Beyond #GivingTuesday: Starting The Next 100 Years of Help & Hope

A new holiday season, a new administration, a new century of Catholic Charities helping neighbors - non-Catholics and Catholics alike - it doesn't matter to us. Catholic Charities advocates for families and children in need, provides meals to the hungry, ensures decent housing for those seeking shelter, responds to individual crises and community-wide disasters, and supports the physically and emotionally challenged. Catholic Charities of New York has always been at the forefront of welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees, and will continue to do so with compassion and dignity.

We've just gone through a tough election campaign that has left many people concerned and dismayed by its tenor. In the Chinese language, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity. We now have a new administration in Washington. This is our opportunity to recommit to organizations, like Catholic Charities, in communities throughout the nation that make a positive difference in people's lives.

Over 400,000 New Yorkers in need depend on our 90 agencies throughout New York to continue to serve and improve their lives.

We want children, families, seniors, disabled individuals, immigrants; those who feel hopeless, those who are struggling, those who are looking for a solution, to know that Catholic Charities of New York will always be there to help. To those looking to join us and provide support, your help is needed. While monetary donations strengthen our abilities to serve our communities, it's important to note that the gift of time is also beneficial. The more people who can get involved in our programs, the better our society will be. Whether your skills are assisting in job training, feeding the hungry, or teaching in our literacy programs, we are always in need of and welcome new volunteers.

These programs and the people behind them are spotlighted in The New York Times "Neediest Cases," which focuses on New Yorkers facing extreme hardships and the dedicated case managers that help them. After working two full-time jobs to make ends meet, David Nublett's independence came to a crashing halt a few years ago when he was hit head on by a car. He has since undergone multiple operations, with multiple surgeries remaining. A former hard-working laborer, David now alternates between wheelchair, walker and cane. He received just enough money to cover his medical bills but nothing else, and was left with almost no money coming in. He began to fall behind on his rent and faced eviction. He reached out for help from our Catholic Charities Homebase program. In partnership with the NYC Department of Homeless Services, our staff provides free eviction prevention services, intervening before folks like David lose their home. We also provide support services afterwards to give them what they need to rebuild their lives. Our case manager Keisha Edwards was able to get nearly $4,000 rental debt covered before Mr. Nublett faced eviction. David still faces more surgeries and a long recovery, but he no longer faces them alone. Thanks to our programs and the support from our hardworking staff, David has begun to look towards the future.

Catholic Charities of New York has worked hard and accomplished much over the last 100 years. As we enter our next century of service, we seek to inspire a new generation of giving as we confront the challenges that lie ahead.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan is the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. Catholic Charities, a federation of approximately 90 agencies and programs located throughout the 10 counties of the Archdiocese of New York, helps solve the problems of New Yorkers in need - non-Catholics and Catholics alike- with services that protect and nurture children, resolve family crises, assist the hungry and homeless, support the physically and emotionally challenged, and integrate immigrants and refugees. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For more information on how to donate or volunteer, please visit our website at

This post is part of a series to celebrate #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement, and the series (which will feature content throughout November) aims to celebrate how people are giving back around the world. For more information about #GivingTuesday, visit here. And to join the conversation on social media, use the hashtag #GivingTuesday.