Charity & Volunteering


Covering uninsured is year-round job
Apr 28 2007
WASHINGTON – At Cabrini Clinic in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, “every week is Cover the Uninsured Week,” says Mercy Sister Mary Ellen Howard, who has directed the free clinic for more than a dozen years. In a city with some 200,000 uninsured adults, the clinic – formally known as the St. Frances Cabrini Clinic of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church – provides medical care, prescription drug assistance and mental health services to about 150 people a week, completely free of charge.

Archbishop calls U.S. immigration policy ‘totally immoral’
Apr 02 2007
MIAMI – Calling U.S. immigration policy toward Haitians “totally immoral,” Archbishop John C. Favalora of Miami has urged “the powers that be” to grant temporary protected status to all Haitian migrants until the political and economic situation in their island nation stabilizes. He also pleaded for the immediate release from detention of 101 Haitians – including 13 children – whose homemade sailboat washed up on Hallandale Beach March 28. One man died during the trip, which the migrants said took 22 days at sea, the last 12 without food or water. A U.S. Coast Guard official estimated the trip took about 12 days. The migrants, some of them suffering from dehydration, are being held by the U.S. Border Patrol at several detention centers in south Florida.

Homeless get their own address
Mar 18 2007
Susan Smith has spent the better part of the past seven years sleeping in abandoned homes, homeless shelters and sometimes in jail. Keith Norris has been homeless for the past 15 years. But thanks to Home Connections, a program of St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, both longtime Baltimoreans were able to move into their respective new residences March 1. Sporting a hooded sweatshirt that reads “Jesus Is My Boss,” Mr. Norris said he spent his last night as a homeless man at Baltimore’s Code Blue Shelter in Butcher’s Hill. He arrived at his new Lower Charles Village apartment by 7 a.m. the next day – more than two hours before movers and Home Connections case workers were scheduled to arrive.

Pope says life will be judged on acts of charity
Feb 12 2007
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI said people’s lives will be judged not on the basis of abstract ideals but on the concrete acts of charity. In a Feb. 10 talk to Italian volunteer groups that provide medical assistance and blood donation programs, the pope said the organizations were helping to spread the “Gospel of God’s love for all people.” Citing the Gospel of St. Matthew, he recalled that when Christ spoke of the last judgment he said people would be asked whether they fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger and opened their hearts to the needy.

Catholic Charities Day in Annapolis
Jan 26 2007
As Del. Steven J. DeBoy Sr. prepared for a busy day representing Baltimore and Howard counties in the Maryland General Assembly, a group of Catholic Charities employees ushered an ex-convict into his office. The Catholic state delegate and special investigator for the Howard County Police Department sized up 51-year-old Edwin Gregory of Baltimore as he settled into a chair in the modest Annapolis office. After introductions were made, Mr. Gregory was able to tell the Democratic delegate how the Catholic Charities’ Maryland Re-entry Program helped him re-establish his life after being released from prison by aiding him with housing, drug rehabilitation, employment as a custodian at Immaculate Conception, Baltimore, and encouraging him as he pursues a college education.

Catholic Charities honors employees and volunteers
Jan 22 2007
Hundreds of Marylanders gazed at the colorful Tibetan prayer flags that bedecked Baltimore’s Renaissance Hotel for Catholic Charities annual dinner Jan. 19, celebrating the distinguished service of two of its employees, one of its volunteers and a school full of students who have provided the elderly with enthusiastic companionship. Catholic Charities executive director Harold A. Smith told the guests who packed the ballroom the white, red, green, yellow and blue Tibetan prayer flags were synonymous with the altruistic service all of the award recipients bestow upon the needy in Maryland. Just as the prayer flags “bless the air passing through them,” Mr. Smith said the honorees “share their wisdom, compassion… and hard work with the community.”

Mount Carmel senior makes a difference
Jan 20 2007
When Chelsea Tolley first started visiting women with developmental disabilities a few years ago at a group home operated by Catholic Charities’ Gallagher Services, the outgoing teen had a hard time making a connection with Joan. An elderly woman with bad knees, Joan refused to get in on the games, discussions and other activities led by Chelsea as part of a volunteer outreach ministry. “She didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” said Chelsea, an 18-year-old senior at Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School, Middle River. “She just sat by herself.”

Young Catholic urges donation of money
Jan 03 2007
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Rich Halvorson is counting on 10 million Americans to fast with him Ash Wednesday, Feb. 21, and to donate the money they would have spent on food to what he terms “highly efficient” charities. Mr. Halvorson, a 25-year-old Catholic from Boise, Idaho, believes the donations could reach $50 million. The charities he’s contacted are themselves willing to match funds donated to accomplish specific projects. The Ash Wednesday program is called Global Fast ‘07 -- because Mr. Halvorson expects there to be a Global Fast ‘08 next year.

St. Vincent volunteer encourages gift giving
Dec 10 2006

Full of energy and with the gift of gab, St. Joseph, Cockeysville, parishioner Geri Olsen is the perfect volunteer for St. Vincent Center in Timonium.

In the blink of an eye, the 65-year-old can start up a conversation with someone and have them making a donation to St. Vincent, a 70¬ bed residential facility for abused children with serious behavioral, psychiatric and/ or emotional problems.

“No matter where I am I just find I’m able to come into giving to St. Vincent’s,” said Mrs. Olsen. “I just think it’s a great cause. I’m always looking for new people who are interested.”

St. Vincent de Paul
Sep 27 2006
St. Vincent de Paul was born to a peasant family in 1581 in southwest France. He was educated by Franciscan friars before beginning studies at the University of Toulouse in 1596. He was ordained when he was 20 years old. Captured by pirates, St. Vincent de Paul was sold into slavery. He was only freed in 1607 after he converted his owner to Christianity. While serving as a parish priest in Paris, he formed groups to help the poor, the ill and the unemployed. With Louise de Marillac, he founded the Daughters of Charity. He also instituted the Congregation of Priests of the Mission (Lazarists). St. Vincent de Paul always worked for those in society who needed the most help: the poor, abandoned, ignored, sick, etc. He died in Paris in 1660, and his body was later found incorrupt. St. Vincent de Paul is patron saint of charities, St. Vincent de Paul societies, Vincentian Service Corps and volunteers.