Why I’m Running with Team Catholic Charities

September 26th, 2014

By Jen Osborn

I will be running to represent Catholic Archdiocese of New York in the TCS NYC Marathon 2014 this November as a member of  Team Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities of New York has provided hope and help in many different ways for those in need. I will be running to make the community I live in a healthier place.

When I was younger, I was able to join our church on several mission/service trips to other countries. As a Nursing Student there were many Outreach Programs in my community with which I was involved. These experiences taught me the value of volunteerism. Volunteerism in the community is what shows and puts into action the “power of caring.”

While working as a Registered Nurse for 15 years within Catholic Health Initiative Hospitals there had always been an ever-present mission to “build healthy communities.”

It is inspiring that Catholic Charities New York serves over 350,000 people each year. The value they offer in utilizing 88 cents of every dollar received is impressive stewardship. These resources are gathered and distributed to those less fortunate in their community.

It would be my privilege to raise money in order to serve the community better.

Check out Jen Osborn’s Crowdrise page and help her raise funds for Team Catholic Charities.

Advocates: NY Is Leader for Migrant Children

September 25th, 2014

10669085_10154586624835494_235170907021392108_oBy VERENA DOBNIK

The Associated Press

“New York state is a national leader in helping thousands of unaccompanied migrant children who have fled Central America for the United States, but more funding is needed to give them a normal life, advocates told state legislators during a hearing last week,” writes Verena Dobnik this week for the Associated Press.

Organizations that provide shelter, legal, medical and social services urged lawmakers at a state Assembly hearing in Manhattan to bolster aid for these children. The Rev. Kevin Sullivan, who heads Catholic Charities in the New York diocese, said the state should invest about $24 million.

‘By investing under $4,000 in each of these kids, we think you can build a future and create thousands of new, productive New Yorkers who are going to be contributing taxpayers to New York state,’ he said.

Read the full story.

Fidelis Care Donates $624,000 to Help the Poor and Medically Underserved

September 24th, 2014

_MG_6868-smFidelis Care, a partner with Catholic Charities Community Services for nearly a decade, presented a $624,000 to Catholic Charities on September 22, 2014 to further the two agencies’ aligned mission to serve the poor and needy of New York.

The grant, the largest Fidelis has ever given Catholic Charities,  was designated to strengthen families and support individuals in fiscal crisis and actively further the health status of indigent and medically underserved populations.  It was presented to Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, and Talia Lockspeiser, associate director of Catholic Charities Community Services on September 22, 2014 by Pam Hassen, vice president of marketing and senior programs for Fidelis along with Marketing Director George Rodriguez and Marketing Vice President Mark Scofani.

“We believe your strategies will improve the quality of life for low-income individuals while strengthening your organization,” Cardinal Dolan, a member of Fidelis Care New York and Rev. Patrick Frawley, Fidelis Care New York President and CEO wrote in a letter included with the donation.

Fidelis Care is the not-for-profit New York State Catholic Health Plan, providing quality, affordable health coverage to nearly one million children and adults in 59 counties statewide. The mission of Fidelis Care is to ensure that every resident, regardless of income, age, religion, gender, or ethnic background, has access to quality, affordable health care provided with dignity and respect. Through partnerships with providers and local community agencies like Catholic Charities, Fidelis Care works to foster healthier futures for members and their families.

City Council Chooses Catholic Charities & Its Coalition to Represent Unaccompanied Minors

September 23rd, 2014

Unaccompanied2Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan attended a New York City Council meeting today, September 23, 2014, as it earmarked a $1.9 million grant for Catholic Charities Community Services and its coalition of established service providers to give legal representation and other services to approximately 1,000 unaccompanied immigrant children facing possible deportation under a new accelerated court process.

The New York Times reported that:

The Council is to earmark $1 million,; the Robin Hood Foundation is committing $550,000, and the New York Community Trust, $360,000…

‘It’s a groundbreaking public-private partnership,’  said Melissa Mark-Viverito, the City Council speaker.

The accelerated process at the New York Immigration Court, informally known as the “surge docket” or “rocket docket,” began in August under a Justice Department mandate. The number of youth deportation cases has since swelled to 30 per day from fewer than 100 per month, overwhelming the legal groups that provide free screenings and legal representation to immigrant children in coordination with court officials.

The speedy deportation hearings are part of the Obama administration’s efforts to deter the illegal migration of young people from Central America. The federal goal is for children to go before an immigration judge within 21 days of being placed in the deportation process. Children could be deported within a few months, instead of years…

The $1.9 million will go to a coalition of established service providers, such as the Door, the Legal Aid Society, Catholic Charities Community Services and the Safe Passage Project. Mr. Weingartner said the Robin Hood Foundation would evaluate the program’s performance after 18 months.

Read more in The New York Times.

Wisconsin Parishioners Heed Pope Francis’ Call; Team with Catholic Charities to Comfort Lonely Children

September 23rd, 2014

blanketsBy Alice Kenny

With so much coverage of children fleeing their homelands to escape rape, gangs and abuse and arriving here in New York for help, sometimes we wonder with such overwhelming circumstances, how can we possibly make a difference.

Thanks to parishioners across the nation at St. Mary’s Visitation Parish in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, we have a simple answer.

It all comes down, they remind us, to comforting a child. And what better way than to wrap them snugly in a blanket made just for them?

The Wisconsin parishioners say they were inspired by a recent Catholic Charities NY blog post about a mass said by Cardinal Dolan and Msgr. Sullivan at Lincoln Hall, a Catholic Charities affiliated agency in Northern Westchester that shelters and provides social and legal services to some of the distraught unaccompanied minors who reach New York.  So children, teens and adults from the parish got together to design and make over 100 soft fleece blankets covered with children’s favorites — cartoon characters, Mickey Mouse and volleyballs —  to comfort lonely unaccompanied children arriving New York.  The parish is sending these handmade blankets to Catholic Charities for distribution.

The words that inspired these folks in America’s Dairyland to help came from Cardinal Dolan as he paraphrased our pope.

“Pope Francis said it so well,” Cardinal Dolan wrote on his blog, “when he reminded us that ‘this humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.’

“And that is just what Catholic Charities, parishes, professionals and volunteers throughout the country are doing.”

Keeping City Children Safe

September 22nd, 2014

MPpeih4-3Mysj-X08CoFhv0bFlTeHKAUyzqll0TKfoUToday, a teenager will go to one of our community centers to play basketball instead of hanging out on the street after school. A child with a learning disability will have specialized tutoring. And a teenage mother will get the support she needs to finish her education, get vital parenting skills and improve her family’s life. This is just some of the work of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.

Day Care to provide nurturing environments while parents go to school or work.

Foster Care for children who need temporary housing or as an alternative to institutional treatment for children with emotional or behavioral issues.

Adoption Services so a child can grow up in a stable, secure and loving environment.

After-School Programs that offer a balanced mix of academic support and sports, recreation, as well as arts and cultural experiences.

Summer Camps including sleep-away and day-camp opportunities.

Community Centers that host a variety of wholesome activities for children to play, learn and socialize.

Learn how we are positively impacting the lives of children in New York.

Run! Run! Run!

September 19th, 2014

By Meghan O’Neill

Run! Run! Run! I am following a training plan that counts down the weeks and miles to the NYC Marathon.

Running the NYC Marathon had always been in the back of my mind. I always thought it would be very exciting to run through the five boroughs and cross the finish line in Central Park. I’m very excited that my first marathon will be with Team Catholic Charities.

When I learned that Team Catholic Charities was looking for runners I knew this would be an incredible opportunity to combine my desire to run the NYC Marathon with fundraising for an organization that provides essential services to those in need. The Better Business Bureau has deemed Catholic Charities an Accredited Charity that meets the high standards of a charity who uses funds raised to directly help individuals. I decided to run for Catholic Charities because I’m assured that the funds raised will be used to help those in need.

Catholic Charities’ plan to use the funds raised through the marathon to feed the hungry inspires me because if Catholic Charities can provide nourishment to so many people every day, I just know I can run 26.2 miles. As intimidating as I sometimes find 26.2 miles, it’s nothing compared to all of the hard work Catholic Charities does day in and day out.

My parents frequently call me and ask how the running is going. When I’m visiting my parents in my hometown, Stony Point, NY, (from my apartment in Brooklyn) they encourage me to go for runs around the neighborhood and along the Hudson River. Also, their golden retriever, Reilly, is always up for a run with me!

 

Check out Meghan’s Crowdrise page and help her raise funds for Team Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities Partners with State Leaders to Fight Immigration Fraud

September 19th, 2014

Watch this slide show of the event.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan joined New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. and others to showcase a comprehensive initiative launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to protect immigrants from fraud and exploitation on September 18, 2014 at the headquarters of Catholic Charities’ Division of Immigration and Refugee Services in Lower Manhattan.

Con artists posing as immigration attorneys or authorized immigration representatives victimize thousands of New Yorkers in our state each year by charging fees for immigration assistance services that are never provided. Commonly recognized forms of immigration scams include: false promises of permanent U.S. residency and citizenship; preparation of applications for immigration benefits by unqualified individuals or those engaged in the unauthorized practice of law; sale of immigration forms that are available for free; false impersonation of immigration officials; and unwarranted threats of deportation. At times, victims are so negatively impacted by these scammers that they permanently lose out on important immigration opportunities.

Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation to better protect immigrants living in New York from potential fraud or wrongdoing as they seek immigration-related assistance.

This comprehensive effort to fight immigrant fraud includes:

  • Launching a multilingual public service campaign warning immigrants against fraud
  • Signing legislation making it a felony to commit immigrant assistance services fraud 
  • Expanding the New York State New Americans Hotline (800-566-7636) operated by Catholic Charities to serve as a resource to coordinate immigration assistance fraud complaints, as well as offer service referrals
  • Helping local immigrant-serving not-for-profit agencies become federally accredited to provide certain immigration services by expanding free immigration law training
  • Strengthening enforcement against the unauthorized practice of immigration law by enhancing coordination between the Attorney General, District Attorneys’ offices, local government consumer affairs departments and federal agencies through complaint referrals

“Catholic Charities has long welcomed and protected the newcomer,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York. “Through the New Americans Hotline, we continue to provide timely information and referrals for those needing a range of help: legal representation, family reunification and unfortunately, protection from exploitation.  This new law provides an enhanced opportunity for Catholic Charities in partnership with New York State to protect immigrants – always with dignity and compassion.”

Read more in the Village Voice.

 

Cardinal Dolan Visits Lavelle School for the Blind

September 18th, 2014

NOTE: All photos require the written permission of copyright holder Maria R. Bastone for usage. NO MODEL RELEASES; NO SALES; NO TRANSFER OF RIGHTS TO THIRD PARTY. EMBEDDED COPYRIGHT INFOR MAY NOT BE REMOVED. Client will indemnify photographer from any usA Bronx school that helps some of the most vulnerable residents in the city is celebrating 110 years, and that makes it a fitting time for a visit from the Archbishop of New York, reported Erin Clarke on this recent NY1 television broadcast.

The Lavelle School for the Blind had humble beginnings when it opened more than a century ago.

“It was run by the Blauvelt Dominican congregation and their dedication to the students, their commitment to helping people with severe disabilities,” said Claire Lavin, president of the board of trustees at the Lavelle School for the Blind. “They started with one blind person in someone’s apartment, and from that, it grew into a whole school.”

On Thursday, (September 11, 2014) Cardinal Timothy Dolan stopped by the school in the northeast Bronx.

“In love and compassion, teaching, healing, they do it splendidly,” Dolan said.

Though Lavelle isn’t a Catholic school, it was started by nuns and it falls under the umbrella of Catholic charities and Archdiocese institutions. This year, it’s celebrating 110 years of giving not only blind students, but also those with multiple disabilities the skills to stand on their own and be successful.

“I not only had an academic education, but I had a lot of other skills and things to back me up to be able to go out and then be the only blind child in athat was in my neighborhood,” said Carmen Rico, an alumnus of the school.

Rico said the school gave her the confidence to go on to the College of New Rochelle and Columbia. Then, she became a teacher for blind students.

“The kids are learning basic skills that translate to real work in the future,” said Gary Weir, transition coordinator for the Lavelle School for the Blind.

“I’m working with clothes and in pocketbooks,” said student Rosa Santos. “It makes me feel good. I get paid.”

This holistic approach to education piqued the interest of Dolan on his visit.

“There was sort of a sense of pride and joy and ownership in the students,” Dolan said. “They weren’t numbers. They weren’t clients. You could tell they were part of the family. There’s a sense of love and warmth and self-help and helping one another. That moved me very much.”

Just like in 1904, when the Blauvelt Dominican sisters started Lavelle, today, it’s caring for and helping its students achieve fulfilling lives.

Catch the broadcast on NY1.

Learn more about the Lavelle School for the Blind, an affiliate of Catholic Charities NY.

Kids Facing Deportation to Get Extra Help from NYC

September 17th, 2014

By Michael Gartland

New York Post

Mayor de Blasio announced Tuesday that he is dispatching health and school workers to immigration court to help children facing deportation — the first time the city has provided such direct services, reports Michael Gartland today, September 17, 2014, in the New York Post.

These children have come here because they have families or sponsors in New York City, and it is our responsibility to assist them,” he said.

Under his plan, the Department of Education would help kids sign up for English language classes and enroll in school, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene would enroll them in a state-funded health insurance, and the Health and Hospital Corp. would offer medical and mental-health treatment…

Advocacy groups testifying Tuesday at an Assembly hearing on the influx of immigrant children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala said they’re buckling under a flood of cases.

In many cases, the children are fleeing threats of violence in their home countries…

(Catholic Charities Executive Director) Monsignor Kevin Sullivan suggested the state lay out $24 million for caseworkers to follow up with kids once they’ve left immigration detention centers…

About 4,244 children have arrived statewide, making New York second only to Texas in the number of recent unaccompanied arrivals.

 

Read the full New York Post coverage.

Find out more in Syracuse.com