Catholic Charities Creating Hope, Transforming Lives
Catholic Charities NEWSLETTER of Onondaga County
Creating Hope, Transforming Lives
Dear Friends, You are probably familiar with the most common stereotypes about people who live in poverty. There is an assumption in our culture that people in poverty are poor because they lack motivation to improve their circumstances. We at Catholic Charities have worked to reduce poverty in Syracuse since 1923; we are witnesses to the fact that these stereotypes are deeply misinformed. Every day at Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, we work with hundreds of people who are doing everything they can to provide for themselves and their families. Many were born into poverty and grew up in resource-poor environments. Imagine trying to succeed in grade school when you are worried about a parent losing a job, stressed by a siblingâ€™s illness, and hungry because your parents have to choose between paying the rent and buying groceries. Those who grow up like this are challenged to meet the requirements of the workforce and succeed as adults. This is where we come in. This is where you, our supporters, come in. We work with expectant mothers and young
In This Issue
children to ensure they have the best possible start. We provide after school programs to help children succeed academically, and programs like Childrenâ€™s Health Home help families manage complex medical needs. Our workforce development programs, like Culinary Arts for Self-Sufficiency and Project Joseph, help people acquire the skills and experience that empower them to obtain and hold steady jobs and, thus, provide for themselves and their families. Through these and all of our 26 programs, some of which are highlighted in this newsletter, we respond to crisis situations, help people find stability, and then build their capacity to be self-sufficient.
New Position for Mike Melara page 2 A New Year for CASS page 3 Volunteer Highlight page 4 Employee Recognition page 5 House of Providence Dinner Honorees page 6
You, our supporters, make these programs possible. Your donations support services that reach 20,000 people a year. Your volunteer work makes a direct difference for people every day. You advocate for us in your community by telling friends and family about the importance of our work. Thank you for your compassionate understanding of the challenges your neighbors face. Thank you for helping create hope in Syracuse.
A father and son, recently arrived from Syria, at English class.
Michael F. Melara Executive Director
CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF ONONDAGA COUNTY |
1654 WEST ONONDAGA STREET
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK 13204
2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS R. Michael Campbell President Dennis Gleason Vice President Patrick Taylor Treasurer Mark Pitonzo Assistant Treasurer Deb Welch Secretary Julian Modesti, Esq. Assistant Secretary Cindy J. Bird J. Carlos Cervantes Joseph L. Charles Michael P. Drescher John Godwin Capt. Jonathan Hamblin Reverend Joann Hicks Kathryn Lindsey Reverend Fred Mannara Ryan McDermott Michael Meath Brian Moore John P. Sindoni, Esq. Camille Tisdel Juanita Perez Williams
SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM Michael F. Melara Executive Director Christopher Curry Chief Program Officer Candace E. Murray Chief Compliance Officer Denise Headd Chief Development Officer T. Scott Kelso Chief Financial Officer Tia R. Sales Chief Human Resources Officer Catherine Willson Executive Assistant
WINTER 2018 NEWSLETTER
MIKE MELARA appointed CEO of Diocese of Syracuse Catholic Charities Catholic Charities is pleased to share that our Executive Director, Mike Melara, was recently appointed as the CEO of the Diocese of Syracuse Catholic Charities, Inc. effective January 5, 2018. Mike has served as the Interim CEO for the past year while maintaining his role as our Executive Director. As CEO of the Diocese of Syracuse Catholic Charities, Mike will continue his executive director role with Catholic Charities of Onondaga County in addition to working collaboratively with the six Area Directors of diocesan Catholic Charities in Broome, Chenango, Oswego, Oneida/ Madison, and Cortland counties. n
1923 SOCIETY The 1923 Society is named for the year Catholic Charities of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse was incorporated. It is a leadership giving society whose members make one or more unrestricted gifts totaling at least $1,000 annually. This support is vital to the programs that help us reach over 20,000 local people in need every year. HOW TO JOIN: Members donate one or more unrestricted gifts totaling at least $1,000 in one calendar year. Membership is limited to individuals, couples, and/or families. Contributions can be made in any amount (quarterly ($250/quarter), monthly (just over $80/month), etc.) through our website or by contacting Margaret Benze at 315-362-7579. MEMBER BENEFITS: Members receive special recognition in our annual report and regular updates on how their support is impacting our programs. First time 1923 Society members also receive a 1923 Society pin. n
CASS IN 2018
STUDENT AGES 2015 â€“ 2017
A paradox of life in Syracuse is that unemployment and job openings are both high. It would be logical to assume that job openings are a remedy for unemployment, but the reality is more complicated. In many cases, people who are unemployed were born into generational poverty and are ill-prepared to meet the requirements of open jobs. This creates a frustrating situation for both employers and job seekers, and further endangers the future of economically marginalized people.
This is where social ventures like our Culinary Arts for Self-Sufficiency (CASS) program come in. CASS and other social venture programs, like Project Joseph, help people acquire skill sets that are currently in demand in Syracuse. CASS trains people in skills needed to work in the culinary industry as well as teaching soft skills like job searching, interviewing, and more. Participants are enrolled in five-week courses and graduate with a ServSafe certificate, a nationally recognized certification for food service professionals.
CASS graduates are always looking for opportunities in the food service industry and current CASS classes are available for catering. If you are interested in engaging with the program in either way, please contact Cody Maggi, CASS Program Manager, at email@example.com or 315-362-7551.
PARTICIPANTS WHO COMPLETEDYEAR COURSE AND GAINED SERVSAFE CREDENTIAL 100
The experience and references provided by CASS has helped many people find jobs in the food service industry. The program enrolls an average of 11 people for every five-week course and job placement is over 70%. These jobs are a vital stepping stone for people living in poverty, enabling them to better provide for themselves and their families and break the cycle of generational poverty. n
Last year, CASS grew significantly and weâ€™re excited to see what 2018 brings for the program. Since catering our Salt City Shaker in October 2017, the program has been catering more events in Syracuse, giving students important experience working events. CASS also currently supplies lunch and breakfast for one of our pre-K programs which helps prepare students for work in institutional settings like hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. The program has also begun to hire students to continue working with us for additional on-the-job training.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF ONONDAGA COUNTY
LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE MARTHA EVANS has been a volunteer with our Refugee Services program for over two years, and in that time, she’s had a big impact on the lives of our clients. Eleanor Carr, center, with Elderly Services staff members
40 YEARS OF SERVICE “It’s quite something to start working in Elderly Services when you’re 20, and stay in that field for 40 years,” says ELEANOR CARR, Elderly Services Director. “When I started, I thought of the work in terms of delivering the same level of care I’d give my own nana. Now I’m a nana. ” Eleanor was first hired by Catholic Charities of Onondaga County in the 1970s. She worked in several different programs brieﬂy before being appointed the first (and so far only) Director of Elderly Services. While the purpose has always been supporting low-income seniors, over the years, program specifics have shifted and evolved. “One of the biggest changes has been in awareness of elder abuse,” says Eleanor. “When I started, we were just beginning, as a community, to have a conversation about elder abuse and what we could do to stop it. Through outreach and education, we’ve been able to help a lot of people who were in dangerous situations.”
“She’s the real deal!” says Helen Molina, a staff member who works with Martha two days a week. “Most days she greets me at the door with Dunkin’ Donuts and we’re off!” Together, Martha and Helen work with some of the most vulnerable members of the refugee community in Syracuse. Helen is an Intensive Medical Case Manager, which means she manages the medical care of recent refugees who are living with complex, dire, and chronic medical needs. She coordinates medical appointments, does home visits, and much more. Martha supports all of these efforts as a volunteer. Martha is a retired RN and brings a wealth of experience to her volunteer position. Because of her familiarity with the medical field, she is well-positioned to help recent refugees navigate the medical system which they often find overwhelming. Martha feels like doing the work she does now continues her life-long purpose of helping other people. The clients she works with trust her because she remains steadfastly at their sides through harrowing experiences. “Volunteering here has been life-changing,” says Martha. “It’s allowed me to take care of people again.”
Today, one of the priorities is helping seniors stay in their homes and maintain their independence as long as possible. Programs like Project Fix, which performs minor household repairs like replacing light bulbs and installing shower bars, helps achieve this. Elderly Services also provides lunches, exercise classes, seminars and more as well as networking with other service providers to ensure people get the support they need.
“Volunteering may have been life-changing for her,” says Helen, “but I’ll tell you this: Martha is a life-saver. Every morning she’s with me, she hops right in the transport van, all full of smiles and hope for the clients. She’s just the best front seat navigator, phone answerer, etc., etc. you could ask for. I wouldn’t give her up for anything.”
“We’re like a family here, the staff and clients, we really are,” says Eleanor. “For a lot of our clients, we become the family they don’t have anymore. We go through a lot together. When I look back on 40 years here, I think: I’m glad I did this. I’m always pleased that this is the road I took.” n
Volunteers like Martha create hope for our clients every day. To learn more about volunteering, call 315-362-7652 or visit ccoc.us/volunteer. n
WINTER 2018 NEWSLETTER
EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION EVENT On November 9, 2017, we celebrated our employees with a 1920s-themed Employee Recognition Event! Employees were recognized for their years of service and for special contributions to the agency. Congratulations to all who were honored.
SERVICE AWARDS C. Walter Driscoll Award Richard Eimicke 40 Years of Service Eleanor Carr 30 Years of Service Richard Kline 20 Years of Service Christopher Curry Jennifer Kline
10 Years of Service Arethea Brown Barbara Cohen Bethany Creaser Mardee Hernandez Mandy Johnson Kathryn Lamon Richard Patrick Maria Pinet Joseph Shortt Heather Storms Amanda Walters
5 Years of Service Patricia Curtis Linda Dombrow Esparanza Davis Brandon Gunn Jacqueline Hallmon Kyaw Kyaw Michael Jones Martin Mauro Beatrice Neema Jessia Porcello Tia Sales Jessica Sweet Alanna Zimmer-Redmond
CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF ONONDAGA COUNTY
33rd ANNUAL HOUSE OF PROVIDENCE DINNER Presented by
J.W. Burns & Company At the annual House of Providence Dinner, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County honors individuals for their exceptional leadership and service to the agency and our Central New York community. The 33rd annual House of Providence Dinner will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 5:30 pm at the SRC Arena in Syracuse. We are excited to honor four exceptional individuals this year. The Bishop’s Award will be presented to Mr. Dan Cummings, Reporter and Anchor for News Channel 9, for his dedication to actively serving people in Onondaga County. The President’s Award will be given to Ms. Kimberly Boynton, CEO of Crouse Hospital, in recognition of her contributions to the enhancement of the Syracuse community. Rev. Jim Mathews and Patricia Bergan, OSF, of St. Lucy’s Parish, will receive the Humanitarian Services Award which honors those who demonstrate a consistent dedication to improving the human condition through a life of service. We look forward to a great night celebrating truly remarkable members of the community. We hope you will join us. Our sincere thanks to Co-Chairs Joseph Charles and Patricia Callahan, and to the House of Providence Dinner Committee for all of their support. All proceeds benefit Catholic Charities programs. n
SAVE THE DATE
Mr. Dan Cummings Anchor/ Reporter News Channel 9
Ms. Kimberly Boynton CEO of Crouse Hospital
Rev. Jim Mathews St. Lucy’s Parish
Patricia Bergan, OSF St. Lucy’s Parish
Please Join Us for the
33rd Annual House of Providence Dinner MAY 9, 2018 SRC Arena, Syracuse For tickets and sponsorship information, visit ccoc.us or call 315-362-7579
WINTER 2018 NEWSLETTER
UNWAVERING SUPPORT John Godwin has always been interested in helping people. When he was a student at Le Moyne, he was a regular volunteer at Unity Kitchens which, at that time, was a men’s homeless shelter. John is a college classmate of our director, Mike Melara, and encouraged Mike to join him in volunteering. Mike credits John with getting him involved in human services, which became Mike’s career. Today, John’s interest in helping his community continues. He serves Catholic Charities in several capacities including volunteer, board member, committee member, and monthly donor. A particular passion of his is supporting the Bishop Foery Foundation, our neighborhood center on the Southside of Syracuse. He enjoys volunteering at the center’s Fresh Food Giveaway, a monthly program that distributes produce and grocery goods to people in the neighborhood. The program provides a variety and quality of food that many people in the low-income neighborhood could not otherwise afford. For John, everything Catholic Charities does is vital. He’s exceedingly humble, but proud of the impact the organization has as a whole. “It’s important to me that people understand the scope of what Catholic Charities does,” says John. “We’re non-denominational and serve people of every religion. The scope is huge.” n
A Bishop Foery student shows off a summer project
With the help of supporters like John, we reach 20,000 people in CNY every year. To become a monthly donor or a volunteer like John, visit ccoc.us or give us a call at 315-424-1800.
SEFCU Late in 2017, SEFCU presented Catholic Charities’ Men’s Shelter with a $20,000 donation. We are exceedingly grateful to count SEFCU among our generous corporate neighbors. n
CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF ONONDAGA COUNTY
Creating Hope, Transforming Lives
Catholic Charities of Onondaga County
NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE
PAID SYRACUSE, NY PERMIT NO. 703
1654 West Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 13204
WAYS TO GIVE
DONATE ONLINE Credit card gifts can be made on our secure site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at www.ccoc.us/giving/
PUT A CHECK IN THE MAIL Checks made payable to Catholic Charities of Onondaga County may be sent to: 1654 West Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 13204
GIVE US A CALL Gifts and pledges can be paid over the phone by credit card at 315-362-7579. Annual pledges can also be paid through a quarterly or monthly payment program established by the donor.
TRANSFER STOCK Making a gift with securities you have owned for more than one year will earn you a double tax benefit. Not only can you take a tax deduction for the full, fair-market value of the stock, you can also avoid capital gains tax on any asset appreciation. Please call 315-362-7528 for more information.
MAKE A LEGACY GIFT Include Catholic Charities of Onondaga County in your estate plan. Consult your legal counsel to explore options.
If you have any questions or need any additional information, please call us at 315-362-7579.
United Way of Central New York
Agency news and updates