Posts Tagged ‘disaster relief’

Catholic Charities Piles Shopping Carts High at Second-Annual St. Nicholas of Westchester Shopping Day

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

 

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and Catholic Charities Board of Trustees member Susan Salice

By Alice Kenny

Equipped with wish lists from people in need, Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and Deputy Westchester County Executive Kevin Plunkett raced down K-Mart aisles at 399 Tarrytown Road in White Plains with staff, family, friends and volunteers today, December 11, at the second annual St. Nicholas of Westchester (SNOW) shopping day event spearheaded by Catholic Charities Board of Trustees member Susan Salice.
“How great it is to give up a couple hours to give people supplies they need to have a better holiday,” said Ms. Salice.

She joined the group as they piled shopping carts high with winter necessities – gloves, coats, boots and blankets — and household essentials to make sure families in need have a warm and happy Christmas.

While associated with Christmas, donations to the St. Nicholas Project named after the Bishop of Myra in the third century, help provide services  year round to people in need.  This year, Hurricane Sandy survivors are also included among those targeted for gifts of essential items purchased at the St. Nicholas of Westchester shopping day event.

“Hurricane Sandy put into perspective that we can quickly lose things we considered necessities of life,” said Karen Reynolds, Catholic Charities Regional Supervisor for Westchester County.  “This event around the holidays gives those who lost so much a sense of Christmas hope, that people care about them.”

Missed Shopping Day but still want to bring Christmas cheer to those in need?

Click here to discover more New York volunteer opportunities.

Click here to donate to this year-round project.

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.

Catholic Charities and Empire City Casino Help Sandy Survivors Stay Warm This Winter

Friday, December 7th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

As Christmas approaches and we prepare to celebrate the joyful holiday season, our thoughts remain with those affected by Sandy.

So many families in the Archdiocese of New York were impacted by the hurricane, and money that would typically be spent on gifts is now needed to restore and repair homes or replace essential belongings that were destroyed in the storm. More adults and children than ever are in need of a warm coat to protect them from the cold, and many families will simply not be able to afford a Christmas gift for their children this year.

Empire City Casino’s Annual “Christmas Spirit” Toy and Coat Drive holds even greater importance this year in the face of the catastrophic hurricane. Donations of gently used coats and new, unwrapped toys are being collected at Empire City Casino’s main promotions booth through December 9th. These gifts will help needy New Yorkers give their children a Christmas and stay warm throughout the season.

Empire City Casino has a long history of working with Catholic Charities to help New Yorkers in need, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

To volunteer your time or donate to the Sandy Relief Fund:

Catholic Charities Partners with Our Lady of Sorrows to Provide Personalized Disaster Relief

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Many New Yorkers are still experiencing great struggles during their recovery from Sandy. Catholic Charities continues to partner with parishes and local  communities to meet these long-term needs.

At Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Lower Manhattan, for example, Catholic Charities has initiated an extensive partnership. A Catholic Charities case worker is currently stationed there three days a week and there will soon be another in place for assistance on all weekdays. Going forward, a Spanish-speaking case worker will attend morning mass to ensure survivors who do not speak English also get the help they need.

In addition to helping families with individual issues, Catholic Charities volunteers are also going door to door to canvass a particularly hard-hit building in the community. These visits allow staff and volunteers to identify those who need extra help, whether as a result of the storm, or beyond that to everyday hardships, as well as those who could simply benefit from a visitor.

As the partnership continues, Catholic Charities will keep reaching out to help families and individuals on the path to recovery and working with parishes to ensure communities receive the help they need, both immediately and for the long term.

To get help, view available resources.

To give help:

Catholic Charities volunteers wage battle to restore hurricane-ravaged bungalow

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Armed with hammers, crowbars and compassion, a troupe of volunteers joined forces with Catholic Charities last Friday, November 30, in their battle to restore a Staten Island bungalow ravaged last month by Hurricane Sandy.

They included white-haired retirees who drove 25 hours from Montevideo, Minnesota, staff from Six Flags Corporate Office and neighbors from Midland Beach, a disaster zone slammed by last month’s super storm.

“You have to restore people’s spirit; give them hope,” said Staten Island resident and volunteer Deb Deats.

Working nearly nonstop, volunteers and staff pulled out mold-covered sheet rock, insulation and tiles.  The sturdy plastic bags they pushed the debris into formed a heap 7-feet high and 25-feet long.

“I came to realize why America is so rich,” said Charlie, who was born in Korea and raised his family for the past seven years in the now-sodden pink bungalow.  “God bless America,” he said, choking back tears.  “You helped me.”

Watch their video.

Do you need help?

Click here for more resources and information.

Would you like to help others recover?

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

Disaster Recovery is a Long Process: Catholic Charities is There for the Journey

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Only a month after Superstorm Sandy, families throughout the Archdiocese of New York are starting the long road to recovery. Once the immediate needs were met, the focus turned to getting survivors back on their feet and returning as much as they can to normal lives.

A year after Hurricane Irene hit, there was still plenty of work to be done. On Make a Difference Day on October 27th, Catholic Charities Disaster Case Managers Dan Buzi and Salif Banse worked with two IBM volunteers to clean up branches and other yard debris that had been knocked over by Hurricane Irene from the homes of two senior women. The women, who had been both physically and financially unable to attend to the work themselves, were extremely grateful for the help.

As Jeanne M. Touhey wrote in the Poughkeepsie Journal, regarding the help she’d received from Catholic Charities, “Last year the aftermath of Irene left me with downed trees and brush in my yard. After months of trying to clean it up and injuring my back, I was the grateful recipient of the help offered … I am humbled by your generosity.”

To help with clean-up from Sandy, sign up to volunteer with disaster recovery:

Volunteers and Staff Ignore Rotting Debris to Help Hurricane Victims Rebuild

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Donning face masks, work gloves and sheer determination, Catholic Charities staff worked with 24 volunteers it had mobilized to remove sheetrock, flooring and furniture in Midland Beach Staten Island homes destroyed by the super storm.

They ignored smells of rotting food and sewage, said Damian Buzzerio, one of the Catholic Charities staff members who joined the crew, to stuff garbage bags with debris left from the Hurricane’s destruction.

Catholic Charities Staten Island staff identified homeowners who needed help to recover from the hurricane.

Click here to watch a video of their efforts.

Catholic Charities Staten Island Spearheading Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities Staten Island has taken a leadership role partnering with nonprofit organizations to speed services and support to residents of this borough devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Joseph Panepinto, director of Catholic Charities Staten Island Services, said he’ll meet Nov. 27 with various nonprofits on the Island to assess available resources and needs in the community.

“We want to see what everybody’s capacity is,” said Panepinto, a native Staten Islander. “For me, it’s personal. We will not see anybody go cold or hungry.”

Click here to learn more.

To contribute to ongoing recovery efforts:

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

Waves Pounded the Block as Roseann Harris and Her Children Escaped Hurricane Sandy.

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Waves of water pounded down both ends of the block when Roseann Harris, and her children, Richard, Robert and Rachel, floored the gas pedal on their cars to make their escape from Hurricane Sandy.  When they returned the next day, they found their once-cozy, blue-sided home in to New Dorp, Staten Island ravaged by the super storm.  Their son’s bedroom, family room, and laundry room in their once-finished basement were submerged from floor to ceiling.  The force of the rapids turned over their washing machine.  Walls were ripped off and windows broken. Ceiling tiles floated alongside baby photos and grandma’s china.  Along the street, ocean reeds a half-foot deep mingled with garbage and memories.

“I went to St. Charles Church on Sunday and heard Monsignor read the names of people who died during the storm,” Ms. Harris recalled, “and I said ‘I’m okay.  I’m okay.’  My children are here.  My house is destroyed but we can rebuild.”

And rebuild, thanks to friends, family, and volunteers from her sons’ high school, St. Joseph by-the-Sea, is what they are doing.  Within a half hour of learning what happened to the Harris home, football players from her sons’ past and present high school teams showed up with coaches, a generator, gas, clean water and tools.  They gutted the basement and began to rebuild.

“Our church always says we’re family,” Ms. Harris said.  “It’s more than just words.  It’s action.”

Seeking Insight and Inspiration After the Turmoil Inflicted by Hurricane Sandy? Read this message from Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan.

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

“The bad news is that the extent of the destruction from the storm seems wider and deeper each day,” Cardinal Dolan wrote in his November 13 blog post.

“…The good news is that God’s people – you – rose to the occasion…Catholic Charities of the archdiocese has been on the front lines, providing not only relief, but coordination of aid, helping as well to renew the spirit by providing counselors for those hit hard by loss.”

Click here to read Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan’s full message.

 

Do you need help?

Call Catholic Charities Toll-free Helpline: (888) 744-7900

Click here for more resources and information

 

Would you like to help others recover?

 

 

 

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