Contributors Inside Catholic Charities

‘As I have loved you, so you also should love one another’

Lauren Solidum is the executive director of Catholic Charities.

by Lauren Solidum

God commands us to love one another. What does that mean for each of us?  

At Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, love goes beyond our deep emotion for God and those we hold dear. It is an action. It is willing the good of others by engaging in the corporal works of mercy and serving our most vulnerable neighbors of all faiths.

Love is feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty

Our family support centers offer food, giving those we serve a dignified shopping experience that includes a selection of items appropriate for families’ dietary and cultural needs. Fresh produce and other shelf-stable foods are also distributed to those in need in underserved areas, including our rural communities.

Love is clothing the naked

Our TurnStyles Thrift stores serve as an affordable shopping option for the community, featuring name-brand new or gently used clothing, shoes and other apparel, as well as housewares and furniture. Store proceeds provide critical support for our programs.

Love is sheltering the homeless

We work with landlords and give direct financial assistance to help families who may be at risk for eviction due to unpaid rent and utility payments. Our Shalom House Men’s Transitional Living Program offers safe, stable housing while providing educational and employment support.

Love is welcoming the stranger

We provide hospitality to refugees forced to flee their country out of fear of persecution or even death. We resettle them, providing social and emotional support. We also offer training programs, job assistance and classes to help them acclimate to their new home. For those who have the desire to become U.S. citizens, our immigration team provides legal services.

Love is counseling the doubtful

We provide caring and confidential counseling to women who are facing an unexpected pregnancy, and walk the journey with them as they make the difficult decision to either parent or give the child to an adoptive married couple.

Love is sharing knowledge

We help families break the cycle of poverty by giving them the support and skills to overcome barriers to educational and career advancement. For those who are unemployed or underemployed, we provide the essential training and employment placement assistance to achieve high-demand, high-earning employment. Our financial classes help individuals create a budget, increase their savings and avoid high-interest predatory loans.

How are you being called to love? As we approach Lent, consider shifting your focus of giving something up to putting love into action! Catholic Charities needs volunteers of all ages and abilities to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus. To learn more about our ministries and volunteer opportunities, follow our 40 Days 40 Ways social media posts beginning on Ash Wednesday.

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Lauren Solidum

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