By Karen Noel

By Karen Noel

The one thing that hasn’t changed in recent months is our steady care and services.

Click here to read the entire February 2020 newsletter

As I finish out my first few weeks as the new CEO of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, it strikes me how much this is a time of change. It’s a welcome change for me: I am excited and energized to lead this amazing organization. At the same time, I’m aware it’s a season of unwelcomed change in many other ways.

The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed the way we live four months ago. We no longer do simple things like shake hands or hug. We have directional arrows on the aisles in grocery stores and are wary about being in groups. For a long time, favorite restaurants or coffee shops or retail stores were closed, and Zoom, Google Meetup, Microsoft Teams gatherings become the way to interact with those we love.

The men and women who come to Catholic Charities for help often do so after something in their life has changed. A job loss, an illness, or a divorce can threaten someone’s ability to provide their own basic needs of shelter and food. For them, life was hard enough before COVID. Adding in worry about their own health and the health of their children can seem insurmountable.

One thing that has not changed during COVID, however, was the assistance and support available at Catholic Charities. Our doors have remained open and our social workers and specialists ready to meet those in need – and help them find a way to deal with the additional burden of dealing with the health crisis that hit all too hard on those in poverty.

This steadfast support, navigating through the twists and turns of life, brings about welcome change in our clients’ lives. With our staff by their side, men and women climb out of crisis every day. They set goals and determine the direction of their future, and with this assistance, take the steps – small and large – to bring them closer to the dignity of self-reliance.

In this newsletter, you’ll read some of their stories, and learn more about how our skilled staff work with our vulnerable neighbors to make those good changes happen. I’m inspired by what happens at Catholic Charities every day. I trust you will be, too.

Service in Solidarity, Karen Noel

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