Feeding Our Neighbors, 1.3 Million Times

April 27th, 2015

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“Catholic Charities’ Feeding Our Neighbors campaign topped its lofty goal of providing 1 million meals to New Yorkers in need,” writes Catholic New York in their recent editorial. “And thanks to the efforts of Catholics across the archdiocese as well as a host of other partners, the annual initiative collected enough food to make 300,000 additional meals available to those coming to food pantries and soup kitchens, many in local parishes, for assistance.”

Catholic Charities, under Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, the executive director, deserves a lot of credit for laying out a successful vision that encourages participation and support from such a wide net of donors and facilitators…

In commending Catholic Charities, and by extension the thousands who helped it collect 1.3 million meals, we know the heart of Feeding Our Neighbors’ success is its ability to deliver a Gospel-driven response to real needs. It’s a simple formula, really, and the benefits extend to donors as well as recipients.

Read the full editorial in Catholic New York.

And thank you for your help feeding our neighbors!

Do you have a personal story about how you helped?

Share it in our comments section

Bombarded by Tragedies?

April 24th, 2015

Photograph by Chris Ramirez PhotographerBy Alice Kenny

When one tragedy hits, other tragedies too often follow.  We lose a job and then have a tough time paying rent.  We need help with immigration but can’t explain ourselves clearly in English.  Our home floods and we lose our furniture and clothes as well.

Making things worse is the hard time we have when we try to navigate the systems that are supposed to assist us.

Catholic Charities is here help.  Our knowledgeable professionals can help you deal with overlapping problems and cut through bureaucratic red tape.

This can make the difference between getting the help you need and simply giving up.

Click here to find a Catholic Charities agency to coordinate the services you need.

Contact us through the Catholic Charities Help Line: 888-744-7900.

Executive Action Q & A

April 23rd, 2015

About 338,000 undocumented immigrants living in New York State may qualify for President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration reform.

YOU – or someone you know — may be one of them.

Q: Four Letters – What Do They Mean & How Can They Help?

A: The President’s Executive Action is still being fought in the courts.  If it goes through, these four letters – DACA or DAPA – could change your life.

  • Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)
    DAPA helps parents who arrived in the United States on or before January 1, 2010, and who have at least one U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident son or daughter. This allows immigrant parents to stay in the country, work legally for 3 years, and apply for travel permission.
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
    DACA helps immigrants who came to the United States before their 16th birthday and arrived on or before January 1, 2010. This program allows immigrants who qualify to stay in the country, work legally for 3 years, and apply for travel permission.

Q: Why are these programs important?

A: The U.S. government will not deport immigrants who qualify for either of these programs for 3 years. This promise is called “Deferred Action” and will be written on a Work Authorization card with your name and picture. Even though these programs are temporary, if you believe you qualify, continue to gather documents and evidence for your application.

Q:Too Complicated to Read – Time for a Face-to-Face

A: Several times each week, Catholic Charities and its partners in the Archdiocese and in the New York area offer free informational presentations.

For other events in the New York City area, visit the Mayor’s Offices of Immigration Affairs events page

Teens to Serve on NYC Community Boards

April 22nd, 2015

Downtown Express photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic Teens interested in applying for community board positions debated the best way to spend $100 million of public money during an exercise in Borough President Gale Brewer’s office last Friday.

It had all the makings of a typical teen party — pizza and soda, excited chatter, and of course, young people, writes Dusica Sue Malesevic in Downtown Express. But it was no party, but rather a meeting to discuss a serious commitment that some adults would shy away from: serving on a community board.

And far from shying away, students from Catholic Charities’ Alianza Division in collaboration with the High School for Media and Communications, were active participants.

Each potential applicant took turns introducing him or herself, stating their age and their school or university…The meeting gave the teens the opportunity to learn community board basics and ask questions that are specific to their age and circumstances: homework, going off to college and working with mostly adults.

For 17-year-old Shirlyn Perez, a junior at High School for Media and Communications, to serve on a board is an opportunity that is “very appealing — not only because I get to contribute to my community but also learn a lot from it.”

Perez, who lives in Washington Heights, said she will definitely be applying to her neighborhood’s board, C.B. 12.

“It’s an exposure to many other things that we don’t get to experience at school,” she said.

Perez said she would focus on the issues of low undergraduate rates and drug use in her neighborhood.

Her classmate, Marleny Delarosa, 16 and from the Bronx, said she would also apply for C.B. 12.

“I care for my community so I’m interested in knowing what’s going on and what I can do to help improve it,” she said.

Read the full coverage in Downtown Express

Need Help? Don’t Know Where to Turn & Tired of Voice Mail Options?

April 21st, 2015

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By Alice Kenny

Call our Catholic Charities Help Line for your social service needs. Our bilingual phone operators are backed with up-to-date, reliable information.

We can link you to services from:

  • Catholic Charities agencies
  • Parishes
  • Human service organizations
  • Public benefit programs

If we can’t answer your question right away, we will research it and get back to you.

Call our Help Line at 888-744-7900.

Food Pantry or Grocery Store?

April 20th, 2015

frigBy Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities’ innovative supermarket-style Kingston, New York food pantry just grabbed the spotlight. And that’s no small accomplishment.

The pantry belongs to The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, a network of thousands of food pantries and soup kitchens that serve New Yorkers in need.  They are run by 875 fellow agencies.  And they stretch across 23 counties in northeastern New York.

Yet the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York magazine focused on this state-of-the-art food pantry.  It devoted the magazine’s inaugural Q & A section to interview Tom Kelly, Regional Director of Catholic Charities of Ulster County to find out all about it.

The more you find out about the food pantry, the more it is clear why it was chosen.

The pantry is set up like a grocery store. Hungry clients choose what they need. They fill their grocery bags with farm-stand produce. They add the canned goods their families like. And they grab refrigerated and frozen items from donated commercial-sized refrigerated equipment.

The only difference from a grocery store? There is no cash register, no bill.  That’s right; hungry people in need shop for their families for free.

Even their children have fun as they play in a large waiting room manned by Catholic Charities staff and volunteers that is filled with toys.

“It is a pleasure to see our clients come to our pantry, being treated with dignity by our pantry staff,” Mr. Kelly says, “and leaving with bags of groceries that they hand-picked for themselves and they will consume and enjoy.”

Read more about this Client Choice food pantry in the Regional Food Bank magazine.

Blind Woman Breaks Barriers

April 17th, 2015
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L-R Leon Stallone (Compass USA), Anthony Severo and Alexandria Daly

By Alice Kenny

A former secretary who lost most of her vision, Alexandria Daly has been breaking barriers for much of her adult life.

Now, thanks to teamwork kicked off by our Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind office on the 6th floor of our main office building at 1011 1st Ave. and the cafeteria on the 9th floor, Ms. Daly is living – and working – her dream.

She landed a job as deli cook for the exclusive Dalton private prep school in NYC.

This is a huge achievement, particularly because it employs the visually impaired in the  sharp-knived, hot-stoved food service industry.  Employers often worry that people with visual challenges will injure themselves.  But the injury rate for people with visual impairments has been shown to be no greater than that of the general population.  They have to be more careful by necessity.

The NY State Commission for the Blind and the Metropolitan Placement Consortium acknowledged this  achievement at their annual Breaking Barriers Awards Luncheon held at Baruch College on March 27, 2015.  The event honored Compass USA, the parent company of our 9th cafeteria, along with Catholic Charities for their successful partnership helping Ms. Daly achieve her dream.

Their success story kicks off with Anthony Severo, an employment specialist for Catholic Guild for the Blind.  When he learned from Ms. Daly, a recent graduate of the Culinary Technical Institute, about her goal of moving from secretarial work to food service. He rode the elevator up to meet with Thomas Knipe, chef manager in the building’s cafeteria.  Although Mr. Knipe had no open positions, he spoke with Ms. Daly for more than an hour.

He was so impressed that he shared with her and Mr. Severo job openings at Compass USA.

Not one to wait, Mr. Severo immediately sent Ms. Daly’s resume to the three positions that interested her most.  They received responses the same day.  Ms. Daly’s top choice, agreed to interview her the next day.

“Needless to say, Alexandria aced the interview,” Mr. Severo said.

The rest is culinary history. Ms. Daly successfully passed her 90-day trial period.  She now has union benefits.  And she is saving money to one day open her own restaurant.

 

It’s National Volunteer Week and Time for “What’s Your Story?”

April 16th, 2015

volunteer cropWe want to know about the awesome things you’re doing – and encourage others to get involved!

So share your story.

  • Tag your friends at #CCNY.
  • Ask them What’s Your Story?
  • Help us start a trend!

At Catholic Charities we have a great team of volunteers and are always looking for more.

Looking for volunteer opportunities?

Check us out.

Thank You for Telling Us What “Hope” Means!

April 15th, 2015
Thank You for Providing Hope
This Lenten season, we decided rather than tell all of you what hope means to us, we wanted to know what hope means to you. People from all over sent in photos, videos and thoughts on the definition of hope — which helped us connect with over 40,000 people.

From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank all of you who shared, liked, commented and donated. Your support is what helps us provide hope for New Yorkers everyday.

 

Sen. Schumer Announces $2.1 Million More for Hurricane Sandy Victims Served by Catholic Charities

April 15th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Huge news for the 3,000 families still recovering from Hurricane Sandy’s devastation!

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer just announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved $2.1 million in funding for Catholic Charities, the organization operating the New York State Disaster Case Management Program for Superstorm Sandy victims.

“I am happy to announce that New York State’s Disaster Case Management Program contract will continue, uninterrupted,” said Senator Schumer.  “With roughly 3,000 open cases still unfinished, Sandy victims desperately needed this extension to keep the focus on rebuilding their lives and their properties.

“Without some help and expert advice from great organizations like Catholic Charities, it’s very difficult for homeowners to juggle the competing interests pulling on them. This money will allow this process to continue and we will keep fighting for additional funds.”

Click here for details.

Were you hurt by Hurricane Sandy, have an open case and still need help?

Call our Sandy Referral Line:  855-258-0483

Help is here:  Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.