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by Lauren Solidum
Special to The Leaven

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month. Throughout this time, we have been celebrating the thousands of volunteers who have walked through the doors of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas!

A volunteer, by definition, is a person who freely takes part in an activity without the promise of compensation for services rendered. A volunteer is a person who freely gives — just as Jesus freely gives his love and mercy to each one of us. Our volunteers embody this teaching every single day through their generous service.

Our volunteers are the backbone of our workforce, making the advancement of our mission possible. They serve food, coordinate housing for refugee families, help us tell our story, teach financial education courses, process clothing donations and so much more. The versatility of their skills and talents is second only to the vast breadth and depth of our 30-plus ministries here at Catholic Charities.

Prayer without action is insufficient. Action without prayer is insufficient. We are incredibly grateful that Catholic Charities is a place where both are abundantly present.

As we have seen more clearly than ever during the pandemic, Catholic Charities is a vital extension of the pastoral care provided by our parishes, drawing the people in the pews to enact their faith and bringing those on the peripheries back into contact with our beloved church through service, love and friendship.

Our doors have remained open by the willingness of our volunteer workforce to be that support, that comfort and that provider of physical necessities to families in need for the last nearly 70 years here in northeast Kansas.

The volunteers at Catholic Charities represent a selfless commitment to serving, as Pope Francis so eloquently calls, “the treasure of the church” — the poor.”

They prioritize and recognize the poor and vulnerable in our communities. They serve them physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Although our Lenten journey has drawn to a close, our Lenten commitments do not have to. Catholic Charities offers the opportunity to be the hands and feet in your community — whether you are Catholic or not. We are a great gateway to interact with a multitude of other organizations supporting those in need. Join us. We need you, your fellow parishioners, your family and your friends.

If you have not had an experience with Catholic Charities, I personally invite you to learn more about our 30-plus programs through a bus tour, a Catholic Charities event, or a lunch and learn. Be sure to follow us on social media.

Thanks be to God for those who share their talents with Catholic Charities. Your contributions offer life-changing impact throughout the 21 counties in which we serve. The doors of Catholic Charities are open — welcoming all, serving all.

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We help our neighbors in need move from a place of needing help to one of having hope.

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas serves the most vulnerable men, women and children of all faiths across 21 counties. We provide innovative programs and solutions that stabilize and strengthen individuals and families to have hope for the future. Follow us to stay up to date.

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