December 1, 2022
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ – Deuteronomy 15:11
The mission of Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland (CCCSR) is to provide help and create hope by offering the most vulnerable people in Rockland (“our land”) what they need to live their lives in dignity, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Our slogan sums it up well – “The Warm Heart of Rockland.” And that is what we are asking of you this Christmas season, to have a “warm heart” so that CCCSR can be there for everyone who needs us.
“I have not been able to make my own breakfast in five years” – M.W.
M.W. is just one of hundreds of homeless residents for whom Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland strives to provide hope for the future. Each year, from November through April, CCCSR operates the Rockland County Warming Center so that people can be warm and safe when the weather is cold. We run this program in collaboration with the Rockland County Department of Social Services utilizing a “housing first” model as we seek permanent housing.
Catholic Charities also runs a street outreach program in partnership with the Department of Social Services and Helping Hands. David is our Case Manager and shared M.W.’s story:
The last day of the Warming Center, I was asked to transport M.W. to her new place in Orangeburg. When we arrived, we both were shocked at how nice it was. You could see the joy on her face when she got the keys. As I was about to leave, M.W. said, “until you see my place you will not be going nowhere.” She proudly showed me her apartment and even offered to make me breakfast if I returned the following morning. When I was driving M.W. to meet her son in Spring Valley, she became emotional and said she is changing her life for her and her son. She thanked me for always treating her with respect. For the last couple of years that I have known M.W she always had a positive attitude no matter her living situation.
Then there is the story of Y.H. shared with us by Warming Center staff person Kelly. She described Y.H. as a very sweet elderly woman with no family or friends in the area that she could stay with. She had difficulty walking and fashioned knee braces out of old clothing. Kelly asked if CCCSR could purchase a walker with wheels for Y.H. so she could get around, which we did. Now, with a new sense of hope, she was willing to speak with DSS about assisted living. Y.H. asked if Kelly would speak with the facility as she had difficulty expressing herself. CCCSR drivers brought Y.H. to her many appointments while DSS made the arrangements. She expressed over and over how grateful she was that we were there to help and to make her life easier. She gave every staff member a card for Christmas and for Valentine’s Day; Y.H. also sent the staff silk flowers that now decorate the Warming Center!
This is what it means to be The Warm Heart of Rockland…it is our staff who care deeply and believe in the dignity of all. It is why we are all here.
Do you have the warmth in your heart to help your neighbors push through their challenges?
It is easy and there are several ways you can make a donation. You can mail a check or click the “Donate” link in the upper right-hand corner or you can donate by texting CCROCKLAND to 21000 and follow the prompts.
With our overhead privately funded, one hundred percent of your donation goes directly to helping Catholic Charities feed our neighbors and helping families remain safely in their homes.
So, this Christmas, please consider opening your warm heart to help our neighbors.
Bless you and thank you for your support!
Joan Facelle, Board Chair Daniel Eudene, Executive Director
*The names and case scenarios have been changed to protect individual privacy