Archive for the ‘Policy and Advocacy’ Category

Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Offer Doubles Your Feeding Our Neighbors Donations

Monday, January 27th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Check the thermometer daily to see how your contribution helps feed our neighbors

The numbers are frightening:  One out of five New York families struggle to feed their children.

Join us in fighting back.  Join now and join fast.

Right now, thanks to time-sensitive matching contribution offers, we can make your donation to fight hunger go farther with our 2014 Feeding Our Neighbors campaign.

An anonymous donor just added a $6,000 dollar-for-dollar matching offer to the New York States Council Knights of Columbus Charities $1,000 dollar-for-dollar match.  That means that this week, with your help, we will have at least $12,000 towards our goal of funding one million meals for hungry New Yorkers.

But you must act quickly.  The Feeding Our Neighbors campaign that kicked off on January 26 ends this Sunday, February 2.

Feeding Our Neighbors is a united effort to fight hunger. Initially launched by Timothy Cardinal Dolan in 2011 and run for the past two years in partnership with UJA-Federation, it responds to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s call that we all do our part to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens in our community that so many rely on to survive.

Click here to donate - and write “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field.

Reading this on your smart phone?  Text CCHOPE to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation.   (Standard text rates apply.)

Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

To confront the crisis of growing hunger in New York, we kick off today, Sunday, January 26, Feeding Our Neighbors.  This united campaign to fight hunger responds  to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s call that we all do our part to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens that so many families in our community rely on to survive.

To further this effort, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan just met with one of our state’s top elected officials, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, to share the Catholic Charities perspective on hunger and food insufficiency.  The Senator convened a very small policy roundtable this Sunday with leaders of food provider organizations and key advocates to discuss the impact of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cuts in New York.

More and more New Yorkers have been reaching out to soup kitchens to feed their families,  reports CBS News in this just-released report*:

  • New research released this week by the Food Bank for New York City reveals that most of the city’s food pantries have seen a sharp increase in visitors.
  • The trend follows a $5 billion national cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that went into effect Nov. 1.
  • The cuts affect nearly 2 millionNew York City residents who receive benefits from the program.

 

Feeding Our Neighbors, sponsored by organizations throughout the Archdiocese of New York and managed by Catholic Charities, will use 100% of contributions to the campaign to support local food pantries that serve New Yorkers, non-Catholic and Catholic alike.

Please join us in Feeding Our Neighbors.

The time is now, January 26th - Sunday, February 2nd  2014.

Take one small action to help feed the hungry.

Together, we can change lives.
Support a Fundraising Drive.

Donate through Catholic Charities and type “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field.

Text “CCHOPE” to 85944 to make a quick $10 donation.


Feed the Big White Box.

Bring non-perishable foods to a “Feeding Our Neighbors” food drive at any Catholic parish in the New York Archdiocese, the Catholic Charities headquarters at1011 First Avenue, or anyArchdio cesan Catholic School.

 

*Check out the report on CBS news.

President Obama and Pope Francis to Meet; Discuss Shared Commitment to Fight Poverty

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Photos courtesy of Fabi/AFP/GettyImages and AP Photo

President Barack Obama will meet with Pope Francis for the first time on March 27 at the Vatican to discuss the Pope’s commitment – made manifest through Catholic Charities – to serve the basic needs of the poor, troubled, frail and oppressed of all religions.

“The President looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality,” said a White House news release distributed by CNN and other media outlets. Across the developed world, inequality has increased,” Obama said.

‘How can it be,’ Pope Francis wrote, ‘that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points.’

Read the full story from CNN.

 

Mayor de Blasio meets with Cardinal Dolan; Discusses Catholic Charities and work done on behalf of those in need

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Mayor Bill de Blasio met yesterday for the first time since the mayor took office to discuss how they might collaborate to foster the common good – particularly helping New Yorkers most in need.

They hope to convince Pope Francis – who the mayor called “the most powerful voice on earth on how to address inequality” — to visit the city to lend his voice to the urgent task of building a more compassionate and just New York.

“We talked a lot about Catholic Charities and the work it does on behalf of children, on behalf of people in need,” Mayor de Blasio said.

“We talked about the need to help prisoners returning to society, a whole host of areas (including affordable housing) where we have common ground and where we can work together.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, who attended the post- meeting press briefing and is serving on the mayor’s transition team, said  “I am not surprised, but still delighted, that the Mayor recognizes the tremendous good being done by our federation of Catholic Charities agencies in touching and responding to almost every human need… We look forward to working with the de Blasio administration and are already convening agencies experienced in these areas to discuss how we might best work with the new administration to expand these services and meet unmet needs.” Read Msgr. Sullivan’s full statement here.

Cardinal Dolan regularly visits Catholic Charities agencies and meets both those being served and the dedicated staff and volunteers.  Cardinal Dolan was upbeat and expressed his strong desire to work with Mayor de Blasio for the sake of the good of New York, and especially those most in need.

Msgr. Sullivan’s Trip to Bangladesh Continues to Resonate as We Approach Christmas

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Tomas Munita for The New York Times

“Adequate compensation for the disabilities and loss of life caused by the disasters along with safe building and working conditions were the major themes I heard from the garment factory workers in Bangladesh immediately after Thanksgiving.”

 Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

In a front-page story published just yesterday in The New York Times, reporter Jim Yardley documents how those living after the collapse are still struggling to make ends meet.   Even though the Bangladeshi government, local associations and overseas retailers have provided short-term compensation to survivors and loved ones, many still require financial support.

Last month, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan was invited to visit garment factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh with a delegation of New Yorkers that included Tom DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller, and Stuart Appelbaum the head of the RWDSU (Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.)

The delegation met with surviving workers of the Rana Plaza factory collapse as well as family members of those who perished, labor leaders and retailers tied to the factory. More than 1,100 workers’ lives were lost nearly eight months ago.

“Our trip was intended to meet with the various sectors involved in the garment industry, the workers themselves, organizers, brand names and government officials to learn about what was going on,”  Monsignor Sullivan told Catholic New York.  RanaPlaza survivors and family members of the workers killed had a number of concerns regarding reforming building and work space conditions and receiving adequate compensation from the disaster.

Read more survivors’ stories featured in The New York Times.

 

Msgr. Sullivan Checks Progress on Bangladesh Factory Safety

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Photo by Fahad Faisal

Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan joined a high-profile delegation from New York City in Bangladesh to gather the latest on-the-ground information on the progress made towards the improvement of factory safety since the Rana Plaza collapse, reports the Daily Star and Catholic New York.
The American contingent that included New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and others met survivors of the building collapse, officials of the Swedish retail giant H&M and labor leaders involved in getting global retailers to sign on the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and improve conditions for garment workers.

The goal was to bring back to New York City compelling facts and testimonial that will help raise awareness of the importance of the Accord and to encourage shoppers in New York City, one of the world’s largest consumer markets, to support the 100-odd brands that have signed the Accord.

“In this holiday season, Americans will purchase huge volumes of clothing apparel. We need to become even more aware of the working conditions in the countries around the world that produce these goods,” said Msgr. Sullivan.

Read the full story in the Daily Star.

Click here to read a story from Catholic New York highlighting Monsignor Sullivan’s trip to Bangladesh

Calling All DREAMers!

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Want to prepare for possible Immigration Reform? Apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals now if you are eligible.
You may qualify for a work permit, driver’s license, and Social Security number if you:

  • Came to the US before your 16th birthday
  • Have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007 and are presently in the US
  • Were born on or after June 16, 1981
  • Are currently in school, or have graduated from high school, or have obtained a GED certificate, or are honorably discharged from the US military
  • Have not been convicted of certain crimes or pose a threat to public safety

Receive FREE legal assistance from Catholic Charities Community Services to determine your eligibility and apply.

Call one of these locations:

  • New York City  (212) 419-3700
  • Staten Island    (212) 419-3700
  • Poughkeepsie   (845) 452-1400
  • Kingston             (845) 340-9170
  • Newburgh          (845) 304-7442
  • Middletown       (845) 343-7675
  • Haverstraw        (845) 942-5791
  • Yonkers               (914) 476-2700
  • New Rochelle     (914) 476-2700
  • Monticello          (845) 794-8332
  • Peekskill              (914) 476-2700
  • Port Chester       (914) 476-2700

 

For other locations and general questions about an immigration matter call the NYS New Americans Hotline:

 1-800-566-7636.
Open Monday-Friday 9am-8pm

 

Join Our March for Immigration Reform

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Click Image to Download Flyer

Join us on October 5th as we team up with folks in more than 100 cities across the country to raise our voices for immigration reform.  We need to let Congress know that we’ll stand for nothing less than immigration reform with a path to citizenship for eleven million undocumented Americans and for the country as a whole.

It is the right thing to do, the smart thing to do, and long overdue. No more delays!

Catholic Charities Executive Director will join other distinguished speakers at this event led by New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform, a campaign coordinated by the New York Immigration Coalition.

 

Join Us!

When: Saturday, October 5th, 12:00 noon

What: March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect

Where: Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn  

Closest trains:  F to York Street, A/C at High St; 2/3 at Clark St; 2/3/4/5/R at Borough Hall

How about volunteering? 

Just fill out this form to join us as a volunteer on October 5th: www.thenyic.org/volunteeroct5th

We are looking for volunteers to:

  1.  Support day-of logistics. By signing up to volunteer for day-of logistics, you are committing to attending the entire event and supporting support needs.
  2.  Work as a marshal during to the rally and march. As a marshal you are charged with guiding the march, keeping order, and relaying instructions to the advocates at the event and while crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

By signing up to marshal, you are agreeing to participate in an NYIC marshal training, be present at a training by NYPD on the day of Oct. 5th, and committing to attending the event.

Hunger Clock Countdown Projected on Saint John the Divine

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Photo: Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Catholic Charities joined The New York City Coalition Against Hunger and fellow anti-hunger advocates across the nation in projecting a “Hunger Clock” yesterday across the side of Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. The clock, along with similar clocks nationwide, began a countdown to automatic cuts scheduled to start on November 1st to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps.)

Calling to restore funds and stop attempts to pass additional cuts, hunger advocates joined with religious leaders and elected officials to project “Hunger Clocks” that will tick down to the November 1st benefit reduction date. Advocates are also bracing for a significant additional disruption of hunger funding due to the federal government shut down.

Nearly two million New York City residents – 48 million people nationwide – who currently receive SNAP (food stamp) benefits face significant reductions in their food allotments on November 1st, when the federal “hunger clock” kicks in. The $39 billion in SNAP cuts now being debated by Congress would be in addition to the November 1st reduction. The majority of SNAP recipients are working parents, children, seniors and people with disabilities. In addition, the average length of time someone receives SNAP is currently less than one year.

The clock is ticking. 29 days now remain until all SNAP recipients see a reduction in benefits.

“There are basic human rights that all people are entitled to, the right to work, housing and adequate food,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan. “Government has a role, as do we, in safeguarding these rights. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) would have devastating effects on our families and individuals already struggling to make ends meet.”

Trying Where Others Have Given Up One Person at a Time

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Read Monsignor Kevin Sullivan’s speech at the 2013 Pierre Toussaint Scholarship Dinner :

 

Thank you.

Tonight, with dubious judgment, you graciously present me this medallion named after a black immigrant, slave and saint.  This white, free-born Amercian sinner is appreciative, humbled, inspired and burdened.

I accept this medallion on behalf of Catholic Charities’ thousands of trustees, staff, volunteers and benefactors, who provide help and create hope to New Yorkers in need – non-Catholics and Catholics alike – black, brown, yellow and white, overwhelmingly poor and vulnerable, each made in the image of God, worthy of dignity, life and love.

I commend Brother Tyrone and the commissioners of the Office of Black Ministry for devoting the proceeds of this dinner to advancing the education of future leaders, both here and in Haiti.  Nothing is more important.

This 50th anniversary year of the March on Washington compels us tonight to not avoid the issue of race, and I include ethnicity.

That we have – and need – a black ministry office, testifies that race continues to haunt us as both society and church.

That we have a large and expanding Catholic Charities bears witness to our failures to implement the dream of many – including Martin Luther King, Pierre Toussaint, Dorothy Day, and not least, an itinerant preacher from Nazareth named Jesus.

Catholic Charities serves overwhelmingly, the poorest and most vulnerable of our society.

Catholic Charities serves overwhelmingly, black and brown New Yorkers.  To not correlate these two is to perpetuate the inequality that makes us less as a nation and less as a church.

Pierre Toussaint’s cause for sainthood is so compelling: personal responsibility and social responsibility, the dignity of work, a vibrant faith that integrates the worship of God and love of neighbor.

We are beneficiaries of Pierre Toussaint’s legacy.  We must accept being its burden bearers.

As a society we need to affirm and advance the dignity of work: in cleaning our buildings, teaching our children, driving our buses, caring for our elderly and infirm, on 700 street corners across this nation where 120,000 day laborers gather – and even far away, in the garment factories of  Bangladesh where workers earn $32 a month.  And yes, even in the neighborhood hairdressers, and the butler in the White House.

As a church we cannot remain satisfied with periodic liturgies that celebrate diversity in song and vestment.  These are necessary and life giving, and insiring.  And it is good and holy that “his eye is on the sparrow and he watches over me.”  But let us also make sure that his eye is on board rooms and markets, workplaces and jails.  Let us make certain that he watches over those places, as well.

As Catholic Charities, we must stop smugly touting the diversity in our waiting rooms filled with black and brown families.  Our boast should be that our board rooms and executive management meetings, our investment managers and vendors are black and brown.  Not yet, I am afraid to say, but I too, have a dream.

And to our neighbors of all faiths and no faith who say “amen” to these points, we invite you one more step.  We will pray and we will worship.  We need a God to inspire, support, and challenge us forward – a God whose image within us and everyone else needs to be acknowledged.  And we say to our neighbors, who may not share all our values, we need to be respected, allowed to be inspired by our faith, and exercise those values as together we create the common good.

I appreciate being here with so many who share an ardent desire to make our diverse world more compassionate, equal and just – especially regarding race.   You and I know that actions that put flesh on that ardent desire get a bit uncomfortable, and generate heat.

Let me end by sharing a refrain from a song by Pink that has haunted me for the past few months:

“Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame,
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned,
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.”

Fellow beneficiaries and fellow burden bearers of Pierre Toussaint and many others, we gotta get up and try.

Thank you.