Posts Tagged ‘Bronx’

Educating the City’s Youth: We Have a Role to Play

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Todd Heisler, AP / New York Times Pool

Congratulations on the splendid work being done by the schools of the Archdiocese in educating the next generation!

Yesterday, Mayor  de Blasio recognized that work in his visit to St. Francis of Rome preschool in the Bronx.  Cardinal Dolan, Dr. Timothy McNiff, head of the Archdiocese Department of Education and Connie McCrory, director of Early Childhood Education were on hand to help bring attention to the topic of Pre-K expansion.  Cardinal Dolan expressed his strong support while not endorsing any particular funding model and Mayor de Blasio expressed a desire to partner with the Archdiocese on this important effort.

It is worth noting that the Mayor specifically singled out the long and fruitful partnership with Catholic Charities agencies in providing for the critical needs of the people of New York.  When it comes to Universal Pre-K, a number of Catholic Charities agencies are already providing great services and are prepared to expand.  Yesterday’s event was a good opportunity to build on this partnership with New York City to provide help and create hope for those in need.

In addition, the proposed expansion of after-school programs for middle school children is another area where a number of our agencies are prepared to step up to the plate and expand service.  Simply put, there is much opportunity to broaden the scope of our work and continue impacting the aforementioned next generation of students.

– Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

Read the New York Times for more

Bullied Boy Begins to Thrive

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Bullied for much of his childhood and bounced between eight inner-city schools Edwyn Colon, 11, was treated for anxiety and panic attacks.

The young boy shares a one-bedroom apartment with his mother who is disabled by asthma, neuropathy and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and his grandfather who needs constant care due to the three strokes he suffered and Parkinson’s Disease.  His father left the family when Edwyn was four years old.

Edwyn needed someone outside his family, his mother said, someone healthy who he could look up to, learn from and begin to enjoy life outside their urban Bronx neighborhood.

Fortunately, the family found Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers, an affiliate of Catholic Charities New York.  The agency matched volunteer and investment banker Noah Anderson, 33, a “big brother”/mentor for Edwyn.

“I don’t believe anyone is self made; you are the people you interact with,” says Mr. Anderson.  “I was fortunate to interact with good people and I want Edwyn to have that experience.”

Read more in The New York Times.

Growing Up Among Addicts & Gangs,Teen Finds Help

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

The journey from home to school is an effortless walk for Xavier Cruz, 14, who just strolls around the corner and down the block. But considering where he is going, he may as well be traveling to another world.

Since the sixth grade, Xavier has attended St. Ignatius School, an educational oasis in Hunts Point, a Bronx neighborhood known for rampant crime and grinding poverty.

Now, thanks to the school’s and Catholic Charities’ intervention, Xavier sidesteps the gangs that surround him. Instead he prepares for high school, then college and finally, he says, a career in computer technology to help him pull his family from these streets.

Read Xavier’s profile in today’s New York Times.

 

 

 

 

 

North Bronx Social Service Agency is More Than Just

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

By Ben Ros

One Bronx nonprofit, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity, continues to make the news. Here it is, in case you missed it on PBS’s Metrofocus.

Part of the Solution (POTS) opened in 1982 as a standard soup kitchen but has since expanded their scope of services to provide not only food through their restaurant-style community dining room and food pantry, but increasingly, everything the homeless or working poor need. Their services range from case management and legal advice to hot showers, haircuts, clothing, and a mailing address.

The diversity of services offered stems from a holistic philosophy that is central to the community values that POTS fosters. For those starting from zero, some of these basic services make all the difference. The simple chance to sit down in the barber’s chair and tell your story, or be recognized by your postman can inspire the courage and confidence it takes to work through hard times.

POTS’s true value to those it serves is being a safe, judgment-free space to fulfill one’s basic needs while respecting individuals’ dignity. “Personal dignity is really the one quality that I think people need to take each next progressive step in their life,” said Chris Bean, Executive Director of POTS, a sentiment that parallels one of the central doctrines of the catechism.

To learn more about POTS and how you can help, visit potsbronx.org.

Volunteers Put Down Their Frying Pans and Had a Feast

Monday, May 6th, 2013

On the very last, most beautiful day of April 2013, 143 tireless workers put down their frying pans, serving trays, aprons, and hand trucks to feast and be celebrated.  From the farthest corners of the Bronx to the Lower East Side, volunteers from food pantries and soup kitchens  supported by Catholic Charities Community  Services gathered at the Triangle Building of Alianza for the first-ever Volunteer Appreciation Event held in their honor.

The same men and women who, earlier that day, were packing 200 bags of food or scrubbing pots, got the chance to sit down to a catered meal while CCCS staff called out name after name of volunteer chefs, food packers, inventory specialists, and data base managers.  In all, 46 program coordinators and long-time volunteers from 14 different programs came up to the podium to receive certificates from Monsignor Kevin Sullivan.  Honors were given for years of service ranging from 20 to 36 years, and for those special volunteers who worked “Above and Beyond”, as their certificates stated.   These included senior Maria Sanchez, founder of St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen in the Bronx, who has been leading the program for 20 years, and young Walter Martin, who uses his free time in between job interviews to work for no less than 4 different pantries.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for so long” said Jeanne McGettigan, Director of Emergency Food Services.  “Monsignor Sullivan and Staci-Jo Bruce, Director of Volunteer Services were the ones who finally made it happen.  It was so moving to see all of these generous, hard-working people gathered together in one place.  We really are one big team, but we don’t often get to see ourselves that way.”

Ms. McGettigan said the event organizers were particularly pleased that CCCS staff was able to make these activities completely bi-lingual.  Well over 50% of the volunteers in attendance consider Spanish their first language.  To make sure that all felt included, everything from invitations, to program cards and presentations by speakers was carried out in Spanish and English.  Project Manager Lizaura German emceed and translated as needed.  Monsignor Sullivan and Beatriz Diaz Taveras, Executive Director of CCCS traveled comfortably between languages as they thanked the volunteers for their steadfast efforts to beat back hunger in their communities.

Also delivering a rousing speech in two languages was special guest Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez of Washington Heights and Inwood.  Remembering how, during his childhood, his own family had sometimes needed food assistance, he told the volunteers that he “didn’t think twice” about dedicating Council discretionary funds to the busy CCCS pantry nearby his office.

An additional service award was presented to Christopher Melito of Credit Suisse, recognizing the company’s Day of Service, which brought 20 corporate employees to a CCCS food pantry for the day to prepare and demonstrate healthy cooking methods and give pantry customers the equipment to carry out the same practices in their own kitchens.

The feeling in the room was so joyful, and the cumulative effect of hearing story after story of faith in action was so moving, a number of staff and volunteers  stated their conviction that this first-ever event should now be considered an annual gathering not to be missed.

Calling all budding track stars

Friday, April 19th, 2013

 

By Alice Kenny

From the Pee Wee Dash to the Boys Long Jump, children representing eight parish teams competed in the first Developmental Track Meet of season on Sunday, April 14.  Two dozen “CYO unattached” runners (CYO children in parishes currently not fielding a track team) joined 225 CYO members on – finally — this perfect, sunny spring day.

They raced and received medals at the top-tier facility Mount St Michael Academy in the Bronx.

CYO has been working hard to provide a great experience for the children of the CYO Track & Field Community. With the addition of clinics with Olympic Athletes and new meets and events in some of the metropolitan region’s top facilities, CYO hopes to build upon the momentum gained over the past year.

Registration is now open for the April 21 CYO Developmental Clinic and Track Meet.  It will be held at Mt. Saint Michael Academy, 4300 Murdock Ave., Bronx, NY  10466.

The Iona College track team will be offering a pre-meet clinic for CYO athletes starting at 12:30 pm.

(Use this registration if your parish does not have a track program but you are a member of a parish or school, grades K-8 of the Archdiocese of NY)

(Use this registration link if you are the team coach or parish coordinator.

Registration is done on ny.milesplit.com . This is open for ALL CYO Programs.)

Calling all CYO basketball players, cheerleaders, runners — and families and friends to cheer them on.

Friday, March 8th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Check out these upcoming events:

Saturday 3/9 and Sunday 3/10 - First Round of Archdiocesan CYO Basketball Playoffs

Ulster County:  John A. Coleman Catholic High School.  Games begin at 10:00 am on 3/9/13.

Staten Island:  CYO-MIV Center.  Games start at 9:00 am on Saturday, 3/9/13 and 1:00 pm on Sunday, 3/10/13.

Bronx:  Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. 3/10/13. Game times TBA.

Orange County: 3/9/13. Game times TBA.

Saturday 3/1657th Archdiocesan CYO Cheerleading Competition at Fordham University 

The competition begins at 10:00 am

Saturday 3/16 - CYO Developmental Track Clinic and Relays at Fordham Preparatory School *

Clinic will be held with four-time Olympic Athlete (and CYO Board Member) Aliann Pompey.  Registration begins at 8:45 am


Saturday 3/16 and Sunday 3/17Second Round of Archdiocesan CYO Basketball Playoffs

Rockland County:   Pearl River High School and Dominican College.  3/16/13. Game times TBA.

Staten Island: CYO-MIV Center. Games start at 9:00 am on Saturday and 1:00 pm on Sunday


Saturday 3/23 - Archdiocesan CYO Basketball Championships

Held at the CYO-MIV Center and St. Joseph by the Sea High School in Staten Island.

Games at the CYO-MIV Center start at 9:00 am.

Games at St. Joseph by the Sea High School start at 11:00 am

Events are held for existing players on existing teams EXCEPT for the Track Meet/Clinic on 3/16.

*The track meet/clinic welcome athletes of all experience levels, with the focus strongly placed on education and participation.  The event is open to all CYO Teams throughout the Archdiocese of New York, and individuals may register and represent their parish.  All age levels and abilities are encouraged to attend.

Need more information? Call Sarah Masterson at 646-794-2062

Would you like to volunteer?  Click here.

Food Bank Volunteers Train for Food Pantry Safety

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Nearly 40 volunteers from food pantries throughout the Bronx and Manhattan took part on February 14 in the first-ever Food Bank for New York City training hosted outside Food Bank headquarters — and inside Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Community Center.   The food pantry food safety training, offered in Spanish, pulled in volunteers from food pantries associated with Catholic Charities along with other member programs as well.

Attendees that successfully completed this training received Food Bank Certificates in Food Pantry safety, a requirement for volunteer leadership at all Food Bank member programs.

“We are excited to be holding it at a Catholic Charities Community Services location,” said Jeanne McGettigan, Catholic Charities Coordinator of Emergency Food Services, “for the convenience and encouragement of our volunteers.”

Seven for Sandy; Compassion Is Not Just a Word

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan receives hurricane-recovery donation from Sr. Margaret Anderson, O.P.

By Alice Kenny

Educators are inspiring students, children are inspiring parents and together through the “Seven for Sandy” hurricane recovery campaign begun at Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School they are working to help those hardest hit by the super storm.

“The mission of our school is compassion,” said Sr. Margaret Anderson, OP, Executive Board President of Newburgh Ministry, an affiliate of Catholic Charities, and Director of Guidance at the high school in White Plains. “This is not just a word for our students. We provide ways for them to live it, to reach out to people and have it become a way of life.”

Sr. Margaret gave Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan a $500 check at the Cardinal’s Christmas Luncheon held last week at the Waldorf=Astoria, a third installment of funds collected by the students.

The Catholic high school draws 387 students from Westchester, the Bronx and Putnam counties. A large percentage of them lived without heat, electricity and water for days or weeks after the hurricane whipped through New York on October 29. Yet none of them lost their homes.

They play sports, however, with many who did. The girls varsity soccer and volleyball teams had been scheduled for playoffs with Notre Dame Academy and St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School in Staten Island the week the storm touched down.

Their Seven-for Sandy campaign asks each student to contribute at least $7 to help Staten Island students in need. At the rescheduled playoff games, students gave the Staten Island high schools their first two installments of nearly $500 each plus donations of much needed toiletries and cleaning supplies. Good Counsel students also raised Staten Island students’ spirits – not intentionally, Sr. Margaret said – by losing both games.

Inspired by the students, the school’s parent association developed a Sandy recovery fundraiser as well.

“You think $7 isn’t going to do anything but if everyone puts $7 together it can do something,” said Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School Principal Sr. Laura Donovan, RDC. “We want to be part of the action and inspire others to help.”

Would you like to help others recover?

Text SANDY to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation.

Casita Maria Kick Starts Kids’ Reading Program

Monday, February 13th, 2012

By Marianna Reilly

February 13, 2012 — Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, a Catholic Charities agency that has been serving youth in the South Bronx since 1934, recently launched a new library and reading program for children in need.

The program, created with the help of Catholic Charities volunteers through the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund and NYC Service Volunteer Project, is enriching Casita’s services in the South Bronx and engaging local teenagers in volunteerism.

Casita Maria kids show off some of the books that have been donated to their new library.

“We can improve our reading skills by having more book choices in our library,” says tenth grade student Zoila Rodriquez who, along with 40 fellow teens donates her time as a volunteer reader.

The new library initially hoped to house 500 new books. But thanks to successful volunteer efforts, the library has more than doubled its goal. Catholic Charities donated more than 500 books through its annual Christmas toy drive, volunteer efforts triggered the donation of 500 more, and book donations continue piling in.

To help house this multitude of books, Catholic Charities donated funds to help transform a drab conference room into a library with wall-to-wall oak and pine shelving and glass shelf doors. Catholic Charities also funded the transportation of more than 50 Casita Maria children and staff members to a New York Times event to celebrate these new volunteer initiatives on February 2.

Foster Alcantara, a teenager who helped lead the book drive, drew huge applause when he accepted the award from the NYC Service Volunteer Project on behalf of Casita Maria.

“I dream of the day when I hear a famous person interviewed saying ‘I learned to read at Casita Maria,’” Alcantra told the crowd gathered at the Times Center in midtown Manhattan.

On February 8, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan visited Casita Maria to bless the new library, meet with the children, and listen to a musical performance by some of the youth from Casita Maria music programs.

Casita Maria moved to the South Bronx from the agency’s original location in East Harlem in 1961. Their programs include homeless services, drug rehabilitation, violence prevention, gang intervention, teen pregnancy prevention, and much more.