Posts Tagged ‘families’

Catholic Charities Announces $250,000 Holiday Assistance for Staten Island Sandy Survivors

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Msgr. Sullivan speaks with Sandy survivors

By Alice Kenny

Staten Island families can still sign up for Disaster Relief Services to become eligible

Catholic Charities announced a $250,000 program to provide holiday assistance to Staten Island families still affected by Hurricane Sandy.

  • The help will come in the form of gift cards for holiday meals and needed food or other necessities  such as coats, blankets and household items during this Thanksgiving through Christmas season.
  • The focus of this service, to begin in mid-November, are families with  an open case through the disaster case management program available through Catholic Charities and other Staten Island organizations.
  • Case managers remain ready to accept additional referrals and provide help.
  • The announcement coincides with the first anniversary Hurricane Sandy Mass of Remembrance at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Staten Island celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan on October 27.

“As the holiday season approaches, we know this is the time of year we can do more,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities. “Catholic Charities has been on the ground in Staten Island since Sandy hit, thanks in part to the many local pastors who did a tremendous job assessing needs and finding ways to give back to the community. We plan to be in the community for the long haul since we know more work needs to be done. It is our hope that these gifts during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons will alleviate some of the overwhelming physical and emotional devastation experienced by these families. For any family still seeking help, our case managers are ready to help.”

Cardinal Dolan, who has made several pastoral visits to the people and parishes of Staten Island that were affected by Sandy, noted that “Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York 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. In the days and weeks immediately following the storm, I saw firsthand their work and those of our Pastors with people whose lives had been so badly impacted by the storm. I know that Catholic Charities will be here continuing to help for as long as they are needed.”

The holiday assistance program is part of the ongoing assistance that Catholic Charities has provided Staten Island communities since last year. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Catholic Charities:

  • Distributed more than $1 million in direct assistance
  • Converted existing space into a Staten Island collection center to provide food, water, cleaning supplies, blankets, and financial Support to over 1,000 individuals with lasting power issues
  • Mobilized hundreds of volunteers to work reconstruct homes and streets
  • Provided meals
  • Staffed a disaster relief center in Staten Island seven days a week to centralize resources with an intake hotline to answer residents’ questions

Due to ongoing unmet needs facing many Staten Island families, Catholic Charities has committed to helping the borough for the long term.

One of the ongoing initiatives, the disaster case management program, was announced by Governor Cuomo in April and is administered by Catholic Charities. It provides disaster survivors with a single point of contact to develop and carry out a disaster recovery plan by getting access to a broad range of needed resources.

  • Roughly 200 service coordinators are stationed throughout the 13 hardest-hit counties, including New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.
  • Catholic Charities provides the services directly or partners with local not-for-profits like the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Staten Island, El Centro del Inmigrante, Lutheran Social Services, the Arab-American Family Support Center and the Center for Independence of the Disabled.
  • In Staten Island alone, nearly 800 families have been provided disaster case management through this program.

Eligibility for the program is open to anyone with an unmet need that arose from or was exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy, even those who have not applied to FEMA for assistance.

Those impacted by the storm can call the Sandy Referral Line, 1-855-258-0483, to find out the location and contact information for their nearest service provider.

A full list can also be found online at  www.catholiccharitiesny.org/disasterrelief

Check out more photos of the event.

Welcoming Newcomers From Cardinal Dolan

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Cardinal Dolan hits the mark in the WSJ piece today on immigrants in the United States and the concern and role of the Catholic Church. Read it here: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303918804579107131431541914?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

Cardinal Dolan points out three important ways that Catholic Charities works with immigrants: the dissemination of good information to thousands of immigrants each year through the New Americans Hotline, English and civic classes at the new International Center and support to day laborers in Yonkers. Right now, prayer combined with hard work is needed ensure that those rumblings in Washington, D.C. about possible immigration reform and a good Farm Bill will happen. This Farm Bill addresses the need for supplemental meals that so many families rely on. The immigration bill must address a broken immigration system with fair policies that address family unity, a pathway out of the shadows, border security and a legal option for businesses to hire the workers they need. For the individuals and families that Catholic Charities serves, both of these are critical.

Irish Consulate Teams with Project Irish Outreach

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Thanks to significant support from the Consulate General of Ireland, Project Irish Outreach has offered the Irish community settled in New York City and Westchester County frontline advice, counseling and support services for more than 26 years.

Catholic Charities staff are located in Aisling Irish Community Center in Westchester County and at the Catholic Center in Manhattan. Project Irish Outreach provides specialized services to address the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable Irish emigrants.  Services include information and referral, immigration legal assistance and/or representation, social services casework, pastoral services, maternity services, ministry to Irish prisoners,  healthcare information and referral and general support services for individuals, families and the elderly.

Are you an Irish emigrant looking for help?

Please call us at 914-237-5098 or email us at Sr.Christine.hennessy@archny.org

Walk the Walk with Us to Feed Our Neighbors

Friday, October 11th, 2013

The Epiphany School’s Walk and Catholic Charities Feeding Our Neighbors food drive campaign are on a combined mission to strengthen the community while continuing to sustain excellence in Catholic education.

This October 20th marks our 2nd annual participation with the Epiphany School in their “Walk the Walk” event.  There is just one goal for Feeding Our Neighbors: that New Yorkers answer the call to feed those who are suffering in our community.

Feeding Our Neighbors is a united effort to fight hunger.

This campaign is a response to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s call that we all do our part to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens in our community that so many families in our community rely on to survive.

Sponsored by Catholic organizations throughout the Archdiocese of New York and managed by Catholic Charities, 100% of contributions to the campaign will support local food pantries that serve New Yorkers, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

Please join us as we Walk the Walk.

Click here to learn more.

HELP FEED THE HUNGRY!

Hard Working People Trying to Get Back Their Life

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Merriss Morris and Merline Coke

By Alice Kenny

Merline and Howard Coke have been cobbling together make-shift solutions to keep their home livable and their home daycare business functioning ever since Hurricane Sandy slammed the house they rent in Yonkers nearly a year ago.  Hurricane Sandy tore off shingles from its roof and flooding water soaked sheet-rocked walls and wooden floors. The house began to shift and sink.  Damages were determined to be so severe that their landlord filed a claim with his insurance company for $137,000.

Yet now, as the one-year anniversary of the Superstorm approaches, no significant repairs have been made to the house.  This has left the Cokes in a Catch 22.  To afford to move, the Cokes need income from the daycare business that Ms. Coke operates on their rental home’s first floor.  But families have hesitated to send their children to the daycare center until it is fully repaired.  Meanwhile, Mr. Coke’s income in building services barely covers the family’s expenses.  And their savings are nearly depleted.

The Cokes did what they could to shore the house up from the inside.  They dried sodden floors, replaced sheetrock and painted walls and ceilings.  But the roof remains damaged and the house continues to shift. So repaired walls and ceilings crack and floors tilt.

Unfamiliar and uncomfortable with asking for help, the Cokes did not contact Catholic Charities Disaster Case Management until May.  Unfortunately, this was one month past FEMA’s deadline to apply for assistance with rent and money to move. Undeterred, Catholic Charities Disaster Case Manager Merris Morris assisted the family with applying for and appealing FEMA’s determination.  To help them move, Ms. Morris helped them successfully apply for funding from the Westchester Department of Social Services, the Bridge Program and the United Way. Catholic Charities also gave the Cokes a $500 gift card to help purchase clothes and supplies for their two teenage children plus the two-year old nephew they have raised since birth.

“It’s tough when you’re in the middle, when you’re not on welfare but don’t earn enough to own your own home,” Ms. Morris says.  “These are hardworking people just trying to get back their life.”

Now six children – all age four and under – participate in Ms. Coke’s daycare center, sampling stacks of primary-colored plastic toys and following posted schedule for playtime, learning, naps and meals.  Toddlers follow and are quickly cuddled by Ms. Coke as she walks from room to room.

Finding an affordable place to move, however, remains difficult.  Her family, Ms. Coke said, “is packed and ready to go…but there is nowhere to go.”  Their search to find a house they can afford with an accessory apartment a landlord will allow for use as a daycare center has, so far, proven unsuccessful.

Their disaster case manager has spoken with realtors and received Catholic Charities’ commitment to help the family with moving expenses once they find a new home.

 

My Family’s Faith Has Been Tested but Endured

Monday, September 30th, 2013

By Joe Zenkus

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

The Gospel of John Chapter 16 conveys the importance of sticking to your beliefs and living with and by those beliefs regardless of challenges you may face.

My family’s faith has been tested but endured. We lost three young family members while I grew up and we grieved together and then pushed on.

Two of the three may have been prevented; that is why I am running the NYC ING Marathon for the Team Catholic Charities to help potentially prevent other families from suffering such losses. In addition, I am running in memory of my cousins Marc P. Zenkus (1982-2000) & Shawn M. Hendrickson (1978-1998) who both were lost to early.

The Catholic Charities work to strengthen families through multiple services including preventative services for families struggling with substance abuse and other challenges. I am looking forward to raising money to help families receive counseling, recover and overcome substance abuse.

Personally, on November 3rd of this year, I look to overcoming 26.2 miles for the first time ever. Actually, I have never run more than 10 miles until this week! Now is my time of tribulation, but you will see me again at the finish line in Central Park after overcoming maybe not the world but at least New York.

Help support Joe’s ING NYC Marathon campaign. Click here to find out how: http://www.crowdrise.com/CatholicCharitiesNYC2013/fundraiser/joezenkus

Catholic Renewal Raises Crucial Funds for Hungry New Yorkers

Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Catholic Renewal

Left: Mark McDermott, Jason Ridings, Alexander Ridings, Deirdre McGuiness, Corinne Ball, Brenda Adrian, Victoria Creason, Pat Nash. Monsignor Kevin Sullivan. (Right)

 

Catholic Renewal held its Third Annual Cocktail Reception at the Kirkland & Ellis Conference Center on Monday, September 9. The event, hosted by Kirkland & Ellis LLP and attended by His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan along with more than 250 attorneys and members of the corporate restructuring industry, raised more than $300,000 for Catholic Charities to feed the hungry throughout the Archdiocese of New York. Now, as one of five families with children in the 10 counties of the Archdiocese of New York does not have enough to eat, receiving a hot meal is key to their survival.

The reception honored Barry W. Ridings, Managing Director of Lazard Frères & Co. LLC and member of the Catholic Charities Board of Trustees, for his steadfast commitment to the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and its commitment to serve those in need. Mr. Ridings was unable to attend the event due to the unexpected loss of his mother. His sons, Jason and Alexander Ridings, accepted a tribute book on his behalf.

“Giving is very important to my father,” said Jason Ridings. “He has set an example for us to follow.”

Catholic Renewal founding member Mark McDermott of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom spoke about the inspiration that defines this group. Founded in 2010 during one of the nation’s worst economic downturns, Catholic Renewal is a group of Roman Catholic professionals in the corporate restructuring industry committed to building a community and network based on faith and service to provide charitable assistance to individuals and groups in need.

“The word ‘Renewal’ in our name, ‘Catholic Renewal,’ has a dual meaning,” explained Mr. McDermott. “It refers to what we do as restructuring professionals. As I never tire of repeating, we are privileged to be part of the only economic and legal system in the world that allows us to help troubled enterprises try to ‘renew’ themselves: to preserve value; to obtain a fresh start; to preserve jobs.”

Catholic Renewal expressed its deep appreciation for its lead sponsors at the event. These include Ann and Barry W. Ridings, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP, Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Lathan & Watkins LLP, Marotta Gund Budd & Dzera, LLC, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Brenda Adrian, Victoria Creason and Deirdre McGuiness served as chairpersons for this event.

“We don’t live in a tale of two cities, but rather one city where people who have a little or a lot more help those who have who have a little or a lot less,” stated Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan of Catholic Charities. “We greatly appreciate these generous gifts that create hope and Catholic Renewal’s dedication to serve individuals regardless of their religion, everyday, always with dignity and compassion.”

World Youth Day 2013

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

News media from around the world are reporting this week on Pope Francis and his first trip back to South America to celebrate World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. More than 2.5 million Catholics and others are joining the celebration.

At this global event that occurs every two or three years, young members of the faithful gather together in prayer to meet the Pope and to celebrate and renew their faith.

At Catholic Charities, we know that all children deserve the opportunity to develop social skills, gain confidence and develop lasting values that will serve them as adults. Our network of services aims to address the physical, emotional and psychological needs of children and their families.

At Catholic Charities, in any given year:

  • 382 children  are adopted by loving families
  • 1,564 children enjoying summer camps
  • 6,066 children and teens are placed in safe foster care
  • 23,914 youth participate in wholesome sports
  • 7,254 children growing and learning in day-care
  • 4,628 youth participating in sound after-school programs

Listen as Cynthia Martinez from the Catholic Youth Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York speaks about World Youth Day with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on JustLove on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio. JustLove airs weekly on Saturday at 10am EST on The Catholic Channel 129.

Are you making a pilgrimage to Brazil for World Youth Day? We would love to hear your story. Comment below.

Raising Five Tons of Fresh Vegetables for Hungry New Yorkers

Monday, May 20th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Determined to raise 8,000 – 10,000 pounds of vegetables for the hungry, dozens of volunteers planted pepper, lettuce, broccoli, tomato and eggplant seedlings at the Catholic Community Services of Rockland “Garden of Love” on May 18. Vegetables from the garden are distributed to families through food pantries throughout the county.

The garden, preparing for its fourth season, has been expanded with the help of volunteers and those who donated materials including tools, soil and fences. Renewing its commitment to the community, organizers have recently renamed the initiative “Produce the Produce.”

Check out photos of your neighborhood volunteers and more Garden of Love updates in The Journal News.

Are you hungry and need help?

  • Contact us.  At Catholic Charities, no one is ever turned away.
  • If you live in Rockland County, please call 845 942-5791.

Help us help your neighbors in need.

Immigration Reform: Political Winds Blowing Our Way

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Immigration reform may pass this year, predicts Kevin Appleby, director of migration and refugee policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as he speaks with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on JustLove radio broadcast on April 27.

“Political winds, Mr. Appleby says, “are blowing our way.”

Called the “guru of immigration reform” by Msgr. Sullivan, Mr. Appleby offers an inside perspective on immigration reform’s history, hurdles and likelihood of success.

“We don’t have a system based on the rule of law anymore,” Mr. Appleby says.  “It’s based on chaos.

“At the border we have a sign that says ‘keep out’ but at the workplace we have a sign that says ‘help wanted.’”

Eleven million people live in the shadows and form an underground economy, he added.  Massive deportations divide families and pull parents away from children.  Persons struggling for a better life die as they try to cross the desert.

Solutions have been debated for decades, ever since Congress passed its last major immigration reform bill in 1986.

What’s different now “in a word,” says Mr. Appleby, “is the election; both parties have taken note and realized that the demographics of our country are changing and they need to get out ahead of it.”
Tune in to hear the entire show on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio.

Looking for information about Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

Catholic Charities is here to help.

Click here to learn how to prepare for immigration reform

Contact us now.

Call Catholic Charities at New York State New Americans Hotline: 1-800-566-7636