Catholic Charities

Go To Bat for Kids provides unforgettable memories for kids

Carlos Williams threw out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals’ game on April 20. Carlos had been selected through Catholic Charities of St. Louis’ Go to Bat for Kids campaign.

With three curved fingers hooked on top, and a thumb positioned underneath, Carlos Williams demonstrated how he held the baseball for his first-ever major-league pitch.

The 7-year-old threw the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals game April 20 as part of Catholic Charities of St. Louis' Go to Bat for Kids campaign.

Later, Carlos showed off his newly prized possession, the ball signed by Cardinals pitcher Matt Bowman.

"That's how he told me to throw it," Carlos said of his expert advice. "And I was the only one that got to throw that ball."

Catholic agencies address poverty issues, public policy

A forum last month gave Catholics a chance to voice public policy concerns and ideas to legislators ahead of the state legislative session, which convened Jan. 3. The Dec. 11 event in St. Charles County was a collaboration by Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul "to put low-income people in the front of legislators' minds as they go into the session," according to Tamara Kenny, director of advocacy and community engagement at Catholic Charities.

Once ‘on knees and knuckles,’ now back on her feet

Wade Chatfield, right, a member advisor for Catholic Charities of St. Louis’ Pathways to Progress program, helped Loddie Gillespie with her resume and getting her professional profile established on LinkedIn. With the help of Chatfield and Pathways to Progress, Gillespie is finding herself back on track.

Loddie Gillespie describes herself as always curious, always on the go. The word quit is not in her vocabulary.

As a mother, she's used to giving to others. But after facing several serious life hurdles, Gillespie found herself asking others for help.

Board member helps agency that aided him at his birth, adoption

Fifty years ago, Marty Tobben's biological mother placed him for adoption with Villa Maria, then an agency of Catholic Charities. He grew up in a loving household with his adoptive parents, Bob and Mary Tobben of Washington and two siblings.

Now he's giving back to Catholic Charities as a board member of Good Shepherd Children and Family Services, which connects children with families and keeps families connected through foster care, expectant parent support, adoption and maternity shelter. Good Shepherd includes the functions of the former Villa Maria maternity program.

Catholic Charities makes headway in addressing poverty

St. Patrick Center and Pacific Dental Services Foundation held a free mobile dentistry clinic for clients. Dr.Adam Battaglia examined a clients teeth and said all he needed was a good cleaning.

Theresa Ruzicka, president of Catholic Charities of St. Louis, is proud of her organization's efforts to help break the cycle of poverty, empowering people to make permanent changes in their lives and support their efforts to lead self-sufficient, dignified lives.

Ruzicka was interviewed by the St. Louis Review after being named among the recipients of the Most Influential Business Women Awards from the St. Louis Business Journal. The award was presented to her Aug. 11.

School supplies help Pathways families get off to good start

Ramona Brown brought her children to choose backpacks for school at the Catholic Charities Pathway to Progress initiative. She held her 1-year-old baby, Heaven, while Isaiah, a fourth-grader, checked out what was inside his new bag. “I want to be a doctor,” said Isaiah, while his older brother Chris said he has “basketball blood” but also wants to be an architect. Another brother Jacob says he wants to become a successful businessman.

With three boys heading back to school, Ramona Brown credits for Catholic Charities of St. Louis taking "a lot of headaches off me," after learning about the variety of school supplies in backpacks the children received Aug. 9.

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