archdiocese, their respective schools, parishes and families with dignity and class,” says Catholic Charities Director of CYO Operations Seth Peloso who accompanied the team.

Click here for a list of our top winners and their Junior Olympic qualifying results.

Junior Board Rolls the Dice for Charity

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

At their signature fundraising event of the year, the Catholic Charities Junior Board hosted close to 200 guests for the 6th Annual Junior Board Gala at Battery Gardens on June 12, 2014.  The evening’s theme was a Masquerade Casino Night.  Guests enjoyed playing casino games and posing at the photo booth while raising both money and awareness for the St. Nicholas Project.  Fundraising efforts surrounding the Junior Board Gala brought in more than $47,000 for the St. Nicholas Project.

Through the St. Nicholas Project, Catholic Charities helps nearly 4,000 individuals annually by providing them with essential items to help them stay warm throughout the winter season as well as job training classes, computer literacy classes, food from one of our many food pantries, and school supplies throughout the rest of the year.

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York Junior Board introduces young professionals to the varied programs and works of Catholic Charities through volunteer opportunities, social gatherings, faith-based events, and philanthropic support. The Junior Board helps cultivate the next generation of leaders committed to Catholic Charities and serving those in need in our community.

To learn more, please visit the Junior Board web page and Facebook page

Blessing the Soil: A Gardener’s Dream

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

By Alice Kenny
blessingofthesoilscreeenshot

Catholic Community Services of Rockland Soil Blessing from StudioElevenProductions on Vimeo.

We’ve heard a lot about “Produce the Produce,” the proactive effort by Catholic Community Services of Rockland (CCSR), an affiliate of Catholic Charities, to get more freshly grown fruits and vegetables on the tables of people in need.

And we’ve heard about their annual Blessing of the Soil in their “Garden of Love,” held this year on May 10, 2014.

But hearing and seeing are two different things.

Check out this just-released video of the event.

“Give us this day our daily bread,” prays Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan as he blesses the soil.  “The tragedy is that for so many of our neighbors they are not sure they will have their daily bread this day.  Thanks to the partnership, the work, the generosity, the time and the talent we make sure that many of our neighbors will have their daily bread today.”

Join us in praying and working to feed our neighbors in need.

Find out how you can help.

 

Blind Immigrants Tour Metropolitan Museum of Art

Friday, June 13th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

On June 6th one hundred and sixty volunteers from the national consulting firm Deloitte ventured away from their offices and gathered at more than a dozen separate site locations affiliated with Catholic Charities and its social service programs.

The combined effort of so many volunteers at so many different locations in a single day made a visible impact on those we serve. During the following weeks we will offer a glimpse at their adventures and at the large amount that together we can accomplish.

Blind, poor, many fleeing oppression from another nation and most barely able to speak English, 12 adults huddled around the red granite sarcophagus of Usermontu, the First Prophet of Muntu, and gasped.

“Oh, I love this,” said Lordina Osei–Ofori as a Metropolitan Museum of Art museum guide encouraged her to feel inside the 4,000-year-old coffin and search for inscriptions.

Most of the tour participants had never before been inside a museum. Yet here they were in the largest museum in the nation, the 10th largest in the world, thanks to Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind and navigational support from six Deloitte volunteers.

Watch our slideshow as together participants master city streets, subways and art.

 

Catholic Charities’ Martin Colavito Recognized for Outstanding Work Fighting Addiction

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Martin Colavito, director of prevention services for Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County, was recently recognized by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) as an OASAS O-STAR. This recognition goes to exceptional individuals who work or volunteer in the field of addictions, consistently perform at an outstanding level and make a difference in the lives of their fellow New Yorkers.

Colavito, who has been part of the Catholic Charities’ team for eight years, has worked in the substance abuse field for nearly 35 years.  He focuses predominantly on community organization, with an emphasis on substance abuse treatment and prevention – especially in inner-city neighborhoods. For the past five years Martin has concentrated his efforts on the City of Newburgh.

“We are so grateful to OASAS for recognizing the dedication and commitment of our friend and colleague,” said Dr. Dean Scher, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County.

Martin works at Catholic Charities’ Gateway Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Services on the grounds of Newburgh Free Academy. He also serves a key leadership role in the community outreach initiative TEAM Newburgh, a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach that addresses the issues of drug abuse and gang violence a project for which Catholic Charities serves as the lead funding agency. Using his experience as a community organizer, Colavito and his team have developed a highly effective partnership of more than 70 human service agencies, businesses, school personnel, community members, and elected officials to combat substance abuse.

Martin, along with TEAM Newburgh, has been successful in getting legislation on the table to remove drug paraphernalia from visible exposure in neighborhood stores and bodegas. He has been approached by human service agencies from around the nation that are interested in establishing programs similar to TEAM Newburgh.

“Martin has been a guiding light for the City of Newburgh and its residents,” Dr. Scher added.

All Star Honorees Team Up for CYO

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
CYOgala

Leonard J. Elmore, Francis C. Rooney Jr. and Timothy J. Rooney Sr. (L-R)

By Alice Kenny

A host of all-star honorees including Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway President, Timothy J. Rooney, Sr; ESPN and CBS Broadcaster and  Attorney Leonard J. Elmore, and H.H. Brown Shoe Co., Inc Chairman Francis C. Rooney, Jr helped Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) celebrate its 78th Club of Champions Tribute on June 5, 2014 at  the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. Neither Timothy Rooney, Sr. nor Francis Rooney, Jr. are related except in their commitment to CYO.

Mr. Rooney, Sr., honored with the Gold Medal Award, is also a former director and son of the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Mr. Elmore, honored with the John V. Mara Sportsman of the Year Award, played professional basketball for a host of teams including the New Jersey Nets and New Yorker Knickerbockers before receiving his law degree from Harvard Law School, making him the first –and only – National Basketball Association player to graduate from Harvard Law School after retiring from professional basketball.  And Mr. Rooney, Jr., honored with the Terence Cardinal Cooke Humanitarian Award, opened and acquired a number of specialty retail businesses including Marshall’s, Linens & Things, K.B. Toys and CVS Drug Stores.

Thanks to their and fellow CYO supporters’ generosity, each year this annual event raises money for the CYO. CYO serves tens of thousands of young people through athletic, social, spiritual and cultural activities and services. Funds raised at this annual dinner provide critical resources for our inner-city community centers, and parish-based athletic and cultural programs.

CYO, a division of Catholic Charities, reaches out to more than 28,000 children and youth in the Archdiocese of New York through hundreds of local sports programs, cultural activities, community centers, Youth Ministry Programs and retreat centers. Through this broad array of recreational and spiritual growth and development opportunities, CYO promotes lives of promise, accomplishment and hope for young New Yorkers.

With Palettes & Paint Volunteers Transform Traumatized Lives

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

MDB_0974By Alice Kenny

Seventeen employees from Deloitte, a national business consulting firm, traded in their desk jobs on June 6, 2014 to transform a drab waiting room wall at Catholic Guardian Services’ Parenting Resource Center in the Bronx into a fantasy playground filled with smiling children swinging from trees.

“The murals are a way for people to see that we care about them,” says Catholic Guardian Services Executive Director Craig Longley as he steps back to admire the new mural, “that we’re there  to promote healthy family relations and help them heal.”

Today one of the largest providers of foster care services in New York State, Catholic Guardian Services stretches back to the turn of the nineteenth century when members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society established it as the first agency in the United States to place orphans in homes rather than institutions.  It now includes four New York City satellite offices with rooms for family visits, foster family training and therapeutic services.

“Everyone who comes here is traumatized, whether they are children, parents or caregivers,” Mr. Longley says.  “To be separated from your family for even a day is traumatizing.”

That is why, he adds, that when he learned that as a Catholic Charities sponsored agency he could have volunteers at his disposal, he jumped at the plan to paint this mural.

This is not the first time Catholic Guardian Services teamed with volunteers provided by Catholic Charities to transform a room into a fantasy and hopefully, Mr. Longley says, will not be the last.  In January, volunteers from FINO Consulting spent the day painting jungle scenes on interior walls at the agency’s office on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx.

Despite their artsy appearance decked with pallets and paint, most of the volunteers readily admit to felling more comfortable in suits than painters’ aprons.  Similar to the waiting room, the volunteers’ work-a-day lives are transformed thanks to prep work by true artist volunteers whose mural design is projected on to the agency’s freshly painted sky-blue wall.

The volunteers just follow a basic paint-by-numbers design and -voila! – the walls are made over into a Disney-like dream.

For the corporate volunteers, the day offers a chance to stretch their talents and help those in need.

And for those served by Catholic Guardian Services, the donated art serves as an uplifting reminder that people, many of whom they never meet, care enough to brighten their lives.

“This is a place of healing for traumatized people,” Mr. Longley says, “and this joyful art fosters that process.”

Artistic or not, you can make a difference.

Check out our comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities.

Come join us. Sign up now.

Catholic Charities Marches with Puerto Rican Day Parade

Monday, June 9th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Cheered by NYC Hispanic Society Sanitation Department members seated atop a sanitation truck, serenaded by DJs blasting salsa music and wedged between Goya and Coca-Cola floats, Catholic Charities joined the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 8, 2014 to celebrate Puerto Rican pride, drum up support to feed our hungry neighbors and promote the vast array of services we provide those in need.

As hundreds of thousands of marchers and onlookers packed Manhattan’s 5th Avenue, Catholic Charities staff distributed prayer cards, fans and memorabilia complete with Catholic Charities phone numbers to draw attention to the growing hunger crisis and let New Yorkers know how to contact us for help.

Like the Puerto Rican community, Catholic Charities is part of the fabric of New York City.  For more than 100 years, Catholic Charities has helped solve the problems of New Yorkers in need, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.  The neglected child, the homeless family and the hungry senior among those who rely on us for help.

But with poverty up and food stamps (now called S.N.A.P.) down due to recent federal cuts, lines are growing at Catholic Charities food pantries across the archdiocese.   Hunger has exploded throughout New York; one out of nearly every two children in the largely Hispanic community of East Harlem lives in poverty.

Our Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign is fighting back with a goal of raising enough funds to provide one million meals for the hungry.  The Goya Corporation made a significant dent in this goal, splitting a donation of 5,000 pounds of rice, beans and specialty foods between Catholic Charities St. Cecilia’s food pantry in East Harlem and a food pantry run by Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service, an affiliate of Catholic Charities.

Find your friends in our Puerto Rican Day Parade slide show.

Join us in feeding our neighbors.

Do you need help?

Call

  • Our Catholic Charities Help Line at 888-744-7900
  • Our New York State (NYS) New Americans Hotline: 212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS)

Find out more here.

With Kiddie Dashes and Painted Faces CYO Families Celebrate Success

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

By Alice Kenny


Photo Credit:  Kyle Brazeil

Check out this slide show

With kiddie dashes, pee wee relays, shot puts, painted faces and burgers, Catholic Charities CYO concluded a successful track and field season at CYO Family Day on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx.

The sun and game -filled afternoon took on extra meaning by using funds that could have gone towards medals to instead make donations to Westchester and Bronx food pantries on behalf of the Upstate CYO Track Program  in the name of Mount St. Michael Academy for their generous support.

“Let’s show our neighbors we care and teach our children that their involvement in the CYOtrack program is more important than winning medals,” said Director of CYO Operations Seth Peloso.

Catholic Charities Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) division supports and coordinates parish-based youth programs – spiritual, cultural, and athletic – that foster the growth of nearly 24,000 children each year.

Interested in coaching or signing your child up for CYO?

Call us at 212-371-1011 ext. 2050