Archive for the ‘What We Do at Catholic Charities’ Category

Safety Tips for Today’s Blizzard

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

As Winter Storm Juno cripples commerce and paralyzes traffic, Catholic Charities urges you to:

  • Stay home
  • Stay in
  • Stay safe
  • And watch out for your neighbors

Catholic Charities echoes the warnings of NY State Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio who declared a state of emergency throughout the New York Archdiocese including New York City, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester counties.

They closed commuter rail lines and forbid driving on roads.

Meanwhile, outreach workers are fanning out to bring into shelter anyone exposed to the storm.

  • Help by calling 311 if you spot someone in need
  • Call 911 if you are in immediate danger
  • Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors
  • Help those who need special assistance, including seniors and persons with disabilities

Click for the latest on subways, trains, buses, roads and rail lines.

Click for severe weather updates.

Blizzard May Trap Elderly

Monday, January 26th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

CAUTION:  Snow’s already falling sideways before Winter Storm Juno — scheduled to slam New York City by 1 pm and predicted the worst blizzard in the city’s history — has even started:

Catholic Charities is here to help.

Are you a homebound senior trapped inside by mountains of snow?

Catholic Charities, partnering again with the NYC Snow Removal Initiative, can pair you with volunteers to clear your driveway.

Important Precautions:

  • Commuter Heads up:  Metro North and the Long island Rail Road might shut down before Monday’s evening rush, Governor Cuomo warned in a recent statement.
  • Highways could close
  • Check out NYC Hazards: Winter Weather web pages for tips and information about how to prepare.
  • Get updates from the NYC Severe Weather website.
  • Get emergency alerts by signing up for Notify NYC.

Pope Francis May Visit NYC Soup Kitchens

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Breaking news.  Pope Francis, during his trip to New York City confirmed this week and scheduled for September 2015, may spend time in soup kitchens, food pantries and centers that help immigrants.

The notoriously unpretentious pope, appointed in 2013, has quickly risen as a crusader for the world’s poor and disadvantaged, reports Metro New York

“When a pope comes to visit in New York, there’s excitement. But with Pope Francis, it will be excitement on steroids,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities. “I think this pope has created such excitement because of what he’s done to enable the world to understand the basic goodness of the message of Jesus … the world is taken by his ability to communicate this.” 

Sullivan said soup kitchens, as well as centers that help immigrants and refugees acclimate to life in New York would be the best place for the pope to visit to “get a good understanding of some of the hurting.”  

“Some of the most vulnerable people do have to go to food pantries for a basic nutritious meal, and it’s one of the better places to see how the church is reaching out to the poorest,” Sullivan said. 

Read Metro New York’s full interview with Msgr. Sullivan to learn more about Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to NYC.

How Do We Hope to Provide One Million Meals?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

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By Alice Kenny

Shop for your family at ShopRite and help feed your hungry neighbors at the same time.

Sounds like an ad, right?  But it’s not.

In New York State, nearly one million children go to bed hungry. And we’re working with you, ShopRite, and other partners to pull together one million meals to feed them.

Catholic Charities and ShopRite are teaming up to help raise money and non-perishable food for area food pantries left with dwindling supplies after the holiday season, the Times-Herald Record reports in a video announcing the campaign’s kickoff.

It’s a time of year when need remains high but giving does not.

So by shopping at any one of 26 area ShopRite stores in the Hudson Valley, you can make cash or food donations to help replenish dwindling supplies.

The collection of food and funds in ShopRite stores will run from Sunday, January 25 through Saturday, February 7.

“This Catholic Charities Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign in partnership with ShopRite,” Msgr. Sullivan says in this new video, “is an effort on our part to make sure fewer children go to bed hungry.”

Watch the Times-Herald Record video.

Join us in Feeding Our Neighbors.

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Unpacking Tons of Food to Feed the Hungry

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

goya fonFox News Latino spotlighted the massive collective effort kicked off yesterday by Catholic Charities staff, volunteers and Goya Foods to feed our hungry neighbors.  Working together, they unloaded a total of 35,000 pounds of food from Goya trucks, heaving it out box by box to pack, restock inventory and prepare bags for distribution to support a vast network of food pantries and emergency food programs throughout the archdiocese.

The colossal event included staff and volunteers simultaneously unloading tons of food at five Catholic Charities sites in Harlem, Washington Heights, the South Bronx, Staten Island and Kingston and a UJA Federation site in Brooklyn.  Thanks to Catholic Charities NY support and Goya donations, food is also being trucked to other areas across the country including Miami, Texas and California to feed unaccompanied minors arriving from Latin America.

“Unfortunately, we have to just look in the media to see that we have tension (around the world),” Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan tells Fox News. “This project is an opportunity to bridge gaps.”

Read the full story in Fox News Latino

Watch this slideshow of the volunteer effort. 

Share your comments here.

Feeding Our Neighbors is an archdiocesan-wide effort to raise food and funds to replenish food pantries and soup kitchens that feed hungry neighbors during the most critical time of year when need is high and giving is low.  Together, Catholic Charities in partnership with Goya aims to maximize impact to realize a goal of collecting 1 million meals to feed the hungry across New York. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Asked “What Are You Doing For Others?”

Monday, January 19th, 2015

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By Alice Kenny

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

At Catholic Charities, we have an answer.  Our Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Day of Service pulls together a small army of volunteers and staff to help feed the hungry.  Today we are unloading 30,000 pounds of food donated by Goya to stock food pantries in Harlem, Washington Heights, the South Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Kingston.

With 1 out of 5 New Yorkers now depending on aid for food, our food pantries have never been so strained.  This donation of food by Goya and time by volunteers makes a huge difference helping us feed our hungry neighbors.

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

Join us in answering this urgent question.

It’s Freezing Out and Children Are Hungry

Friday, January 16th, 2015

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Help us feed them and our fellow  New Yorkers

Hunger is up and our food pantries and soup kitchens are hard-pressed to meet the growing need. Cardinal Dolan kicked off an interfaith drive to replenish them last Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

We’re falling short and need to provide an additional 500,000 meals this winter. Give today to help feed one our of five children in New York who don’t have enough to eat.

Each dollar you contribute provides 4 meals to our neighbors in need. Help us reach our goal of raising 200,000 meals this week!

 

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Disabled Son & Abused Mom on Path to Self Sufficiency

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

 

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Wheelchair bound from the severe brittle bone disease he was born with, Edwin Zabala, 10, shares a single room with his mother and younger brother in a shelter for domestic violence survivors.  Edwin is about three feet tall with a round head nearly the size of his torso; his arms and legs are bent inward from frequent breakage.

His younger brother, Jorge, 6, acts as his protector during the rare times, other than school, that their mother feels it is safe to walk with them on the streets outside their shelter.  It is not that she is an overly-cautious mother.  It is that she knows, after witnessing Edwin’s bones crack again and again when they experience the slightest pressure, after seeing criminals hanging out on the tough streets outside and after enduring 11 years of abuse from their father, that the world outside their room for them is a dangerous place.

Thankfully, Dominican Sisters Family Health Services, a Catholic Charities affiliate, has made it safer.

Read their New York Times Neediest Case now.

 

Questions About President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

NEWAMERICANSHOTLINE-6By Alice Kenny

There are so many questions about President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration!

Who does it cover?
When does it start?
Where can you get advice?
How do you avoid hucksters defrauding those seeking help?

Check out our answers here in:
• English and Spanish
• Chinese

More questions or looking for a referral to a non-profit agency for free or low-cost advice on your immigration case?

Call our Catholic Charities operated New York State New Americans Hotline at 1 (800) 566-7636.

Rebuilding Lives After Husband and Provider’s Death

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

ocasio6smLeukemia took Jean Carlos Ocasio in November, but the apartment he shared with his wife, Yaresly Cosme-Alicea, and their daughters, ages 4 and 7, still vibrates with his presence. It is in the walls he painted in warm earth tones, the steel kitchen shelves he custom made, the dividing wall he built in the apartment’s one bedroom, which is only half-finished, beams and Spackle still visible.

Mr. Ocasio, a 28-year-old who worked in construction, could be found building, tools in hand, until the very last months of his life. He remodeled his family’s apartment, using recycled cabinets and castoff supplies from work sites…

With Mr. Ocasio unable to work, and his $1,600 in monthly disability benefits unable to cover the rent, food and utilities, Ms. Cosme-Alicea realized she needed help in becoming the primary breadwinner.

In 2014 she enrolled in professional development classes at the Grace Institute, a Catholic Charities affiliated nonprofit organization for economically disadvantaged women.

On Oct. 27, the day of Ms. Cosme-Alicea’s graduation from the Grace Institute, he suffered a stroke. A week later, he died.

Read the full story now.