Archive for the ‘volunteering’ Category

For Young & Rubicam Volunteers: Four Days, Four Catholic Charities Programs & a Big Difference Made

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

In a single week last month 31 volunteers from Young & Rubicam spent 146 hours over four days in four different locations to help Catholic Charities and our affiliated agencies improve the lives and environments of those we serve.

At Incarnation Center on Audubon Avenue in Washington Heights, at Our Lady of Sorrows Food Pantry on the Lower East Side, at Catholic Guardian Services on Grand Concourse  in the Bronx and at our own building at 1011 First Avenue in Midtown East, the Young & Rubicam volunteers showed their spirited enthusiasm to help in diverse tasks and locations throughout the city.

Would you like to volunteer?

Join us now during the holiday season and throughout the year.

Find a volunteer opportunity just right for you.

Volunteers Buy Holiday Gifts for Needy

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Dozens of volunteers gathered Saturday (December 6, 2014) to shop for holiday gifts for the needy.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York held its annual Westchester Shopping Day at the Kmart in White Plains, reports News 12 Westchester.

Volunteers stocked up on hats, gloves, coats, boots and more to donate to needy families throughout the county.

The volunteers’ shopping lists are based on specific family profiles and bought with donations previously made to Catholic Charities’ St. Nicholas Project.

Watch this News12 exclusive here – and log in with your Optimum ID  or sign up if you are a Time Warner, Comcast or Service Electric customer.

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Join us – live – this Saturday for the Big Bonanza – Shopping Day at Kmart in downtown Manhattan.

DonateButton      VolunteerButton

More Immigration Reform Questions

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration reform leaves many searching for answers to this complicated and controversial topic.

Put your questions in context:  Read this second in a series of El Diario editorials.

Deferred Action Intake Session-48_editChildren Looking for a Chance at a New Life

By C. Mario Russell

For El Diario

For many months, now, we have seen the pictures and read the stories of the thousands of children fleeing gang violence, severe poverty, and persecution in Central America. After a long and dangerous journey to the border, many are resettling with a relative in the New York area, each looking for a chance at a new life.

But to keep this chance alive, they must present themselves before immigration judges who have been assigned to decide their cases, whether they are 7 or 17 years old. This can be an overwhelming and sometimes scary experience for children; a long and confusing process for parents.  And while each child’s case and situation is unique, in this installment I will present a few, basic points about procedure and law that may help families manage expectations:

Going to court is important, even if without a lawyer. Judges will give new appointments to allow children time to find a lawyer. The may enter an order of deportation if no one appears.

A responsible adult should accompany the child to court. Some adults say they are afraid to go because they are undocumented themselves or because they have an old deportation order. In such a case they should contact the Catholic Charities Children’s Call Center at 1-888-996-3848 for the latest information about enforcement policies or for when to attend a live Legal Orientation Presentation.

Judges will not decide the child’s case at the first court appointment. Most cases will take months to prepare and to be decided.

Develop a strong defense. While the process will demand patience it also will be an opportunity to present as full a legal defense against deportation as possible. There are several common defenses. Some children will qualify for asylum, which means proving that they suffered or will suffer persecution if returned to their home country. While not all cases of violence or deprivation qualify for asylum, some victims of gang violence have been able to succeed in their asylum case.

Some children may be eligible for special immigrant juvenile status. This is available to unmarried children under 21 who were abandoned or abused by at least one parent. Children who are living with one parent or have a guardian in the United States may therefore be eligible under this law.

Children who were victims of a crime in the United States may gain status under the “U Visa.” To qualify, the person must have suffered physical or mental abuse because of criminal activity and must have cooperated with law enforcement. Consider how many children were victimized by their smugglers in the United States… Similarly, victims of human trafficking may qualify for “T Visa” status if they were brought illegally to the United States to engage in sex work or in other forms of labor or servitude against their will.

Finally, every parent, custodian and child must know that any child in the United States, regardless of legal status, has a right to public elementary and secondary education, and, in New York State, to certain basic medical care coverage, called Child Health Plus (CHP). (Call the New York State Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 for further information).

Ensuring that these new young immigrants are healthy and in school is as important as making sure that they are guided well in their court proceedings. This is what gives them a real chance at a new life and makes possible all of their promise.

Mario Russell is Senior Attorney and Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services at Catholic Charities, 80 Maiden Lane, NY, NY 10038; he also teaches immigration law at St. John’s University School of Law.

Read the full El Diario story in Spanish.

Young and Rubicam Teams Up with Developmentally Disabled

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

With breakaways, drop kicks and punts, eight volunteers from the international marketing and communications company, Young and Rubicam, teamed up with 20 developmentally disabled adults at Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Center gym earlier this month for a day filled with soccer drills and games.

Organized by Catholic Charities Director of Volunteer Services Staci-Jo Bruce, the event enabled volunteers to provide a meaningful day for the developmentally delayed adults, all passionate soccer players, served by Catholic Guardian Services, an affiliate of Catholic Charities.

It’s National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week

Monday, November 17th, 2014

foodBy Alice Kenny

It’s National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week!
Held each year the week before Thanksgiving, this is a great time for us all to remember what we are thankful for
— and a perfect time to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness.

What can I do?

  • Volunteer at one of our local soup kitchens.
  • Volunteer at one of our nearby food pantries.
  • Join us at our St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day.

Find out more ways to help.

Attacked & Blinded, Former Cab Driver Struggles to Care for His Family

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

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After fleeing ethnic persecution in Guinea, K. Arafan Koita was brutally attacked three years later while working as a livery driver in New York City.

Mr. Koita lost his vision in the attack, New York Times Reporter Corey Kilgannon reports in this just-published Neediest Case, but partly regained it after being hospitalized.

These days, Mr. Koita finds sporadic work delivering African art with a friend from Guinea, and hopes to get off public assistance so he can support and be a role model for his children, he said.

Left legally blind, he is haunted by a feeling of powerlessness when it comes to supporting his wife and three children.

Mr. Koita, who speaks French, also sought out the Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind, to improve his English, and for help resolving complications in getting social service benefits. He registered for computer training and for help finding a job.

The children share a tiny bedroom crowded with sagging beds that make sleeping uncomfortable, and the apartment has been without heat and hot water for two months. The landlord has been slow to respond, Mr. Koita said as he stood over a hot plate in the kitchen, where the family often heats large pots of water for bathing.

“I need to be strong,” he said. “For them.”

Read Mr. Koita’s full profile in The New York Times.

Help us help the Koita family and fellow courageous New Yorkers.

   

Put On Your Santa Cap & Join Us

Friday, November 7th, 2014

_MG_4687Looking for a great volunteer opportunity this holiday season?

Join us as we don Santa caps.
Shop for Catholic Charities clients in need.
And make the season bright.

Please save the date for our St. Nicholas Shopping Day –Saturday, December 13, 2014 –At K-Mart on Astor Place.

You will be part of a nearly 500-elf team shopping for more than 4,000 Catholic Charities clients to provide them with winter necessities. Without you, this would not be possible.

In addition to our volunteer efforts, we are also asking for your help to raise the funds necessary to purchase these winter necessities.

Please consider making your gift today in order to help us reach our goal of raising $250,000!

Thank you for your continued support helping New Yorkers in need this Christmas season!

Biking with the Camels. Seriously.

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Dr. Dean Scher

Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County, NY joined forces this month with the Orange County Bicycle Club for the Ride With the Camels, a 10-to-61-mile ride through forested ridges and rolling farmland that celebrates open space in Orange County, NY.

The event was named after a large pasture that bikers pedal past filled with a herd of grazing camels whose humps remind them of the steep hills they tackle.  The camels were rescued after movie, advertising, and circus careers by the Sanctuary for Animals and live on the farm with hundreds of other rescued animals of different species.

The annual fundraiser netted more than $14,000 this year to benefit Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Sanctuary for Animals.

‘The annual Country Roads Bike Tour is a great collaborative event,’ Dr. Dean Scher, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County, said in a recent story about the event published in The Times Herald Record  ‘We are thankful for the support from the members of the Bike Club, the hundreds of riders who turn out each year, the volunteers who spend the day with us, and the sponsors who make generous in-kind and financial donations. It is thanks to this extraordinary coordinated effort that these three agencies will have a little extra cash in their coffers this year.’

Read more in The Times Herald Record

Happy Halloween

Friday, October 31st, 2014


Wishing you and your family a happy Halloween,
a safe All Hallows’ Eve and a blessed All Saints Day.

Join Us at the New York City Marathon

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

744256-1209-0041sSo you want to be part of the New York City marathon but 26.2 miles of running? No way!

Well, we have a way. Join our Cheer Team.

Ro0t for Team Catholic Charities; our dedicated dozen who have been training for months to run this multi-borough course in the world’s most diverse city.

Wave signs we’ll provide and tap on your smart phone to update folks at home.

Our cheer team meets at 126 Street and Fifth Avenue, at the National Black Theatre Way.

When? Marathon Day; this Sunday, November 2, from 1 – 4 p.m.

Sign up now.