Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

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Kenny’s mother visited the Catholic Charities office with a request for clothing. She explained that Kenny was small for his 12 years. She then very casually asked if she could have change for a dollar. Apparently the family’s cars tires were worn and had many leaks so they had to be filled with air every time the car was used. Kenny’s Mom explained that her family lived in a rural part of the county so they had to go through the routine of filling the tires a couple of times each day because she had to drive Kenny a long distance each day to a special needs school. The change was for the air machine at the gas station. A quick phone call was placed to Kenny’s school to see why he wasn’t being provided the state-mandated transportation daily pick up and drops off by the special school bus. The family had never inquired about school transportation. Communication easily solved this problem which would have an incredible impact on Kenny and his family. Another phone call arranged for Catholic Charities to buy a new set of tires for Kenny’s family car. No one had asked, but sometimes an opportunity is too

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 I consider myself to be a social person because I thrive on opportunities to engage and connect with others but I realize that we as individuals can experience loneliness in the mist of being surrounded by others.  Mother Teresa said, “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty” because we ultimately all have the fundamental need to belong and be loved.  We often use loneliness and isolation interchangeably. While they can be related, they are different concepts.  Loneliness is best understood as a person’s emotional state, described as a sense of not having meaningful contact with others, accompanied by feelings of emptiness, deprivation or sadness. However, isolation refers to a lack of contact with family or friends or a loss or lack of community involvement.  Therefore, it is possible to be lonely but not isolated and vice versa.    Fortunately, there are ways to combat loneliness, although doing so takes some initiative.  The following are a few ideas and tips that you might find helpful. Get to know your neighbor:  Inquire within your local parish about senior group or other ministries that connect seniors to one another and get involved.  Volunteer at your local parish, Catholic Charities or other organization of interest. Engage in

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation that seems too overwhelming? No matter what you do it seems like more things just keep piling on to your plate. And when you think you have support from family and friends, you learn that they have their own responsibilities to deal with... This is how some of our pregnancy support clients feel. They may already have a young child they’re caring for; be struggling to pay their rent and utilities; or may be dealing with relationship issues, and then learn they are expecting a child. Who can they turn to for support? This is the case with Katie. She came to Catholic Charities asking for assistance as she was eight months pregnant and feeling overwhelmed. She had been asked to leave from her parents’ home and was not able to work due to her pregnancy. She was staying with her sister but would not be able to remain there long term after her baby was born. She had a strained relationship with the father of her baby and felt she could not rely on him for consistent support. As she continued to meet with the Social Worker at Catholic Charities, it was

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Catholic Charities Refugee Youth Program had another successful year! We successfully merged our two elementary program sites into one site hosted at the Galilee Center of East Charlotte. Our new middle school program was a resounding success, allowing us to serve students who had previously been underserved. In the high school program, our students at Garinger continued to be consistently supported during drop-in tutoring on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Underserved students at East Mecklenburg High School were now eligible to attend a weekly drop-in tutoring program beginning January 2016. We also, through generous private support, were able to purchase a 15 passenger mini-bus. It was a busy year! But of all of these successes, two hot mornings in June stand out as being emblematic of our students’ hard work and the dedication of the family, teachers and afterschool staff who support them. On June 9th, 2 of our Garinger seniors successfully walked across the Bojangles Coliseum stage. The following day, 3 of our East Mecklenburg seniors followed in the footsteps of their peers. All were greeted outside the arena by an overwhelming show of support, pride and countless selfies and photo shoots. In context, this joy and pride is more than

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This week, Julia’s and Hank’s family visited Catholic Charities’ food pantry with some special requests. Julia and Hank are home for the summer and cannot get to the community feeding program they use to help with summer meals this week. You see, their family like so many in our community, face more challenges during the summer to keep food on the table. Families with school age children rely on the meals their children receive at school to help provide nutritious meals so the children don’t go hungry. The staples, meats, fruits and vegetables, dairy and kid friendly snacks given to Julia’s and Hank’s family means these children will not go hungry this week.Hunger hurts everyone, but it is especially devastating in childhood because hunger deprives kids of more than just food. On empty stomachs, kids don’t have the energy to focus, engage, learn and grow. Yet, this is the reality for 1 in 5 children in the U.S. who worry about when they’ll have their next meal. According to Feeding America what are the effects of child hunger?  100 MISSED MEALS An average food-insecure family of four may forgo up to 100 meals a month because they lack enough money to
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