Posts Tagged ‘Putnam’

Heroin’s New Hometown

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Heroin has hit the suburbs. Far too many of us are mourning the loss of children we once knew.

‘”The obituaries have a certain sameness to them,” write J. David Goodman and Michael Wilson in this week’s New York Times, “full of praise and regret for lives cut short, marked by telltale details and omissions. The deaths occurred at home, or at a friend’s house elsewhere on Staten Island. The mourned were often young and white, and although how they died was never mentioned, nearly everyone knew or suspected the cause.

“A 23-year-old man, a cello student in high school and the son of an elevator company vice president died in March. A former high school hockey player who delivered newspapers died in 2013 at 22. Another 23-year-old man who was working construction died at home in July 2012. Family members and autopsy reports revealed that they died from heroin or combinations of drugs including heroin.

“As the problem worsened, (gatherings began being) held at a nearby school, attached to Our Lady Star of the Sea, a Roman Catholic church on Amboy Road. Nearby, in the basement of the church rectory, a Pills Anonymous group meets.”

In Staten Island and suburbs throughout the New York Archdiocese and the nation, the scourge of heroin is tightening its grip. Thirty-six people died in Staten Island from heroin overdoses in 2012, reports The Times, the highest number in at least a decade. The death rate was higher than the city’s other four boroughs had seen in 10 years.

More than a dozen heroin-related overdose deaths occurred in northern Westchester and Putnam counties in the last year as well, reports the Ossining Daily Voice. Tragically, two deaths were reported just six days apart in small, suburban Cortlandt Manor.

Catholic Charities treats and supports those who are struggling to break the cycle of substance abuse. Far too often, substance abusers affect their families, homes, careers, and their health in ways that hurt others, as well as themselves. These programs are designed to touch all stages of the recovery process to assist an individual to become a functioning human being once again and take full advantage of the precious gift of life. Programs range from out-patient clinics and support groups to inpatient recovery programs. Support is also available to family members.

Are you or someone you know struggling with addiction?

To find a Catholic Charities agency that offers preventive services click here.

For more help, call our Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900.

Read the full story in The New York Times

Catholic Charities Joins Upstate Rally Promoting Services for Immigrants

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Representing Catholic Charities Community Services and the new Opportunity Center that provides English as a Second Language and immigration legal assistance in Orange County, Catholic Charities Migration Counselor Jessica Lazo joined U.S. representatives, businesses, farmers and community leaders at a rally held in Newburgh earlier this month. Ms. Lazo spoke about services Catholic Charities provides immigrants as others urged Congress to take immediate action to pass immigration reform.

“Now is the time that the House should come together to support a bipartisan plan that will … create an earned pathway to citizenship,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D- Cold Spring. “It’s not a handout but a fair way for hard-working people and their children to become citizens.”

Assemblyman Frank Skartados, D- Milton, agreed.

“As an immigrant who came to America when I was a teenager I have learned to appreciate the value of people who come here to make a better life for themselves and their families,” Assemblyman Skartados said. “The time is now.”

Meanwhile, President of the Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Farm Bureau Mark Adams drew a loud ovation, reports The Times Herald Record, when he said that said the farming industry would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of reform. The industry, he said, needs a “willing legal workforce” or food may be produced offshore.

“It’s good for the economy, it’s good for business and it’s the right thing to do,” Skartados said.

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.