Catholic Charities

Women work together to improve their neighborhood

Betty Howard held a batch of Swiss chard she picked from the community garden she helps to maintain. Voices of Women at Midtown Catholic Charities runs a community garden and partners with City Greens Market, a membership-based market that allows access to people of all incomes.

One boy wants to be a chemist, so he's saving money for college expenses. Another youngster is saving to help pay bills, while someone else is putting money aside to pay for senior class dues.

It's all part of the Women's Helping Hands Bank, one of four functions of Voices of Women. The bank offers micro-loans and micro-savings accounts for both adults and children. It also provides families with information that can help them to reach financial stability.

'Sluggers' group faithful in commitment to Joplin residents

Dale Green worked on a rebuild of a home by Catholic Charities for a tornado victim in 2011 in Joplin. It was the first of nine trips there by the St. Louis Sluggers.

The St. Louis Sluggers disaster recovery team, a 19-member crew of parishioners and friends from Queen of All Saints Parish in Oakville, has returned from Joplin after working on six projects.

This fall trip was their ninth trip to Joplin, starting in 2011 after a devastating tornado there. Previously they made 11 trips to the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.

The projects, spread out over the week, included:

• Siding of two new homes sponsored by Catholic Charities near the new Joplin High School.

New Catholic Charities campaign takes aim at 'scandalous' poverty rate

OMAHA, Neb. -- Seeking to create awareness about poverty in the United States and to stand in solidarity with Pope Francis' commitment to the poor, Catholic Charities USA has launched a new national campaign.

Dominican Sister Donna Markham discussed the effort Sept. 10 in her first address as president and CEO of the organization during its national convention in Omaha.

Dubbed "#End45 -- Raise a Hand to End Poverty in America," the name reflects the 45 million people in the U.S. who live in poverty.

"That's scandalous," said Sister Donna, the organization's first female president.

St. Francis Community Services focusing on parish bases

St. Francis Community Southside Center celebrated “Día del Niño”, or the Day of the Child, a Mexican celebration that recognizes children and their importance in society. Jasmin, Evelyn and Valentina Carrillo danced a traditional Mexican folk dance known as Baile Folklórico. Southside Center is part of St. Francis Community Services’ focus on outreach to neighborhoods.

A Catholic Charities' outreach effort has a new name -- St. Francis Community Services -- and an approach that stresses serving needy in neighborhoods from a parish base.

Funding gap forces changes in center's 'lifeline' services

Lisa Johnston | | twitter: @aeternusphoto

Araceli Domenden held a warm meal that Roger Dickson just delivered as part of a meals program from the Father Tolton Center, which provides a place for elderly to gather, share company and a meal. The center is on the campus of Our Lady of the Holy Cross in Baden and is a ministry of St. Francis Community Services.

Araceli Domenden was waiting at her front door for Roger Dickson.

He handed her a warm meal, as he does five days a week for the home-delivered meal program at Catholic Charities' Father Tolton Center.

"Thank you so much for the food -- thank you, thank you, thank you," she said. "Believe me, it helps."

St. Patrick Center links clients with employers

Jerrod Booth spoke with Allison Whittaker, a human resources specialist from the United States Postal Service, at a job fair hosted by St. Patrick Center for its clients.

Jerrod Booth quietly approached the United States Postal Service table at the employment fair, tightly clutching a well-worn orange folder stuffed with papers. He struggled to hold his head up and make eye contact, clearly uncomfortable at the moment.

Allison Whittaker looked up from the table, smiled and greeted him. She then stood up and shook his hand.

A human resources specialist, Whittaker immediately let Booth know that the Postal Service is hiring, and Booth took a deep breath, settling his nerves down.

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