Posts Tagged ‘neediest cases fund’

Ignoring Limitations and Aiming to Inspire

Monday, January 7th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Otis Hampton, who has cerebral palsy and was abandoned at birth, once walked 40 miles in Manhattan and swelled with pride when he reached his destination.

Not only does Mr. Hampton, 22, refuse to accept limitations, but he also strives to inspire others.

“I feel like when I take walks, or when I’m walking in general, there may be a kid I know with cerebral palsy who’s been wanting to take a step without falling that finally gets up out of his or her wheelchair and takes those steps for the first time,” he said.

Mr. Hampton lives at Create, a shelter for homeless young men affiliated with Catholic Charities.

Read his story published in The New York Times.

Bad Neighborhood, Good Children & a Mom Who Keeps Them Safe

Friday, January 4th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Gunfire and police sirens punctuate the soundtrack of the streets outside Yoshita Childress’s home, an apartment that offers frequent views of middle-of-the-night brawls and arrests.

To keep her children, Syrene, 15, and Syrus, 14, safe, Ms. Childress insists that they stay busy with after-school activities, or remain largely confined to the apartment.

Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers, an affiliate of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York, provides them with safe outlets while opening up to them a world of opportunities.

Read their story published in The New York Times.

Surviving a Stroke; Facing Eviction

Monday, December 10th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Marianela Toro always served as her family’s caregiver.  But when a massive stroke permanently paralyzed the left side of her body, the family she used to care for suddenly struggled to care for her.

Ms. Toro’s sister, Ana Ventura, earns less than $1,000 per month by bringing food carts to patients at Roosevelt Hospital.  She asks for overtime to help meet expenses.  Her son, Yadriel, 12, pitches in by buying chocolate bars in bulk and selling them to classmates.

Yet together, they were unable to pay their rent while caring for Ms. Toro, now wheelchair bound.

Click here  to read her story published in The New York Times and learn how Catholic Charities helped the family keep their home.

Working, Studying and Seeking a Home

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Latoya Ford

By Alice Kenny

Latoya Ford lived with seven foster families before finally being adopted at age 7.

Then, when Latoya turned 13, her adoptive mother, an older woman and “the only woman I ever called ‘mom’,” died of cardiac arrest .

After that, it seemed that no one really wanted her.

Fortunately, Latoya found her way to Covenant House, a shelter for teenagers and young adults affiliated with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.  Finally housed, she also received counseling, support and studied to become a certified nursing assistant.  She recently found full-time work at Beth Israel Medical Center and is now rebuilding her life.

Click here  to read her story published in The New York Times.

Torture Survivor Rebuilds Life

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Ahamed Idrissou was imprisoned for five weeks in Togo, a military dictatorship in Africa.  He was beaten and humiliated; some of his teeth were pulled out.

With help from Catholic Charities, he gained asylee status in the United States and brought his family to safety.

Now, donning a sun-yellow City Sights jacket, he stands at Times Square street corners in the sun, rain and snow hawking tickets for tourist bus rides to feed his family.

Click here to read his story published in The New York Times and learn about crucial intervention he received from Catholic Charities.


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.