By Gregory Kepferle
CEO, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and President, Charities Housing Development Corporation
At a Leadership Team retreat a few months ago, we invited our managers to share brief stories of their encounters with our clients. Recently in reading through these accounts, I realized anew what I guess I always knew. The staff members of Catholic Charities are saving lives. They are truly life savers. The tone of the stories was always compassionate, tender and proud of the accomplishments their clients achieved. These are just some of the highlights:
- A young after school scholar stayed late to study at our CORAL program and always asked for extra food because he was alone in the house, while his mother worked three jobs to make ends meet.
- A grandmother successfully applied for guardianship for her three grandchildren through our Kinship Resource Center, while their grandfather works to support them.
- A refugee foster youth, who did not know English, had a speech impediment and developmental disabilities, learned to survive and thrive with a new support system through Refugee Foster Care.
- An abused child slave escaped, was rescued, and now thrives as a foster youth, while another foster youth graduated from school and joined the Marines, proudly serving his adopted country.
- A youth, once involved with gangs, is now free and advancing his education thanks to our Youth Empowerment Services.
- A severely depressed young man who used to hide his face, now through intensive counseling, stands tall with hope thanks to our Behavioral Health Services.
- A woman who lost her daughter, became depressed, turned to drugs, became homeless and went to jail, has turned around her life with the help of counseling and employment services and now has meaningful work and housing thanks to our Employment Services.
- An immigrant woman abused by her husband found safety and the security of legal immigration status thanks to our Immigration Legal Services.
These are just a few of the stories of 40,000 lives saved every year. I invite you to become a life saver and support the work of Catholic Charities.
For more information, visit www.CatholicCharitiesSCC.org/donate-now.