By Gregory Kepferle, CEO
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
Every day at work I see people coming and going through our front door and our side doors. People may have been waiting in line to see a counselor or to get legal help, or they have a group meeting. The other day I happened to have a meeting at Catholic Charities’ John XXIII Center in downtown San Jose and saw seniors lining up outside to get lunch tickets or to join an ESL class. Now, they didn’t need to line up. Each of them would have a place at the table and receive an abundance of food, thanks to our generous donors. Yet they still stood in line, not out of fear of getting left out, but out of a desire for companionship, a simple conversation with friends on a sunny day. As I held the door open and welcomed them into our center, I felt a simple yet profound sense of joy and gratitude for their lives. Many were immigrants or refugees who suffered war and dislocation years ago, and now in their 80’s and 90’s still wanted to learn English and to spend time with friends in a welcoming healing environment. What an inspiration!
At Catholic Charities, we open doors of hope every day to people of all cultures and beliefs. I am constantly moved by the courage it takes for people to walk in through our doors and ask for help to improve their lives. Whether it’s children in our early childhood or afterschool education programs, youth in our gang prevention programs, adults wanting to be better parents or better citizens, people with mental illness or just released from jail seeking healing and jobs, immigrants and refugees seeking safety and freedom, or seniors wanting to learn English – they all have hope.
During Catholic Charities Appeal this May, I invite you to help open a door of hope for those in need of our mercy. Please contribute to Catholic Charities as we alleviate, prevent and reduce poverty in our valley. With thousands struggling to make ends meet, the need is urgent, but with your help we can be the hands of mercy and open the doors of hope.
For more information please visit www.CatholicCharitiesSCC.org.