When Larry first came to the parish, he was looking for a community of believers he could confide in and grow with. Being a regular attender, it was an experience he looked forward to and the more he went, the closer he got to the people around him. He didn’t just see them as people, but a true family that welcomed him into his life. As the weeks rolled on, Larry’s life took a very hard turn for the worst and when it seemed all, but hopeless he threw a dart of desperation seeing where it could land not knowing next the difference it would make in his life forever.
This was a very scary time for Larry, and as someone bound to a wheelchair, how he got around and got involved in the community around him was limited to the services provided around him and the people that were willing to help him in his time of need. With no family to find shelter with and friends he could ask for favors, his next avenue for help came at the hands of Nativity of Mary, the parish he was attending. Because of his eviction that loomed in two weeks, it was a situation that needed saving and fast. Talking with Father Bob Stone was the lifeline he needed to get connected with the Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Fund. Susan Walker, who is the Director of Outreach at Catholic Charities with her connections to Christie Dade through Housing and Kisha Thomas in the Welcome Center, Larry no longer had to figure this out on his own and had a circle of support that had a mission and purpose in mind to make sure that his best days of his life were still in front of him and not behind him.
Even though it was only a $150 cost to stay in the motel they were able to rent for Larry for a couple of days, it really allowed the love and the strength of our community to shine through. With his fellow parishioners helping move him into his motel and apartment while also giving him a new bed, furniture, canned goods, and other kitchen essentials, it showed that even through the smallest amounts money and support it can make a difference in a person’s life. That is what you give to when you give to the Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Fund (CCEAF), a community-funded outlet to a better life whether it is as a big as an eviction or as small as needing food for a day, anything helps to make someone’s day a little bit brighter. Together we help families out of dire situations.
In the words of Larry, “I don’t know if I will sink or I will swim”, Because of fellow parishioners, Father Stone, and CCEAF, we helped him swim to a new life.