A Snapshot from St. Mary Church in Bethel
The COVID-19 pandemic changed all of our lives. Many people’s jobs are lost or furloughed. More people need food assistance than we have seen in a very long time. Some households that were once supported by a good job and well-stocked kitchen are now wondering whether they can provide balanced healthy meals for their families.
To safely increase our services during the pandemic, the Food for All program, which used to be a walk-thru food pantry, is now
a drive-thru. On Friday, April 3, at 9:30 AM, cars lined up at St. Mary in Bethel for the pantry that usually begins at 11:00 AM. Mary Grace Ramsey, a student from Northwestern University and back from school, learned about volunteering at the Food for All drive-thru pantry from her mother. “I’ve been spending the past few weeks inside and feeling helpless. Watching the news and not feeling there is
anything I can do to help. So this seemed like a good opportunity to help others by getting food out to people in need,” she said.
The Ohio National Guard and Food for All volunteers unloaded all the food, assembled it into pre-packaged stations and loaded it directly into cars. In total, 133 families / 345 individuals received assistance – an additional surge of 20% new families due to the pandemic that day. “Since then, pantry use has only gone up,” April Hoak, Food for All Coordinator, shared. “We expect these numbers to grow as more people lose their jobs. I invite you to donate your time and money… to serve our neighbors in need. Volunteers are putting food in people’s cars that are coming through, and we just need to stand in solidarity together. We need to be that expression of God’s love and mercy. So thank you for all that you do to make our work possible.”
Catholic Charities offers Food for All drive-thru food pantries five times each month. Churches and community centers in Clermont, Brown, Adams, Highland and Clinton Counties host the pantries and volunteers are welcome. If you are older or at high risk, we encourage you to stay home. If you are healthy and feel comfortable serving within physical distancing protocols, we welcome your help.
Su Casa Delivering Care Packages in a Time of Need
Su Casa Hispanic Center, a program of Catholic Charities, adapted its services to still serve local families in Greater Cincinnati during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ambitious Su Casa staff and volunteers criss-crossed Greater Cincinnati over several days to personally deliver care packages to their most needy clients. Over 180 Su Casa clients received care packages to date.
Deliveries include food from the Freestore Foodbank, face masks, diapers, baby wipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, paper towels, deodorant, shampoo, and detergent. Su Casa is also educating its clients how to remain safe and follow public health orders with materials in Spanish about coronavirus prevention. The drop-offs even include fun activities for kids and information on completing the important 2020 Census.
“We want to say thank you very much,” one client responded after receiving a care package. “Without your help, we weren’t sure what we were going to do. Many of our neighbors do not have access to crisis relief. Su Casa is committed to ensure that no families are forgotten or left behind.”
Additional care package deliveries are scheduled in the near future, but we need the community’s support. To donate to this emergency mission, visit: ccswoh.org/donate/
Learning to Walk Again
Juanita, a 24-year-old from Honduras, recently had emergency appendix surgery. Medical complications from the surgery led doctors to amputate her left arm and right leg. Juanita was in need of a prosthetic arm and leg and did not know what to do. As a mother with young children, she received case management through Su Casa’s program for mothers with young children.
Juanita met with a Su Casa case manager and shared her dream to walk and hug her children again. Juanita informed her case manager that she did not have health insurance and was unable to pay for her prosthetic limbs out-of-pocket.
Su Casa researched different prosthetic and orthotic companies in the tri-state area. After consulting with different providers, Su Casa partnered with Rocco Prosthetic & Orthopedic Center, Inc. Juanita’s story touched their heart and aligned with their service mission. A prosthetic arm and leg were to be fitted at a fraction of the total cost. With funding from Su Casa, through our special donor fund for severe situations like Juanita, a new prosthetic arm and leg now became possible.
With the help of Su Casa, Mr. Richard Rocco, Jr., owner of the prosthetic center, welcomed Juanita and took care of all of her needs. He shared many of his client stories, and all of the stories had a message of hope and faith.
Juanita is now learning to use her new arm and leg thanks to the advocacy of Su Casa and the generosity of Mr. Rocco and donors to Su Casa’s special needs fund.
Overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Deborah’s PTSD began at a young age. While in college, she experienced sexual trauma. After 25 years of dealing with the trauma on her own, she reached out to Catholic Charities Mental Health Counseling for help.
Deborah was paired with a Catholic Charities counselor and shared her story. Through her mental health counseling, she was provided an outlet to tell her story, taught skills to deal with anxiety, coached in ways to improve personal strength and self-esteem, and assisted in gaining insights into unproductive behaviors.
After a number of meetings with her mental health counselor, Deborah’s stress and anxiety have reduced, her relationships with her immediate and extended family have greatly improved, and she has decided to pursue extended graduation education to forge a new career path.
Catholic Charities strives to help clients achieve improved mental health and overall wellness. Our program provides highly individualized care and strives to strengthen our community one individual, couple, and family at a time.
Learn more about Catholic Charities’ Mental Health Counseling.