Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It's been a busy week!

Thanksgiving week is not quiet around here.

The parish of St. Vincent De Paul Catholic finished their food drive Monday, bringing several cars loaded with donations. Bethany Christian Church arrived next, bringing another generous delivery from their congregation as well as the Lamar High School Swim Team. The youth from St. Michael Catholic then began organizing and sorting the donations, thereby expediting the distribution of food. And in two days, we've given high-quality food packages to 163 families and currently have a waiting room full of families.

At JobNet, six new people registered with the program, which is rare for a holiday week. In addition, 28 other job seekers came in for coaching, a Quickbooks class, and computer training. More are here today.

The doorbell keeps ringing, with Christmas toys being delivered for the upcoming Jingle Bell Express program. It's a happy sound!

There are two moments this week that stand out to me. The first was when a new volunteer told Volunteer Coordinator Kate Gallup that she can feel the love in this place. Me too.

And then my week started with a hug from Winston, a former client who does our landscaping. He's grateful for what CCSC has meant to him. Me too.

So this Thanksgiving week, I hope you also have experienced generosity, love, a flurry of happy activity, and a hug from a friend. This is what I'm grateful for this week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Today in staff meeting

Every Wednesday afternoon our staff gathers for a weekly meeting. We share what's going on in our work area, with those on the front lines also sharing statistics and insight into the clients we serve.

Staff meeting begins with a prayer or devotion, and today Program Director Karen Holloman opened the meeting with these words from theologian Henri Nouwen:  

Those who are marginal in the world are central in the Church, and that is how it is supposed to be. Thus we are called as members of the Church to keep going to the margins of our society. The homeless, the starving, parentless children, people with AIDS, our emotionally disturbed brothers and sisters - they require our attention.

We can trust that when we reach out with all our energy to the margins of our society we will discover that petty disagreements, fruitless debates, and paralyzing rivalries will recede and gradually vanish. The Church will always be renewed when our attention shifts from ourselves to those who need our care. The blessing of Jesus always comes to us through the poor. The most remarkable experience of those who work with the poor is that, in the end, the poor give more than they receive.

And here are some highlights shared in today's meeting:
  • a record number of students (1,839) had their vision screened this fall; those needing glasses will receive them through CCSC's Louise J. Moran Vision Care program
  • last week we fed 266 families through the two food pantries
  • on Saturday we held a food fair (a free farmer's market for the hungry) and helped 257 families
  • 52 job seekers were helped at JobNet, with seven new people asking for guidance in their job search
  • a record number of students are enrolled in Martha's Way, the program which teaches entrepreneurial skills and launches small business owners
Does this sound good to you? If so, please consider supporting our work by volunteering your time, donating food or clothing, and/or financially supporting CCSC's mission.