On a warm August night a few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending the annual outdoor gathering of Refugee Foster Care youth and families at Catholic Charities. The Eritrean Community served a delicious dinner. A staff member volunteered as DJ. Refugee youth from around the world danced and sang exuberant and poignant songs. We welcomed new families and renewed friendships. What a celebration of life! What a celebration of joy! These children and youth had endured horrendous journeys and suffered the loss of their families on the way to this place of safety. Their new host families made sacrifices to open up their homes to these young people. They made new lives together with the help of competent and compassionate staff and volunteers. And so it was time to celebrate and give thanks for safe deliverance and for new life.
Celebrations of life are happening throughout Santa Clara County, whether by seniors at Catholic Charities senior centers, youth at our youth centers, children at our CORAL after school and First Five Resource Centers, immigrants who have become citizens, refugees who have found safety, adults who have found jobs through our Employment Program, or donors and volunteers who have found the joy of giving. I am so encouraged by the people we are honored to serve. In the midst of their struggles, they find the chance to celebrate victories large and small. And that is contagious – celebrating the joy of graduating, the joy of getting a job, the joy of finding a home, the joy of a new child, the joy of learning, the joy of long friendships, the joy of healing, and the joy of freedom.
Learn more about how Catholic Charities celebrates new life by visiting, www.CatholicCharitiesSCC.org.