Home Commentary Standing Together

Standing Together


By Gregory Kepferle
CEO, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and President, Charities Housing Development Corporation

When we witness a tragedy, we often ask ourselves, “What can I do to help?” Sometimes we might feel like a helpless bystander as we witness so many tragedies affecting our fellow human beings both near and far. We may be overwhelmed by the scope and multitude of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, not to mention the earthquakes in Mexico, the floods in India, the wars in the Middle East and the war-induced hunger in Africa. And then there are the national tragedies of racism and hatred manifest at Charlottesville, the administration overturning DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the global challenge of human trafficking, and our own local challenge of increasing homelessness and mental illness and the lack of sufficient housing that is affordable for families right here in Santa Clara County.

As people of faith, what can we do to stand together in the face of such pain?

At Catholic Charities, we have organized a new initiative of Advocacy and Community Engagement, led by Father Jon Pedigo, to help parishioners and people of goodwill to stand together in solidarity to address both the immediate needs and the longer term underlying policy solutions to issues such as immigration, homelessness and housing, mental illness, human trafficking, and the re-entry of formerly incarcerated citizens. Through our Disaster Recovery Services, we are helping the survivors of the Coyote Creek Flood who still need assistance with housing, and also assisting our sister Catholic Charities agencies respond to the disasters in their areas.

Rather than being bystanders, we can “stand by” those in need. There are three simple ways we can stand in solidarity with those faced by these tragedies: Pray. Give. Act.
To find out how you can volunteer to help, contact Father Jon directly at JPedigo@CatholicCharitiesSCC.org or go to www.CatholicCharitiesSCC.org to donate.