Archive for the ‘Volunteering’ Category

Just 3 Days Left for Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign

Friday, January 31st, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Only three days left for you to pitch in with Feeding Our Neighbors, our Archdiocesan-wide weeklong drive to replenish food pantries supporting non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

“Pope Francis recently wrote ‘if we don’t share our life is a slow suicide,’” Timothy Cardinal Dolan told a crowd at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at the kickoff to this year’s campaign.  “And this is a very simple from-the-heart appeal to share food and it works at this cold time of the year when Christmas charity is almost exhausted and when people are looking for food.”

There is just one goal for Feeding Our Neighbors: that New Yorkers answer the call to feed those who are suffering in our community.

Click here and join us in Feeding our Neighbors and  specify “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field on our Online Gift page.

Or text “CCHOPE” to 85944 to make a quick, easy $10 donation. 

Watch and listen as Cardinal Dolan speaks about Feeding Our Neighbors at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

“The Feeding Our Neighbors campaign works,” Cardinal Dolan said.

Catholic Charities Speaks Against Devastating Cuts for Hungry New Yorkers

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Catholic Charities joined elected officials, religious leaders and advocates at St. Francis Xavier Church in Manhattan today to urge  U.S. senators to vote against the harsh cuts to SNAP (food stamp) benefits passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The U.S. House Farm Bill would slash SNAP funding by $9 billion -  in addition to  $5 billion in SNAP cuts that went into effect on November 1st.

“The people standing here today fear greatly for what may be in store,” Catholic Charities Feeding Our Neighbors Director Jeanne McGettigan told the crowd.  “The system is already strained to the limit.  It isn’t designed to bear this type of burden.”

Catholic Charities food banks served 48% more meals in December 2013 compared with one year earlier.  Hungry families, children and the elderly are trudging to food banks and pantries even on the coldest days, including January 7 when temperatures dropped into the single digits and  New York officials urged everyone to stay home.

SNAP is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger.  More than half of SNAP recipients are children, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.  Meanwhile, low-wage workers who do not earn enough to afford sufficient food for their families make up an increasing number of SNAP recipients.

During this extended period of high unemployment, SNAP has helped millions of families afford the food they need.  It also supports our economy at every link in the food chain, from the farmer to the consumer.  Cutting SNAP puts jobs at risk in communities throughout New York.

Since the across-the-board cuts in SNAP took effect in November 2013, we have seen alarming levels of need created when benefits are reduced.  The new U.S. Farm Bill cuts will take away hundreds of millions of meals from struggling households and individuals.

Catholic Charities and others that make up the last line of defense against hunger – including food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens – cannot fill in such a gap.

“There can never be enough grants and food drives to fill this gaping need,” Ms. McGettigan said.

If you want to voice your opposition to these devastating cuts, contact the office of Senator Chuck Schumer and urge him to vote against the farm bill.

Read more in CNA/EWTN News

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.

From Super Heroes to Liturgical Dance

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Looking for Super Heroes Movement classes, African Drum instruction or just good old ballet lessons?  Check out Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center’s new Project Performing Arts dance programs for children.

Administered by Nina Klivert-Lawson, this former performing arts director worked for 26 years at The Harbor, a well-known community organization in East Harlem.  She and her instructors collaborate with Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese Office of Black Ministry to provide classes to youth registered as members of the center.

Volunteer instructors screened by Catholic Charities’ volunteer division provide skilled instruction each Saturday at Kennedy Center.  Not surprisingly, the various dance classes – that also include drama as well as modern, liturgical, jazz and African dance – have often attracted over 70 participants ages 4 years to 18.

These new classes bring added life to this already active center. They also broaden the center’s reach to middle-school-aged children and their parents, linking them to the numerous social and social service programs offered there.   Perhaps most important, the programs expose neighborhood children to the arts while encouraging life-skill disciplines that help them perform better in school and in life.

 

Martin Luther King: “Life’s Most Persistent and Urgent Question”

Monday, January 20th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said  that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘what are you doing for others?’”

Today, as they celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Interfaith Day of Service, 80 Catholic and Jewish teens from Westchester are giving an answer.

Forty youth from St. Peter’s Parish in Yonkers and Holy Rosary in Port Chester will join 40 youth from UJA-Federation to provide a meal and activities for 300 persons in need at the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester.

The day starts early for these 80 teens as they set up, prepare and serve midday meals.  They will also offer art and crafts activities for children attending the event.

The day then ends as youth lead an ecumenical period of reflection; an opportunity to build community while raising hunger awareness.

The event is part of Feeding Our Neighbors, an interfaith campaign to replenish food pantries and soup kitchens that serve those in need.

“What are you doing for others?” Rev. King asked.

Join us in answering this urgent question.

 

Read more in the Daily Voice.

Celebrating Day Laborers on Three Kings Day

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Ringed with garlands of evergreens and bows, St. Peter’s Church kicked off this year’s Three Kings Day celebration with a mass for the day laborer group, Oberos Unidos de Yonkers and their young families on Saturday, January 7.   The nearly 300-member crowd — with children in tow — then moved to the gym below converted into Santa’s workshop.  Children flocked to a stage brimming with trucks, teddies and toys and families feasted on ethnic specialties.

Organized by Catholic Charities staff and volunteers, the event offered respite for these day laborers who line up daily waiting for work during heat, rain and freezing snow.

It also served as a way to thank the day laborers for their hours volunteering, commuting by bus, train and ferry, to rebuild Staten Island homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

Three Kings Day, widely celebrated in the Hispanic community, commemorates the Twelfth Day of Christmas when the three wise men arrived in Bethlehem to share with the infant Jesus their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

This annual celebration is part of Catholic Charities’ ongoing involvement with Obreros Unidos of Yonkers.  Catholic Charities educates workers about employment rights and responsibilities.  It provides assistance to prevent exploitation and workplace abuses including help with collecting unpaid wages. It assists with integrating workers into society.  It provides local resources including access to healthcare, emergency food and identification cards.  And it offers a meeting space along with English as a Second Language and computer classes to help immigrants with their goal of acclimating and contributing to their new homeland.

 

Looking for more information about Obreros Unidos de Yonkers?

Click here or call 917-579-9048

Call the Catholic Charities Help Line — (888) 744-7900 — for help finding more services you need.

 

Bringing Smiles to Children on Christmas Day

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

“In a day and age when lists to Santa Claus include iPads and game consoles , Catholic Charities St. Nicholas Project is much more basic,”  reports Carol D’Auria from 1010 WINS Radio in her live report  this week from Kmart at Astor Place.

Cardinal Dolan says volunteers with Catholic Charities (that hosted the event) don’t shop for toys but for things that people really need like socks, coats and pajamas.

“We are at our best; we are acting the way God our father intends us when we give ourselves away in love and service to somebody else and that’s what Christmas is all about.”

This volunteer said the list of needy families is growing. “We have over 200 more individuals to shop for this year than last year and it’s a really amazing way to reflect on what’s really important around the holidays.

Each shopper spent $200 for a family of four.

Catch the full story on CBS News and 1010 WINS.

“I love the fact that some tiny, simple thing that I’m doing is maybe going to help keep somebody warm and bring a smile to some kid’s face underneath the Christmas tree on Christmas morning,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan tells the New York Post.

Read the full story in the New York Post.

Turning Tragedy Into Kindness

Friday, December 13th, 2013

To mark the one-year anniversary tomorrow of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, relatives of the young victims said they would light a candle today, Friday, and urged people to honor the victims  by finding ways to give back to their own communities.

Newtown officials asked for privacy as they joined the victims’ families in calling for people to mark the event by performing acts of kindness or volunteering with charities, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

“In this way, we hope that some small measure of good may be returned to the world,” JoAnn Bacon told the news organization.

Ms. Bacon’s 6-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was among the 20 students and six educators shot to death in the school on Dec. 14, 2012. She was reading from a statement released by the families of all 26 victims.

Please join us at Catholic Charities in honoring the victims and their families.

Your involvement can take many different forms:  making a donation, lending your time, and lending your voice to help those in need.

Shoppers Buy for Needy Families

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Volunteers packed the K-Mart in White Plains Saturday morning to shop for needy families as part of the St. Nicholas of Westchester Shopping Day for Catholic Charities, reports the Daily Voice.

Catholic Charities has hosted the event for the past ten years at the K-Mart in Astor Place in Manhattan, said Karen Reynolds, regional supervisor for Catholic Charities. This is the third year that the event has been held in Westchester as well. Reynolds said about 70 volunteers, all wearing red Shopping Day shirts, turned out to buy basic necessities for families in need.

“We shopped for close to 100 families, which covers about 300 individuals. We probably spent over $10,000 here, so it’s also good for the local economy,” Reynolds said. “These are families that we work with throughout the year, who are struggling to put food on the table and pay their bills, and they know that at Christmas time they are not going to be able to afford gifts.”

Penny Pepe was given a profile of a married couple with a 6 year-old daughter. She bought some jeans, a shirt and a hoodie for the father, some pajamas, sweaters and a jacket for the mother, and a scarf, hat, gloves, tops and pants for the little girl.

“It’s that time of the season that’s all about giving back and helping other people,” said Pepe.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, the executive director of Catholic Charities, was pleased with the turnout. He said that the efforts of the volunteers helped the families have a merrier Christmas.

“It’s sad, but even though so many in the county have enough, too many lack the basic necessities. The St. Nicholas shopping day makes sure families have what they need,” Sullivan said.

“We knew there was a need here in Westchester, so we said we want to do something fun and involve the whole community,” said Susan Salice, one of the trustees for Catholic Charities. “Today was a fabulous turnout, beyond what we anticipated.”

The St. Nicholas Shopping Day at the K-Mart in Astor Place will be held next Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. That event is expected to provide necessities for close to 1,000 families.

 Check out these photos on Facebook.

Join us.

To volunteer or learn more about the St. Nicholas Project contact:

Ivy Hurwit
(646) 794-2525
Ivy.Hurwit@archny.org

REMEMBER…This is a year round project – We continue to accept donations all year long to assist New Yorkers in need.
Donate  Volunteer

 

 

 

 

 

Get In the Spirit of Christmas

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Join Catholic Charities in our commitment to care for the most vulnerable families in New York City and its neighboring communities, by volunteering at our annual Kmart Shopping Day. We help nearly 4,000 individuals by providing them with essential items such as coats, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, pajamas, socks, and blankets to help them stay warm throughout the winter season and job training classes, computer literacy classes, food from one of our many food pantries, and school supplies throughout the rest of the seasons.

Join us in shopping for those in need. Items are purchased with previously donated funds.  Additional donations are welcome but not required.
Volunteers needed for all or part of the day.

Date: December 14, 2013
Time: 8 am – 3 pm
Location: Kmart, Astor Place, NYC
 

To volunteer or learn more about the St. Nicholas Project contact:

Ivy Hurwit 
(646) 794-2525
Ivy.Hurwit@archny.org

REMEMBER…This is a year round project – We continue to accept donations all year long to assist New Yorkers in need!

Donate  Volunteer