Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

Posted by on in CCDOC Blog
"She showed me I wasn't alone."   Andrew was a teenager met in the parking lot one afternoon.  He was quick to smile as he encountered people in the Catholic Charities parking lot. When I spoke with him about why he was waiting he was surprisingly open and shared his story.   He explained that he started hanging out with people at school who got into trouble a lot and who didn't care about their schoolwork or grades.  "It got easy for me not to care about what I did.  I didn't care about my grades and I didn't care about getting into trouble.  My mom finally got sick of it and we started coming for counseling.  We get along pretty good now."   Andrew and his family took advantage of the FREE counseling services that is offered to young people and their families at Catholic Charities.  The services are offered by masters level mental health counselors who are licensed by the state of North Carolina.  Because the service is offered as part of a federal grant program focused on preventing teen runaways, Catholic Charities provides the service in Winston-Salem free of charge.  There are no income guidelines to receive free counseling, however,

Posted by on in CCDOC Blog
A tearful woman explained that the screams and loud noise heard by her neighbors last week was the sound of her adorable two-year-old grandson being beaten and thrown into an empty bathtub to die.  The four-year-old autistic brother who watched the scene could only scream, but not form words to express his grief.  The boyfriend of a relative who is wanted for the crime cannot be found, however, the police are looking.  Catholic Charities made the arrangements with the funeral home and the beautiful, sweet angel was laid to rest last week.  The distraught grandmother will continue to come to Catholic Charities to meet with a counselor who will help her find the strength to cope with such a tragedy. A little later in the day I learned of another horrible tragedy.  The little two-month baby girl who was born to a crack-addicted mother didn't stand a chance in life.  I was told that her mother sold WIC vouchers to purchase items other than baby formula.  Instead, she fed the newborn whole milk.  The baby did not thrive and after a couple of weeks choked on the milk and passed away. Again, Catholic Charities stood side by side with family members
When one thinks of the good works of Catholic Relief Services across the globe, what often comes to mind is the provision of food to hungry people, the response to natural disasters like the typhoon that struck the Philippines in late 2013, or the current efforts being made to stem the crisis of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In the Diocese of Charlotte, 25% of Rice Bowl funds distributed support the CRS Rice Bowl Mini Grant Program offered in the fall.  This past year, in November 2013, $1,000 grants were distributed to sixteen parishes of the diocese.  Grants were awarded for a variety of ministries including food pantries, community gardens, thrift stores, St. Vincent de Paul Societies, children’s nutrition programs, and general outreach to families in need.  The annual CRS Lenten Rice Bowl Collection and the CRS Mini-Grant Program are coordinated by Catholic Charities' Office of Social Concerns and Advocacy.   What did these $1,000 grants mean to these parish based ministries?  The Society of St. Vincent de Paul/ St. Eugene, St Lawrence, St. Joan of Arc Conference used its $1,000 Rice Bowl grant to support its ministry of offering financial assistance to families in need.  In an email report sent to the
Like everyone else in the room that Sunday morning who watched the video of Pope Francis addressing the Catholic Charities USA Annual Gathering in Charlotte, I was exceptionally proud to be there in that space and at that time.  It was simply one of those moments that brought clarity and purpose to the work I am privileged to do as part of the Catholic Charities agency here in the Diocese of Charlotte.  It can be so easy to let my focus be trained on the operational side of this work as my days are filled with meetings and emails and documents and financial reports and telephone calls, and, and…  These are legitimate and important tasks which deserve and require my full professional and careful attention.  But the work I do – the work all of us do at Catholic Charities – is not really about ensuring maximum efficiency and effectiveness as though we’re managing just another NGO.  What we do is at its core all about “caritas” or the “love of God.”   In his own words, Pope Francis reminded us that “as Catholic Charities workers, board members, donors, parish social ministers, volunteers and organizations, you bring that joy with each and

Posted by on in CCDOC Blog
Teen pregnancy is a hot topic in the media. Reality shows about the struggles of teen motherhood have become popular entertainment. Though teenage mothers like these often require a significant amount of attention and assistance, women of every age experiencing an unintended pregnancy need similar support. By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and over half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended (Guttmacher Institute, 2013). Unintended pregnancies can leave women scared, stressed, and confused. They may need assistance getting food or a place to live. They may desire to come up with a birth plan or an adoption plan. In politics and the media, single mothers are portrayed in a negative light. There are stereotypes that a child born out of wedlock always has an absent father, or that two married parents that have a child will not struggle in the same ways that single mothers do. In actuality, every mother needs support, no matter her lifestyle. There are those that may require extra support because of life circumstances such as homelessness, financial struggles, unpreparedness, and a general lack of parenting resources, among other issues. With the economy in
Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte © 2014