By Susan Walker

By Susan Walker

Because of you, hundreds of men, women, and children will have dinner and sleep in a safe place tonight

Click here to read the entire August 2020 newsletter

Summer is winding down and we just wrapped up our annual school supply drive of pencils, paper, folders, and backpacks for a group of urban core elementary students. We took them to the schools, like always, but gave them to the office staff instead of giving them to parents and young learners at back-to-school nights. We had school supplies, like always, but the experience of this year was like none other. Looking back, mid-March seems like a lifetime ago.

“We’ll all work remote for a while, then be back at the office by the beginning of summer, like always,” we thought. “We’ll keep doing virtual case management for a bit longer, but by the Fourth of July, case managers and clients will meet in person, like always.”

It’s been half a year – and there is little in our lives that is unchanged.

Within just a few short days from when the executive orders to control the spread of the COVID virus were issued, my colleagues had adjusted so that the support our at-risk brothers and sisters seek from Catholic Charities was unchanged and felt “like always.”

While keeping social distance measures to keep everyone safe, there were always compassionate, listening ears at the Welcome Center to search for the best resources to address immediate crises. There were always Employment Services specialists radically uplifting the men and women seeking a job to sustain their family. There were always case managers searching for vendors willing to deliver a pack-n-play to a new mother, ensuring that nights spent worrying about where her infant would sleep were minimized.

Good people, caring companies, and forward-looking foundations provided financial resources to keep all this work going, uninterrupted, so that in the greatest moments of need and anxiety, vulnerable families could find respite at Catholic Charities.

It could have been different. Fear could have overtaken generosity. Uncertainty could have taken center stage. But it didn’t.

There are still tough days ahead, and we at Catholic Charities are gearing up for an autumn that may well see record evictions and skyrocketing requests for food and other life necessities. Before that time, however, on behalf of my colleagues and the families they serve, I want to pause for a moment and say thank you. Hundreds of men, women, and children will have dinner and sleep in a safe place tonight because of you.


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