Two themes motivate the staff at Catholic Charities on a daily basis: the pandemic has increased the number of people in need (our clients), and the rural areas of our diocese does not receive the same amount of support as does the KC and St. Joseph metro areas. While it is true that the population concentration of the diocese, and thus the amount of support necessary, is mainly urban, it is also true that many rural areas of the diocese require support as well
We have heard and embraced this feedback. As a result, Catholic Charities has launched our latest Serve and Lift location in Cameron, MO. You may have already heard news of the Cameron Distribution Center, located at 417 Northland Drive in Cameron, which “went live” in early May. But, did you know about our mobile outreach operations to extend even further our reach to the outskirts of the diocese?
Using the Cameron Distribution Center as a hub, we worked have partnered with several parishes to create a model that would extend our reach to the northeast and northwest portions of the diocese on a 1-2 days per month week basis. The plan is to start with five outreach locations and then scale the operation as the Cameron Distribution Center grows and matures.The first five locations are Forest City, Gallatin, Trenton, Bethany and St. Joseph. We are honored to partner with our parishes in these communities, and to have the opportunity to reach more families who need the assistance our programs can offer.
The Cameron Distribution Center and the mobile outreach locations will provide shelf stable food, fresh produce and hygiene items for clients who have pre-ordered or for walk-in clients. We will also be providing Welcome Center services by appointment. A resource specialist will travel with our mobile outreach van to meet with clients and determine the obstacles that are hindering the person’s path to self-sufficiency. In addition to food and hygiene items, we deliver emergency assistance such as clothing, diapers, formula, utility and rent assistance.
The Cameron Distribution Center and the mobile outreach locations will also provide numerous volunteer opportunities in the areas we are serving. Volunteer duties range from loading the van at the distribution center, unloading the van at the mobile outreach locations, greeting clients and distributing pre-ordered food or assisting with food choices on site. We will also be training Catholic Charities liaison volunteers who will be able to field questions from community members and connect with Catholic Charities personnel as appropriate between mobile outreach visits. If you are interested in a volunteer opportunity, please contact Linda Hopkins, Volunteer Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Cameron Distribution Center and mobile outreach are just two of many examples of our mission of helping people move to a better life through hope-filled care, services, and advocacy – and calling all those of goodwill to join us. We are listening and responding to the excellent feedback from across the diocese. If you have thoughts on where we can go next to Serve and Lift, please do not hesitate to contact us and let us know by calling 816.221.4377 or emailing us at email@example.com.
By Jim Hall, Special Projects Manager, Outreach and Engagement at Catholic Charities of Kansas City-Saint Joseph. Jim will be one of 17 men who will be ordained as Deacons for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on June 18, 2022 by Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr.