The best way to describe my experience with Catholic Charities is Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
I was referred to Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas by my Zeta CDL training program coordinator after receiving a KansasWorks grant to further my career. With the cost of my tuition covered by the grant, I was seeking assistance with a little under $500 worth of out-of-pocket expenses to cover my remaining screening and testing fees.
As a mother of five, my firstborn son’s ninth birthday and Christmas approaching in the same month, it took intentional effort to resist the temptation to stress or worry about how far my finances would stretch. I was working part-time as a Package Handler at FedEx while completing my training program. This was a short and long-term solution to my financial woes, but it didn’t change that I still needed help to get there. I showed up to my initial appointment at Catholic Charities with my used minivan’s engine barely hanging on, hopeful I could even get a little help to pull me through this storm I was in. Then, God met my faith with the Workforce team…
Not only did my case worker ensure the remaining costs of my training would be covered, she also asked all the right questions and went through every resource at her disposal to ensure she left no stone unturned in helping me and my children. She even made me aware of tuition reimbursement resources and a partnership between my employer and Arizona State University online, as my next goal is to continue my education.
In addition to my training costs, I was able to gather Christmas toys for my children, access the clothing closet and food pantry resources and receive a full diagnostic on my minivan (plus a prioritized list of repairs) through Christian Brothers. What neither of us knew when my case worker insisted on ensuring I had reliable transportation for training, work, and transporting my children, was that the minivan I had just purchased three months prior had an engine hanging on by one bolt and serpentine belts that were about to break. Thanks to Catholic Charities and the mechanics at a local shop in Olathe, the Workforce team was able to ensure that those repairs were completed for a fraction of the cost, without sacrificing quality. My case worker ordered the parts needed for my repairs and paid the shop directly when the work was complete.
Words cannot express enough my sincere gratitude for the donors, volunteers, and staff at Catholic Charities. Please know that God is using each and every one of you to come alongside your communities to support those you help in an “exceedingly abundant” way.
A priceless gift I received this Christmas was the art supply kits from the Christmas store in Olathe. It meant so much to me as a mother to have had these items as they have helped create a space for quality time and fun with my children. It is items as simple as paper, paint and pencils that you all gave my kids that is creating the best memories for us. I am beyond grateful to not have to have been this year “that Mother” who had nothing to give her children this year. For Christmas, my wonderful case worker also gave a backpack to each of my five kids that came from generous, anonymous donors at Catholic Charities. I did not ask for these, but my case worker saw my needs without me saying them. She asked the right questions about my children’s personalities and picked out the perfect backpack that matched each of their unique personalities. How she knew to pick these so well, I truly think God worked through her.
Overall, my Christmas was one of the best my family has ever had. It was so great to be able to provide an incredible holiday for my family. Without the support from Catholic Charities I would not have been able to provide on my own. Thank you all so much for your support towards me and so many others that walk through the doors of your agency.