Archive for the ‘Strengthening Families and Resolving Crises’ Category

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.

   

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

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.

We Help Teens Dream Big

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Help us continue to provide our children with opportunities to thrive — outside, as well as inside the classroom.

Tonight, a teenage boy is dreaming of becoming a civil engineer and building skyscrapers. A young girl has a new goal of becoming an accountant in international business. Yesterday, neither knew anyone with those careers. Thanks to a variety of career days sponsored by Catholic Charities of New York, teens have opportunities to meet with professionals who broaden their horizons — and get them excited about their education and job prospects.

Consider a monthly donation of $25This could supplement a full year of services for a child. We also offer after-school programs, sports and mentoring. New York is full of opportunities — if you know where to look.

Our mission is to open the eyes of these youngsters and help them dream big.

 

 

 

 

Food: There’s No Greater Gift

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

fooddayCatholic Charities supports a vast network of soup kitchens and food pantries, emergency shelters, temporary and transitional housing, and permanent affordable housing to help homeless families and individuals.

In any given year…

5.8 M nutritious meals served in parish and community food programs
6,498 families prevented from becoming homeless
1,267 individuals housed in temporary and transitional apartments
8,234 individuals provided with emergency overnight shelter
7,100 families living in affordable housing

Are you hungry and need help? Call our Helpline at: 888-744-7900

Immigrants Defrauding Fellow Immigrants

Monday, October 20th, 2014

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Tune in to Tiempo on ABC7 for its round-table discussion with Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and New York Immigration Coalition Associate Oriana Sanchez about New York State’s comprehensive effort to fight growing fraud perpetrated against immigrants.

The fraud takes place most often, they say, between established immigrants against the recently arrived. Frequently “notarios,” Spanish-speaking immigrants certified to serve as notary publics, pretend to be attorneys, charge recent immigrants thousands of dollars to help them obtain legal status and then disappear with the money.

Catholic Charities New Americans Hotline helps fight against fraud along with answering more than 20,000 other immigration calls for help each year in more than 20 languages.

“Since July we’ve gotten 31 calls (from defrauded immigrants) that we’ve turned over to authority,” Msgr. Sullivan says.

“All the things we’ve talked about in terms of fraud just point out how much we have to reform the immigration laws in our country comprehensively so that immigrants get a good deal; so that we can have a place which is welcoming but which is law abiding and in which people can make a contribution to making this a better place.”

Watch the full Tiempo show aired Sunday, October 19, 2014, on ABC7.

Need help? Call the New York State Immigration Hotline administered by Catholic Charities at 800-566-7636.

Fighting Substance Abuse by Running the NYC Marathon with Team Catholic Charities

Friday, October 17th, 2014

By Tony Osborn

As a parent of a child that struggles with substance abuse, I understand the difficulties associated with it.

A substance abuser’s behaviors affect many things such as their home life, their careers and themselves.

The availability of self-help programs, such as the programs that are offered by Catholic Charities, that are designed to assist an individual in taking advantage of the gift of life are very important to myself and my family.  My family has benefited in many ways from these support programs meant to assist in coping with and breaking the cycle of drug addiction.  For this reason I would like to represent Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Catholic Charities in the New York City marathon.

“There is no such thing as an inconsequential life.”

Click here to support Tony.

A Child’s Potential with Your Help There are No Limits

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

achildspotentialHelp us continue to provide our children with opportunities  to thrive — outside, as well as inside the classroom.

Not every child in New York wakes up to the same advantages. Some will go to school hungry. Some weren’t able to do their homework because last night their home was so chaotic. With your support, we can help teens stay focused to succeed in school.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York has programs to give teens a helping hand. We help make sure they’re showing up for class. We offer academic support. We lend a concerned ear with counseling. Throughout the year we help teens make graduation a priority.

Catholic Charities offers a variety of programs — from academic support to sports to cultural opportunities.
Your monthly contribution of $25 could help keep one child in programs like this for a full academic year. With all the distractions our children face, your donation can help them keep their eye on the ball — graduation.

With your support, there are no limits to what a child can accomplish.