By Gregory Kepferle
CEO, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and President, Charities Housing Development Corporation
As we move into the seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas, it helps to recall with gratitude the abundant gifts we have received – our life and health, a roof over our heads, food on the table, a loving family, faithful friends, meaningful work, delightful play, the beauty of nature, and the desire to share with others the gifts we have received. All of these gifts have come from God who loves us so deeply to become one of us, to share our sufferings and our joys, our fears and our hopes, and who fills us with the desire to help others in return. I am grateful for each of our generous donors and volunteers, staff members and allies laboring to bring joy and hope to so many suffering people right here in Santa Clara County.
Many of us see the plight of those suffering from poverty, isolation, and hopelessness and ask, “What can I do?” “How can I make a difference to address such a terrible problem as poverty?” I invite you to start by meeting the people we serve at Catholic Charities. Listen to their stories. Feel their courage and hope as they change their lives for good. Then choose how you want to help – volunteer, advocate, and donate. What gift do you have to offer? It may be a gift of time and talent: the ability to tutor a student, to feed a meal to a senior, to advocate for seniors in nursing homes, to welcome a refugee family, to foster a refugee child, to organize your parish to shelter the homeless, to connect a job seeker with a job, to visit the imprisoned, or to testify before City Council to support affordable housing.
Catholic Charities needs volunteers and advocates in all these areas and more. We also need people willing to invest financially to help Catholic Charities prevent, alleviate and reduce poverty for 40,000 people a year. This year, once again we have been given a wonderful challenge by the Sobrato Family Foundation. For every new and increased donation we receive this fiscal year, the foundation will match it two to one, over the next two years. A new or increased gift of $1,000 will leverage an additional $2,000 to help Catholic Charities mission.
I invite you to consider the abundant blessings you have received and to share some of these blessings with our neighbors who struggle with the burden of poverty. They need your help, and your gift will make a difference in changing lives for good.
Visit www.catholiccharitiesscc.org for additional information.