Posts Tagged ‘emergency food’

Little Jocelyn Farms for Food & Freedom

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

jocelynBy Alice Kenny

As a light breeze brushes freshly tilled soil, Jocelyn, 5, picks up a hammer to help her dad build a family garden.

It’s a magical moment for her family, a time when Jocelyn, her mom, dad, and big brother Steven, 7, think about working the soil and enjoying the sun, about picking tomatoes, peppers and beans.  Best of all, it’s a time when they don’t think about growling bellies or the daily search for work.

Jocelyn’s father belongs to Obreros Unidos de Yonkers, a group of approximately 300 day laborers in the Yonkers area served by Catholic Charities.  Here they learn about employment rights to prevent their exploitation and abuse, receive assistance collecting unpaid wages, get help accessing healthcare services, participate in English and computer skills classes and receive emergency food to supplement their gardens’ bounty.

Most importantly, Catholic Charities helps Jocelyn and families like hers become independent.  The community garden on Oak Street in Yonkers where Jocelyn helps her family is one of two community gardens maintained by and for day laborers.

The land, donated by the Greyston Foundation, an integrated network of programs that help families move toward self-sufficiency, had been littered with plastic bags and rotting garbage.  The laborers tossed out the garbage, built a fence to keep out future litter and are hammering together 22 boxes so that Obreros Unidos de Yonkers  families can  reap the harvest from  their own plots of land.

This community garden is one of two maintained by Obreros Unidos. The second, tilled right in front of the Catholic Charities offices on Hawthorne Avenue in Yonkers represents a joint effort between Catholic Charities Community Services, the Greyston Foundation, YMCA of Yonkers and Habitat for Humanity of Westchester.

“The gardens enable families, many who worked as farmers in the South and Central American nations where they were born, to share this tradition with their children while teaching them the importance of hard work and community,” says Catholic Charities Day Laborer Organizer Janet Hernández.

Making a Living Should Not Include Dying

Monday, April 28th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Workers' Option 2

Image from TUC

Workers’ Memorial Day, observed every year since the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was established on April 28 1971, is a day to honor those workers who have died on the job, acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers.

To promote worker safety, Catholic Charities is offering a 10-hour OSHA Outreach Training Program for entry- level  - this Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and May 4.  Taught in English and Spanish, the course helps workers become knowledgeable about workplace hazards and contribute to our nation’s productivity.

The program provides training on the recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces. It also provides information regarding workers’ rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.

Join us:

  • This Saturday, May 3 from 4 – 9:30 p.m. in the San Pedro Church basement, 91 Ludlow St, Yonkers, NY
  • And  this Sunday, May 4, from 12 – 5:30 p.m. in San Pedro School, 204 Hawthorne Ave., Yonkers, NY

Space is limited so reserve your seat now.

*This course is part of Catholic Charities’ ongoing involvement with Obreros Unidos of Yonkers.  Catholic Charities educates this group of day laborers about employment rights and responsibilities.  It provides assistance to prevent exploitation and workplace abuses including help with collecting unpaid wages. It assists with integrating workers into society.  It provides local resources including access to healthcare, emergency food and identification cards.  And it offers a meeting space along with English as a Second Language and computer classes to help immigrants with their goal of acclimating and contributing to their new homeland.

For more information call Janet Hernandez 917.579.9048 or Wilson Terrero 914-963-1730 x 227

Many Have Forgotten Sandy Survivors’ Struggles; Day Laborers Remember and Volunteer

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

The truckloads of volunteers that once filled Staten Island streets after Hurricane Sandy struck have dwindled to a halt. But while memories of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation have faded for many, the reality remains stark for Staten Island homeowners still struggling to rebuild.

Fortunately, day laborers have not forgotten.

Better known for their predawn gatherings on street corners as they seek work in gardening and construction, these men and women without legal documentation continue to make the nearly five-hour round trip commute from Yonkers to Staten Island to provide for free their skills and expertise. They tear out five-feet-tall weeds suffocating once-green lawns, repair boilers and strip out mold-laden walls.

Last week, men from Obreros Unidos de Yonkers, a group of day laborers in the Yonkers area served by Catholic Charities, accompanied Catholic Charities staff to install sheetrock for a homeowner in Staten Island’s Midland Beach.

Catholic Charities has an ongoing involvement with Obreros Unidos De Yonkers, a group of approximately 300 day laborers in the Yonkers area. Through this program, Catholic Charities educates workers on employment rights and responsibilities in order to prevent exploitation and abuse. Catholic Charities also assists in the collection of unpaid wages, helps workers get access to healthcare services, provides emergency food, and offers English language and computer skills instruction.

Please join us in helping Sandy survivors rebuild.

Volunteers are needed to work with us on Columbus Day to replace damaged chain link fencing at a homeowner’s yard in the Midland Beach section of Staten Island. We also need folks to help us bundle up the damaged fence and stretch and hang a new one.

All tools and equipment will be provided as well as transportation from Manhattan to the site in Staten Island and back. All we ask is that you bring some muscle and your lunch.

Click here for details.

Run in the World’s Biggest Marathon for the World’s Greatest Cause

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Join Team Catholic Charities for the ING New York City Marathon.

Race numbers are striking:

  • 26.2-mile course winding through all five boroughs in the Greatest City in the World
  • 100,000-plus race applicants
  • 37,000 racing participants
  • 2,000,000 spectators

The need you will be running for is striking as well:

  • 40,000 New York school children have no place to call home
  • 365,000 people look for work in New York City every day but cannot find it
  • One in four families live in poverty
  • 1,400,000 New Yorkers – that’s one out of every six of our neighbors – rely daily on emergency food
  • Tens of thousands of people left  homeless after Hurricane Sandy lost their furniture, clothing and all that they owned.
  • Thousands still struggle to recover

Team Catholic Charities runners train for top physical condition to cross the finish line AND  cut back on our neighbors’ growing need.

Catholic Charities, partnering with  New York Road Runners, is an official Charity partner in this year’s ING New York City Marathon.  Our ten-person team plans to raise $30,000 to directly benefit our St. Nicholas Project.

Catholic Charities’ St. Nicholas Project provides:

  • job training and computer literacy classes to help New Yorkers find work
  • food pantries to make sure hungry New Yorkers have food
  • school supplies so children in need can keep up with their classmates
  • essential items including towels, sheets, blankets, coats, hats, gloves, scarves and pajamas so that New Yorkers stay warm all year.

Find out more

Join Team Catholic Charities

  

Battling for Bishops and Pawns, Day Laborers Face Off with Friars at Family Day Celebration

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Day laborers’ children battled to capture bishops, kings and pawns at chess competitions held with Franciscan Friars at a family day celebration on May 19th.  For the first time ever, St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers opened its doors to Obreros Unidos and their families on Pentecost Sunday.  City of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano joined in the festivities.

The Catholic Charities-sponsored Family Day brought together more than 150 local day-laborer family members with seminarians, friars and Catholic Charities staff.  It was part of Catholic Charities’ ongoing involvement with Obreros Unidos De Yonkers, a group of approximately 300 day laborers in the Yonkers area.

Through this program, Catholic Charities educates workers on employment rights and responsibilities to prevent exploitation and abuse. Catholic Charities also assists in the collection of unpaid wages, helps workers get access to healthcare services, provides emergency food, and offers English language and computer skills instruction.

The midday event began with Pentecost Sunday mass to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Next, at an indoor picnic pulled together in response to the pouring rain outdoors, participants feasted on tacos, churros and flan.  Then they partied together as they faced off at chess matches, danced in Zumba exercise classes, painted faces and dabbled with arts and crafts.

Check out our Facebook page for more photos of the event.

Would you like to join Obreros Unidos de Yonkers?

Call (914) 375-6729/48 or visit the office at St. Peter’s Church basement, 91 Ludlow Street, Yonkers, NY  10705

Call the Catholic Charities Help Line — (888) 744-7900 — to find services you need.

Mothers Day Makeover

Friday, May 10th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Accustomed to hard work, scant funds and dreams only of their children’s futures, 15 wives and relatives of day laborers instead received free haircuts, makeovers and all-round pampering on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in the St. Peter’s Parish gym in Yonkers, in preparation for Mothers Day.

The women belong to a mothers group associated with Obreros Unidos De Yonkers, a group of approximately 300 day laborers in the Yonkers area.

The women received haircuts free of charge provided by two hairstylist/salon owners who are also parishioners of St. Peter’s Parish.  They also received a make-up lesson and application by a Mary Kay representative.  And two of the recipient moms, far more accustomed to giving than receiving, opted to donate their cut hair to Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from medical hair loss.

The Mothers Day celebration was part of Catholic Charities’ ongoing involvement with Obreros Unidos De Yonkers, a group of approximately 300 day laborers in the Yonkers area. Through this program, Catholic Charities educates workers on employment rights and responsibilities in order to prevent exploitation and abuse. Catholic Charities also assists in the collection of unpaid wages, helps workers get access to healthcare services, provides emergency food, and offers English language and computer skills instruction.

Looking for more information about Obreros Unidos de Yonkers?

Call (914) 375-6729/48 or visit the office at St. Peter’s Church basement, 91 Ludlow Street, Yonkers, NY  10705

Call the Catholic Charities Help Line — (888) 744-7900 — for help finding services you need.

Wishing you a wonderful Mothers Day!

 

Fidelis Care Provides Grant to Help Serve Needy New Yorkers

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

From Left to Right: George Rodriguez, Fidelis Care NY Director of Marketing; Mark Sclafani, Vice President, Marketing; Pamela Hassan, Chief Marketing Officer; Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Catholic Charities Executive Director; Beatriz Diaz Taveras, Executive Director CCCS

By Alice Kenny

Fidelis Care, a partner with Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS) for nearly a decade, donated $509,000 to Catholic Charities on May 3, 2013 to further the two agencies’ aligned mission to serve the poor and needy of New York.

This partnership has proved particularly important in light of the punishing impact the lasting effects the economic recession and deep cuts in social service programs have had on families in need.

  • One in every six New Yorkers – 1.4 million of our neighbors – now relies on daily emergency food.
  • More than half are employed yet still cannot manage to make ends meet with their earnings.  Close to 9,700 families with 15,000 children sleep in homeless shelters.

These numbers indicate what Catholic Charities already knows.  Poverty is not merely the lack of adequate financial resources.  Instead, it entails a profound deprivation, a denial of full participation in the economic, social and political life of society and an inability to influence decisions that affect one’s own life.  It means being powerless in a way that assaults not only one’s pocketbook but also one’s fundamental human dignity.

Fidelis Care is the New York State Catholic Health Plan, providing health coverage to children and adults in 58 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 health care and is provided with dignity and respect. Through partnerships with providers, schools, and community agencies like Catholic Charities New York, Fidelis Care works to foster healthier futures for members and their families.

Now as more and more individuals and families seek help, the Fidelis Care grant assists Catholic Charities Community Services as we continue to respond as we always have, with professional case management services across the ten counties of the Archdiocese of New York that alleviate crises and set families and individuals on a path toward stability.

MBX Systems Sponsors Donation Drive for Hurricane Sandy Survivors

Monday, December 10th, 2012

By Chelsee Pengal

Parishes and communities within the Archdiocese of New York and beyond continue to show generosity toward their neighbors who are still rebuilding after Sandy. Donations from far and wide have helped with Catholic Charities’ disaster relief efforts, from funding emergency food and water for families and individuals on Staten Island and in Lower Manhattan to providing volunteers with supplies to clean out houses on Staten Island.

MBX Systems, a Libertyville, Illinois-based technology manufacturer, has set up a donation drive to benefit both Catholic Charities Community Services, Staten Island and Gerristen Beach Cares, Brooklyn.

They will be collecting items survivors need the most:

  • Muck-out and safety supplies, including industrial-contractor grade refuse bags, N95 face masks, fire extinguishers and smoke/CO2 detectors with batteries
  • Cleaning supplies like shovels, rakes, brooms, work gloves and disposable gloves
  • Toiletries and pharmaceuticals, including Tylenol and Advil
  • Baby supplies such as diapers, wipes and baby food and formula
  • Clothing, including hats, gloves and socks
  • Miscellaneous items, including can openers, batteries and disposable cameras with flash

In the Libertyville area, donations are being accepted at MBX headquarters Monday to Friday through December 12th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A truck full of the supplies will then deliver the goods to Staten Island and Brooklyn on December 13th.

Whether you are in the New York area or across the country, you can contribute to the Sandy Relief Fund online or text SANDY to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation. For those in the local area, you can also donate your time by volunteering to clean up houses or help with sheet rock and debris removal on Staten Island.


#GivingTuesday: A New Holiday to Start the Giving Season

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

By Chelsee Pengal

After the rush of shopping and deals post-Thanksgiving, a more meaningful celebration has taken shape to kick off the giving season. On Tuesday, November 27th, charities, families, businesses and individuals are all coming together to join in acts of giving.

As a partner of the #GivingTuesday initiative, Catholic Charities New York is raising funds and food for this year’s Feeding Our Neighbors campaign.

Thousands have been helped by emergency food after Sandy. At the same time, hundreds of thousands don’t have enough to eat every day. Help us raise 1 million meals for needy New Yorkers by contributing to Feeding Our Neighbors. Do your part to make the spirit of #GivingTuesday last throughout the year.

How to participate:

  • Spread the word about #GivingTuesday on Facebook and Twitter
  • Make a quick $10 donation to Feeding Our Neighbors by texting “CCHOPE” to 85944

 

Catholic Charities Mobilizes Response to Hurricane Sandy

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Multi-prong approach pulls together staff and volunteers to serve those hardest hit.

As soon as Hurricane Sandy hit the New York area, Catholic Charities volunteers and case workers took action.  Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities New York, offered the agency’s help at an emergency shelter for hurricane victims at John Jay College and spoke with survivors on Staten Island.  Msgr. Sullivan participated with Governor Andrew Cuomo in distributing emergency food at the New York City Armory on Saturday.

Catholic Charities mobilized staff this past weekend and coordinated with 136 volunteers to reach out to people whose homes were flooded and livelihoods ruined in Staten Island’s Midland Beach.  It  served meals on Sunday for hungry New Yorkers  at Cardinal Spellman Center in Lower Manhattan.  Case managers hand-delivered disaster relief information including safety tips and shelter lists and provided support to individuals, parishes and communities, non Catholics and Catholics alike, throughout Staten Island, Lower Manhattan and Westchester County and communities without electricity.  This included Holy Rosary Parish in the South Beach section of Staten Island, an area particularly hard hit by the hurricane.

The Catholic Charities agencies in conjunction with the entire Archdiocese of New York is working closely with FEMA and other first responders to maximize resources available to those hit hard by the storm. The Mission of the Immaculate Virgin (MIV) Center is open as a disaster relief center effective Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

“Catholic Charities has been in the forefront of helping the disaster victims,” said Executive Director of Catholic Charities Monsignor Kevin Sullivan.  “Our workers, trained in disaster response, are prepared to meet the human needs such disasters cause.”