Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

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As the new Respect Life Program Director for Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte, joining the agency about five months ago, I have already encountered many “firsts” in my new role, and I look forward to many more to come! When I was asked to write something for the CCDOC Blog, I knew this would go on my list of another first. As I pondered and prayed about what to write, various topics came to mind. With the recent celebration of Mother’s Day, I knew I could write something about mothers—thanking and lifting up current mothers, comforting and consoling mothers who have lost a child, and teaching and inspiring mothers-to-be. Then I realized that Father’s Day is approaching soon, so I thought perhaps I could write something integrating mothers and fathers. Both are essential in the creation of life and in the Respect Life mission, and I had just recently been learning more about research indicating the need to focus more on the man’s role and responsibilities within society and how this impacts women and their choices regarding their children. I also considered writing about individuals with special needs, as these individuals are near and dear to my heart. Well, the Lord

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Refugees come to the United States with nothing but the hope of a better future for them and their families. As we welcome them to Charlotte, the first and the major challenge for them is to find a job and to be able to take care of themselves and their families. The employment staff at Catholic Charities Refugee Office assists and guides them in finding employment to become self-sufficient.The first two years for most refugees can be very difficult. Everything is new for them. The lack of transportation and English skills are big hindrances for becoming employed. They go to English language class to improve their language skills. We also train them how to access public transportation to empower them to become more independent.Within two weeks of their arrival, we meet and talk with them about getting jobs. Their faces light up with hope and happiness when they hear that we will help them find jobs. We also provide them orientation about the job application process, the world of work, keeping jobs, and interview skills to make them ready to compete in the job market.We have clients from Bhutan, Burma, Iraq, Cuba, Somalia and other parts of Africa, and some Eastern
Each day Catholic Charities touches the lives of our community.  From time to time, the people we serve want to share how their lives were changed because of our work.  This story comes from the heart of a Mom who just before Mother’s day had to face the death of her unborn child.  Catholic Charities was there for her to walk with her on this difficult journey. “My life has not always been easy, I came to the area for a better life for my children and myself.  I am a young mother of three children and I was expecting. When I went to make my visit with the Doctor, the doctor expressed to me that I was going to have a baby girl. I was so filled with joy, this was going to be my very first princess.  After 24 weeks, the doctors told me they couldn’t hear a heartbeat and that my princess was gone. My heart dropped, I was in such shock I did not understand it and I became very sad. I did not know where to turn or how to cope with this.  The hospital told me about Catholic Charities and I reached out to them for

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"You believe the law of the heart!" Answering a call from a co-worker at Catholic Charities after 10:00 PM always means one thing -- there is a teen in crisis and s/he called the crisis hotline for help.  After an argument, Tiffany's aunt said that she had to find another place to live.  Not having anywhere else to turn, Tiffany walked into the restaurant with the big yellow Safe Place sign and asked for help.  Tiffany knew that a big yellow sign on the outside of a business meant that the business had promised to help youth in trouble.  She had learned about it at school.  Catholic Charities hosts the hotline that connects 191 Safe Place sites in Forsyth County with resources that help youth in trouble --- 24/7. Tiffany's Mom has been incarcerated for most of her life.  Her father wont have anything to do with her so she has spent most of her life being raised by a grandmother and an aunt.  When we reached Tiffany's grandmother, it was after 11:00 PM and she was just getting off the late shift at work, but she agreed to meet with Tiffany and the Catholic Charities' social worker. The grandmother shared
Modern technologies allow us to shift our attention quickly. We are confident that we can pay attention to multiple things and people at any given time and we value dearly our devices that allow us to stay so accessible, and so flexible to choose what or whom gets our attention at any given moment. Few gatherings (in theaters, churches, classes, meetings) begin these days without the announcement to turn off, or at least silence our cell phones (with the latter option still enabling one to text and email). From religious journals to financial magazines to daily newspapers, there seems to be a growing interest in the value of being attentive to the task at hand or to the person in our presence. The underlying message in these varied media is the same - modern distractions and technological advances draw our attention away. Away from what? Depending on the particular concern of the writer, it might be our work, our driving, our learning, our family, our friends, and yes, even God. What all these articles seem to be recognizing is that we – humanity – are losing something very important when we do not give (pardon the use of an overused phrase),
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