New Space Offers Greater Opportunities to Serve

The heart of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas has always been with the heart of those we serve. That’s why we are excited to announce that this summer our ministries located at 2220 Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas are moving to a building situated in downtown Kansas City, Kansas at 600 Minnesota Avenue.
 
Catholic Charities is deeply invested in Wyandotte County. It is the place we first called home. We set up a formal office here over 60 years ago after recognizing the great need for assistance within the community. Our commitment of serving neighbors in need has grown considerably over the years. We have evolved from being a safety-net agency to one that strengthens individuals and families through skills training, financial education and employment. Due to the expansion of our services, we have spent the last few years analyzing and planning for a new office space. “We were elated when we came across this building located on a city bus route and in close proximity to many of our community partner agencies,” says Lauren Solidum, President and CEO. “The location allows Catholic Charities to be more visible and accessible to those who benefit most from our programs.”

There’s No Better Time to Get Involved

This new space is not just for those we serve and our staff, but also for our volunteers. Catholic Charities couldn’t do what we do without the dedicated volunteers who selflessly serve side by side with us. Our new location is conveniently positioned with ample parking and easy access from the highway and major thoroughfares. While our volunteers come from all over our service area, there is no better time for those in our Wyandotte county parishes to take this opportunity to serve in their local community. Learn more about how you can get involved by visiting our website at: catholiccharitiesks.org/volunteer

Featured in The Leaven—Catholic Charities: ‘We have never stopped serving’

by Joe Bollig
joe.bollig@theleaven.org
 
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — “I’m asked constantly,” said Lauren Solidum, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, “what is the Catholic Church doing in response to this other than shutting down Masses?”
 
Her answer is simple — yet challenging. “We have never stopped serving,” she said.
 
“And we are the church,” she continued, “we are the hands and feet [of Christ]. That’s an incredible message for our Catholic community to hear.”
 
But it is true that the coronavirus pandemic has forced Catholic Charities to take a long, hard look at its operations. And it has had to prioritize the “big three” necessities for those they serve, while shutting down or adapting other services.
 
At the same time the faith-based agency is facing rising demand, it’s experiencing fewer donations and a dwindling volunteer base.
 
“Our priorities in this crisis are food, shelter and health care,” said Solidum.
 

THANK YOU to Our Wonderful Volunteers!

Hope Hero Shout-Out

COVID-19 has affected many things, including the cancellation of our volunteer appreciation events. However, this pandemic will not stop us from thanking those who are helping us serve during this challenging time.

A note from our Volunteer Coordinators Cari Olberding and Hope Thompson:
 
We never fully realized the amount of hard work and heart that our volunteers put into their service each and every day. This past month working on the front lines, we have gained an even greater appreciation for the amazing work our volunteers do day in and day out. It can be physically and emotionally demanding, and we are truly grateful for ALL of our Catholic Charities volunteers. We could not do the work that we do without the support from our volunteers, whether that be donating their time, talent or treasures. We are so lucky at this Agency to have volunteers who care for one another and have a servant heart to serve those in need. Thank you to everyone for the wonderful work you continue to do – no matter what challenges we may face!

New! Save the Date—Golf 2020

We understand that most people aren’t thinking about golf right now. That’s why we have re-scheduled the 39th Annual Ben & Betty Zarda Family Golf Classic to Monday, August 24, 2020.
 
By participating in the golf tournament, you are raising crucial funds for food assistance. Families need that help now more than ever before.
 
During these uncertain times, you have our commitment at Catholic Charities to support our community. We will continue to serve on the front lines doing what we have been called to do– serve one another.
 
To register for the 2020 Golf Classic go to: https://catholiccharitiesks.org/special-events/golf-classic/

Summer Food Program Gets Early Start

In response to school closures stemming from the COVID-19 epidemic, Catholic Charities has already launched its Kids Summer Food program this year with support from the Kansas Department of Education. “The early start provides children access to food during this time of uncertainty,” says Josh Huston, MSW, Special Projects Coordinator.
 
The Summer Food program focuses on providing nutritious meals to children who utilize the free/reduced-price lunch programs throughout the school year. Otherwise, these same children may not have access to healthy meals. While free/reduced-price lunch data is utilized to determine if an area is eligible for the Summer Food program, all children 18 years old and younger are able to eat a Summer Food meal once the site is approved.
 
Catholic Charities will continue to operate the program throughout the summer, as originally intended. However, it may look a little different than in years past – such as meals being able to be taken and eaten off-site rather than gathering in a shared space. 
 
“Catholic Charities is proud to step up and do its part to help meet the children’s need for food during this health crisis,” adds Josh.
 

HELPING OUR NEIGHBORS IN NEED!

Ways to Make a Difference
 
 
How You Can Help
 
  • Serve with us on the resource bus, sorting food at Hope Distribution Center, or within an FSC. There are opportunities with limited exposure and risk. https://catholiccharitiesks.org/covid19/
  • Participate in a food drive around town. Local neighborhoods, parishes, and communities are coming together to safely collect food for those in need during the COVID-19 crisis. https://catholiccharitiesks.org/upcoming-community-food-drives/
  • Pray for those who are experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19, as well as for our Catholic Charities’ volunteers and staff serving during this challenging time.

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