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

Polar Vortex Strikes; Cold Children Get Coats

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
Catholic Charities coat distribution

Catholic Charities coat distribution

By Alice Kenny

Brrr — It’s cold out!

Fortunately, just as the Polar Vortex slams through New York, Catholic Charities is distributing 3,000 coats to children and families in need who would otherwise be shivering without them.

We’re able to keep them warm thanks to our corporate, media and agency partnerships.

ABC Good Morning America Warm Coats and Warm Hearts Drive with Burlington Coat Factory in partnership with K-I-D-S and Fashion Delivers donated the coats. And Catholic Charities, in turn, is sharing them with 50 of our affiliated agencies across our New York archdiocese.

By working together we’re spreading the warmth from Staten Island, throughout New York City, on both sides of the freezing Hudson River and all the way to up to Sullivan County.

Our coat distribution is, as they say, just the tip of the iceberg. We’re also working with our affiliated agencies to distribute hundreds of donated books along with bookshelves to homeless shelters, 38,000 toys to disabled and needy children and so much more.

So now, during this winter season, stay in and stay safe.

And thank you for your help sharing the warmth.

Pope Francis’ Christmas Message Focuses on Children in Peril

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
View image | gettyimages.com

Pope Francis used a traditional Christmas address to emphasize the plight of children in areas of conflict, pointing out their “impotent silence” that “cries out under the spade of many Herods,” a reference to the ancient king who slaughtered all the young boys of Bethlehem, according to the New Testament, reports Elisabetha Poveledo in The New York Times.

Vast numbers of children today are victims of violence, objects of trade and trafficking, or forced to become soldiers, and they need to be saved, he said.

The pope spoke of ‘children displaced due to war and persecution, abused and taken advantage of before our very eyes and our complicit silence.’

Catholic Charities is lead provider of humanitarian help  including legal, social and financial support for the abused children Pope Francis spoke about who flee their native lands and seek protection in the United States.

Do you or does someone you know need help?

Call Catholic Charities-administered New York State New Americans Hotline at 800-566-7636.

Read the full story in The New York Times.

Mother Gives Autistic Son Special Party

Monday, January 5th, 2015

andrewsEvery available surface of what, an hour earlier, had been an empty housing project community room had been decorated in the colors and likeness of Jamel Hunter’s favorite superhero, Spider-Man. There were Spider-Man balloons, cupcakes, a spider made of frosting on the birthday cake, even a homemade pin-the-tail-on-Spider-Man game.

The night was part party and part prayer, for it was a first for Jamel, 8, and his mother, Phyllis Atwood, 46, wanted it to be perfect.

Jamel has autism, and slight variations from his routines can be jarring, sending him into screaming fits or silent retreats to his own thoughts. The party was a huge leap. The volume of the music, the rows and rows of trays of barbecue and soft drinks and desserts, the brightly colored balloons — it was as if Ms. Atwood were making up for lost time, throwing him three or four parties at the same time.

Ms. Atwood, a single mother, is disabled from Blount’s disease, a condition in which the upper shin bone stops producing bone tissue; and failing kidneys that require she undergo dialysis three times a week. She had loaded her wheelchair with party supplies before making her way from their apartment to the party.

The family receives support and services from Kennedy Child Study Center, a Catholic Charities sponsored agency acknowledged as a leader in educating and supporting children with intellectual disabilities.

Read their full story published Christmas Day in The New York Times.

December 31st Is Almost Here

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

timeisrunningoutAt Catholic Charities, our capacity to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless has never been so strained. It’s estimated that 1 out of 5 New Yorkers depends on aid for food.

Through generous gifts like yours, last year we served nearly 6 million nutritious meals in parish and community food programs. Thousands of families were prevented from becoming homeless thanks to emergency shelters, temporary apartments and affordable housing.

Your donation of $100 by Dec. 31st. will help the hungry and the homeless.

Together we can provide help and create hope.

Time to Give Hope

Monday, December 29th, 2014

timetogivehopeIt’s time to give hope for the New Year.

Your tax-deductible donation by Dec. 31st will help us keep families together.

 

Today’s economy squeezes working-class families, leaving many holding two jobs yet still unable to pay rent, put food on the table and makes ends meet. With donations like yours, we can strengthen these families.

Last year, we helped nearly 100,000 individuals and families with financial assistance, resources, counseling, job placement and more so they could stay together and thrive.

Please consider an end-of-year donation of $100. Together we can provide help and create hope.

Help New Yorkers In Need Stay Warm This Christmas

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

warmcoatpostA warm coat isn’t too much to ask for this Christmas.

When hard-working people fall on hard times, Catholic Charities is there.

The Rivera family lost almost everything when the economic climate caused their day care business to shut down. As winter approaches, families like the Riveras are facing a tough climate of another kind. Last year, our St. Nicholas Project provided warm coats, hats, sweaters and blankets to nearly 4,000 people. Every year, because of caring people like you, the St. Nicholas Project is able to provide winter necessities to those in need.

This Christmas, you can help by donating $65 to help one individual, or $260 to help a family of four.

Coats & Toys for Children in Need

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

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Impoverished children and their families will be warmer and happier this holiday season thanks to Catholic Charities’ Christmas Spirit Toy and Coat Drive partnership with Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway President and CEO Timothy J. Rooney.  Now in its eighth year, the drive was the most successful on record, collecting and distributing hundreds of coats and more than 600 toys to those in need.

“There are no greater deeds than charity and service,” Mr. Rooney said

Empire City patrons donated the toys and gifts that Mr. Rooney presented to Msgr. Sullivan last week at the Empire City Yonkers location.

Joining Mr. Rooney and Monsignor Sullivan were Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Mayor Mike Spano, City Council Member Corazon Pineda from the City of Yonkers, and Assembly member Shelley Mayer.

Sister Christine Hennessy of Catholic Charities Community Services and Órla Kelleher, Executive Director of the Aisling Irish Community Center were also on present and will ensure the toys and coats get into the hands of families most in need.

The group heralded the generosity of Josh Blake, President of California-based family-owned company, Jams, who for the past three consecutive years delivered some West Coast warmth to New York families with his donation of 500 toys.

John Lennon, owner of Yonkers-based Smart Move & Storage, also generously donated services to transport and store of all donations while they are distributed by local community organizations.

Empire City Casino has a long history of working with Catholic Charities to help New Yorkers in need, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

Christmas Hope for the Mentally Ill

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Decked in Santa caps, plates brimming with food and Christmas carols ringing in the background, mentally ill adults served by Catholic Charities Beacon of Hope Division celebrated the holiday season last week at the annual Beacon of Hope Holiday Party at the Epiphany Parish Hall on East 21st Street.

Some spoke and danced, some rocked and observed and nearly all chuckled as Cardinal Dolan showed off his Irish step-dance moves.

Beacon of Hope staff joined with Catholic Charities board members and volunteers from the national consulting firm, Deloitte, to celebrate the event. The Beacon of Hope Division of Catholic Charities Community Services is a residential program for approximately 436 individuals at 10 sites primarily in the Bronx, and on Staten Island.  Those served are seriously and persistently mentally ill adults; the program strives to enable them to live as independently as possible in their community.

“Beacon of Hope… taught me everything I need to know to basically live … on my own,” says Angela in this holiday video of the event.

Looking for a great way to kick off the holiday?

Watch this video now.

Volunteers Rally to Shop for Those in Need

Friday, December 19th, 2014

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Over 500 volunteers teamed with Catholic Charities’ Junior Board and staff to purchase over $100,000 worth of basic necessities for more than 3,000 needy New Yorkers at K-mart in lower Manhattan during the agency’s annual St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day.

Cheered by Christmas music sung from store speakers, volunteer shoppers checked personalized lists to fill their carts with winter items including coats, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, pajamas and blankets to stay warm.

“Today is one of the most joyful of the Catholic Charities activities of the year,” Msgr. Sullivan said.

The St. Nicholas Project, supported by donations and volunteers from Catholic Charities, provides individuals and families in need with gifts of necessity including winter clothing and household supplies.  This support continues throughout the year thanks to Catholic Charities caseworkers who aid the same individuals through job training and classes, immigration assistance, food from Catholic Charities’ many food pantries and support for children, adults, the elderly and those with special needs.

Looking for friends, family and fellow volunteers?

Check out this Facebook photo album.

URGENT – Your Help Is Needed This Christmas

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

dolan-shoppingdayWe’re shopping now for those in need. Will you help this Christmas ?

Every year, Catholic Charities sponsors the St. Nicholas Project – providing warm coats, hats, sweaters and blankets for children and families in need. Our volunteers are out there shopping now – and we need your help.

Your donation of $65 helps us shop for one child – $260 will help a family of four. So many are experiencing economic hardship this year. We’re counting on you to make a difference.

This Christmas, please help us keep children warm.