Archive for the ‘Protecting and Nurturing Children and Youth’ Category

Hungry. Homeless But Not Hopeless.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

photo 1When people have nowhere to go, they turn to Catholic Charities for help. Amina, a college student and her two-year old child had to sleep on the subway – hungry and homeless – after her mother threw them out.

Fortunately, she found her way to a residence in Catholic Charities network of agencies that provides shelter for homeless mothers and children. The college senior said, “When they told me I could have whatever I want for my child, from diapers to toiletries to food in the pantry, I started to cry.”

This Thanksgiving, please consider a donation of $25, $50 or more.

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Opening Her Home to Disabled Children: A True Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24th, 2014

rodriguezLucky for the 40 abandoned New York City children that Josefina Rodriguez took in during recent decades and raised as foster children, this now 61-year-old woman loves children.  This is also lucky for Ms. Rodriguez’ oldest daughter, Hanny Casado, 40, who was born brain damaged and still lives at home.  It is lucky for Mia Rodriguez, 8, who Ms. Rodriguez took in as a foster child and later adopted.  And it is lucky for Natasha Rodriguez, 12, who Ms. Rodriguez also took in as a foster child and adopted regardless of the autism and mental retardation that make Natasha a more challenging child to raise.

Thanks to a wide array of support provided by Kennedy Child Study Center, an affiliate of Catholic Charities that assists children with developmental delays, this financially and emotionally stressed family continues to thrive.

“These are not real problems,” Ms. Rodriguez says when questioned about pressures she navigates every day.  “Problems are grave illnesses, when someone you love dies.  I have commitments, not problems, commitments to take care of my children.”

Read their story in The New York Times.

Catholic Charities Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

Friday, November 21st, 2014
07_StCatholic Charities, along with Catholic parishes and schools has long welcomed immigrants to our country and most especially to New York. We have helped new Americans adapt to their new home with a sense of dignity and respect. Given this experience, we have been at the forefront of advocating for legislation that  comprehensively reforms a broken immigration system to create fair and humane resettlement and integration for those coming to our country. Because of this, we have been saddened again and again by the failure of Congress to pass such critically needed legislation.In light of this failure, we are encouraged by President Obama’s executive action that deals with one part of immigration reform that is at the heart of Catholic Charities advocacy – the unity of the family.  By this order, millions of children who are citizens or permanent legal residents of the United States will be protected from suddenly having their parents taken from them and deported. Vulnerability and fear is reduced for millions by this action.  Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York highlighted this point from his own personal experience:

“Let me tell you a tale of two Sundays that I personally witnessed. The first Sunday a family of four was praying in my parish church. The next Sunday it was a family of three. The father and breadwinner was deported for a minor infraction that occurred almost a decade earlier.  The wife and mother was alone and the children now without their father.  No one benefited – not the family and not the nation.”  An executive action might have protected the unity and ensured the stability of this family.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York stands at the ready to help eligible immigrants respond to this new opportunity.  We will provide accurate and timely information through our New Americans Hotline.  We will also assist immigrants to comply with the provisions of this executive order so they can obtain the new protections and authorizations it affords.

While we are positive about the protections afforded vulnerable families by this executive order, there is undoubtedly more work to be done.  We continue to maintain that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary and thus advocating for such will be an ongoing part of Catholic Charities’ efforts.

Watch Talented Foster Children Take to the Stage

Friday, November 14th, 2014

talent showJoin our affiliated agency, Cardinal McCloskey Community Services (CMCS), at their 12th Annual inspirational and fun “Taking-the-Stage” Talent Show.

Watch as talented children and young adults in foster care programs shine!

Help us celebrate their talents!

Since 2002, the annual Taking the Stage talent show has impressed audiences and continues to provide an artistic outlet for at-risk children and teens.

All performers are youngsters served in CMCS programs and dedicated many hours perfecting their talents and rehearsing for the show.

The afternoon is a powerful reminder of the obstacles our youth, our future, continue to face.

Yet is is also a tribute to their indomitable spirit and the unwavering support CMCS gives so that they can achieve their goals and lead successful lives.

At the Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford, NY

Doors open at 1:00 PM.

Also, check out the Art Gallery, open from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, to see participants’ original art work and literary pieces.
Click here to purchase tickets! Click here to learn more.

City Teens Tour College and Dream Big

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

By Alice Kenny
Shepard_Hall_1Underprivileged teens from Washington Heights received a guided tour of City College of New York last week, thanks to La Plaza Beacon After-School Program.

Fifteen students learned the history of this college, founded in 1847, in the Howard E. Willie Administration Building. Momentum and interest grew as they next toured the Grove School of Engineering, the North Academic Building, the book store, the library, the computer labs and the Marshak Science building. Finally, they toured stone-hewn Shepard Hall, the castle-like building where students graduate and dreams become reality.

Participants peppered tour guides and teachers with questions about careers choices and about the bottom line, the availability of scholarships and financial aid.

La Plaza Beacon is part of Catholic Charities’ Alianza Division. During after-school hours, La Plaza Beacon’s school-based community center transforms a local school into a thriving neighborhood center. It provides a safe, supervised place where youth go for recreation, cultural activities, homework help and tutoring.

“We accomplished the main goal of our visit,” La Plaza Beacon  Director Leonardo Ivan Dominguez  said, “that with education the sky is the limit.”

After Sleeping with Her Baby on the Subway, Homeless Woman & Child Rebuild Their Lives

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.37.33 PM‘Amina Gilmore spent one of her first nights of homelessness on the No. 1 train, guarding her 1-year-old son as he slept,’ writes John Otis in this New York Times Neediest Cases story published on Sunday. ‘The next day she went to class. Even as her life shifted and balances wavered in a few short years, Ms. Gilmore kept her eyes fixed on her goal…’

Unsure of where to turn, Ms. Gilmore (a college student thrown out of her mother’s home) spent the night riding the No. 1 train to the end of the line and back.

‘I was sleeping with one eye open,’ she said…

The next morning, they made their way to a storage center, where they changed clothes in the locker unit she rents. She dropped him off at day care and went to class. There, she broke down and cried. Her professor took her to a social worker at Monroe College who helped her find a hotel that night and then a spot at the Elinor Martin Residence for Mother & Child in New Rochelle, an affiliate of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.

Read the full New York Times story here.

   

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

Homeless College Student Struggles to Breathe

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

rennySlung over Renny Vilorio’s shoulder is a fabric bag that rarely leaves his side; the nebulizer, inhalers and pills inside keep him breathing. A second accessory complements his ensemble: a backpack, loaded with textbooks.

The bags contain the conflicting forces molding his life.

Mr. Vilorio, 24, is pursuing a college degree, an aim continually impeded by homelessness and chronic asthma so severe that his chest feels set aflame several times each day.

Renny’s profile is the inaugural Catholic Charities NY Neediest Cases story published by The New York Times during the current 2014-2015 campaign. Catholic Charities celebrates its more than a century-long partnership with The New York Times sharing the faces and feelings of the downtrodden — and the courageous advances they make with support from Catholic Charities, The New York Times and readers like you.

Read more about Renny in The New York Times.

Help us help Renny and fellow courageous New Yorkers.

 

 

 

New Ladies of Charity

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of archdiocesan Catholic Charities, installs a new member of the Ladies of Charity of New York during the annual Mass and Affiliation Ceremony in the Lady Chapel of St. Patrick’s Cathedral Oct. 18.

“From the way the newly installed president of the Ladies of Charity explained the mission of the organization, there are thousands of potential Ladies of Charity in the world,” writes Juliann Dos Santos in this recent issue of Catholic New York. “They just may not know it yet.”

But 19 new affiliates now know it well as Catholic Charities Executive Msgr. Kevin Sullivan added their names to the rolls of this laywoman’s Catholic Charities affiliated organization committed to serve the poor at an installation Mass held in the Lady Chapel of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on October 18.

The president, Nancy C. Waters, who was also installed at the Mass and ceremony, was speaking of the type of work with which the Ladies of Charity are involved.

‘Whenever a woman offers tea or speaks to a lonely neighbor, stops to assist a homeless person or even holds a door open for a mother struggling with a stroller, she is acting as a Lady of Charity,’ Ms. Waters explained.

‘Life is filled with Lady of Charity moments,’ she said.

The organization itself was co-founded in 1617 by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. It also carries on the spirit of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Service is done in a Vincentian way of helping the poor and the marginalized materially and spiritually.

Read the full story in Catholic New York.

Interested in becoming a Lady of Charity? Call (212) 371-1011, ext. 2542.