Called — and calling all others — to serve

Lauren Solidum is the executive director of Catholic Charities.

by Lauren Solidum

As I round out my first 60 days at Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, I reflect on why I am called to this vocation. The answer is clearly summed up in two words: to serve.

There is no better opportunity to serve our neighbors in need than through the many ministries of Catholic Charities. We offer a unique opportunity for all to see the church through service.

But we cannot do it without you. In another two words, I am asking you to join us.

If you have not had an experience with Catholic Charities, I personally invite you to join me in learning more about our programs. If you are unsure where to start, connect with us for a bus tour to understand the operations of many of our ministries.

Maybe you are ready to jump right in and donate your time through volunteering. Together, we can fulfill the Gospel mandate to live out the corporal works of mercy.

Help us feed the hungry by offering your time in one of our eight Emergency Assistance Centers. Or join us at our warehouse, Hope Distribution Center, where food donations are sorted and inventoried before being distributed to our food pantries.

Help clothe the naked through volunteering at one of our TurnStyles thrift store locations. As we prepare to open a third store, we welcome your family or group’s assistance with collecting and sorting gently used donations.

Experience how we shelter the homeless by preparing and sharing a meal with the residents of Shalom House, our men’s shelter in Kansas City, Kansas.

Help us welcome the stranger by getting involved in our New Roots for Refugees program. Share your gift as a tutor for our Citizenship Preparation or English as a Second Language programs.

Together, we can compassionately care for the sick and homebound through our Friendly Visitors, in-home support and Catholic Community Hospice ministries. Volunteers provide companionship and comfort through phone calls, prayer or simply sitting with a patient.

Catholic Charities offers the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community, whether you are Catholic or not. We are a gateway to serve and a gateway to interact with a multitude of other organizations supporting those in need within this community. We need you, your fellow parishioners and your friends to help share the Catholic Charities story.

I will conclude with yet another two words: thank you!

Thank you to those who have graciously given time, talent and treasure to continuing the mission of Catholic Charities. Your contributions have a life-changing impact throughout the 21 counties we serve.

I look forward to getting to know you through one of these Catholic Charities experiences as we join together to serve our neighbors.

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