Looking for the face of God through service

Lauren Solidum is the executive director of Catholic Charities.

by Lauren Solidum

Just a month past the Snow Ball, one of Kansas City’s biggest charitable fundraisers, and my heart still bursts with gratitude.

It was breathtaking to gaze out across the sea of over 1,800 people gathered for a common cause — to support the mission of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. Each one of those attendees had prioritized making a difference in someone’s life.

To be part of something with the potential for life-changing outcomes for the people we serve was a humbling experience.

As I reflect on the last 18 months at the helm of Catholic Charities, I realize that each chance encounter with God has not just been in a ballroom full of mission- minded patrons.

Every day at Catholic Charities is an opportunity to see the face of God and to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Sometimes, God’s face is unshaven and standing at the door of Shalom House, our men’s shelter. Sometimes, God’s face is tear-stained and weary while developing a plan with a case manager for both their short-term needs and long-term goals.

Other times, God’s face is that of an infant child being placed into the loving arms of adoptive parents. Every individual we serve is created in the image of God.

All of these encounters, and many more through our 20-plus programs, are made possible by the staff and volunteers who become the hands and feet of Christ — selflessly giving of themselves for others. What a testament of our faith to bring to life the words in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25!

This Lenten season, won’t you join me and our over 1,400 monthly volunteers in renewing your spirit and having your own chance encounter with God?  There are so many ways to engage with the mission of Catholic Charities. Here are just a few:

EXPERIENCE

• Schedule an individual visit over coffee, lunch or after a weekday Mass to learn more about what we do.

• Join us for a tour of a specific site or program.

• Coordinate a “Lunch & Learn” educational event at your parish, school or office.

SERVE

• Schedule a “Serve Day” for your family, parish, school or corporate team.

• Coordinate a food, clothing or personal hygiene items drive.

• Volunteer with your favorite Catholic Charities program.

GIVE

• Make a one-time or recurring financial donation to the area of greatest need or a specific program.

• Host or attend a fundraising event.

• Donate real estate, property or a vehicle and consider including Catholic Charities in your will, trust or estate.

We look forward to serving side by side with you. Thank you for your support!

To learn more about Catholic Charities, visit the website at: catholic charitiesks.org.

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