Here is an amazing picture of Catholic Charities’ most recent and successful Food Giveaway! They served 69 families and distributed 211 bags plus 80 Easter Baskets!
See the great work that Catholic Charities of Newark is doing during this pandemic and year round at @catholiccharitiesnewark on Instagram. To find out how you can help organizations such as this, and many more with just one donation, visit holidayfund.org!
FAMILYConnections gives back to their community in so many ways. Here’s an example on how one person reached out and was able to take advantage of the services provided to help lift them up in their own life.
Valerie is a single mother of two children whose eldest child was eligible for camp based on his age. The mother reached out to the Fresh Air Fund for a campership. Valerie never experienced camping but her son always wanted that experience for himself.
The Fresh Air Fund provides young people with an outdoor experience.
She wanted her child to become more independent and felt that camping was the ideal activity. She knew that this experience would give him many opportunities that she could not. The mom’s income was meager and barely meeting the household needs. There was no extra money for outside activities for the children.
A scholarship was granted for her son to attend summer camp and he was selected to attend a residential camp for two weeks. A huge smile came upon his face as he was anticipating what camping would be like.
The overnight experience gave him a sense of independence. While at camp, he interacted with other children, engaged in activities, was very energetic and never lost his smile. Upon his return from camp, his mom noticed how independent her son had become. The mother is ecstatic.
The fresh air, the outdoors and various activities had such a positive effect on her son. He can’t stop talking about his experience. The parent was very thankful for the Fresh Air Fund. Valerie was thankful for the opportunities and the experience that her son received.
Donations to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund can help to support a child not only during the holidays, but also throughout the year.
Rosanne Estwanick of Cranford meets regularly with a caregiver clinician in the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark New Jersey complimentary Caregiver Counseling Program. This program offers individual caregiver counseling to help alleviate the emotional distress (anger, frustration, guilt, isolation and depression) that many caregivers of elderly individuals experience.
Rosanne cares for her mother, Rose, who is 107 years old and very frail. During a recent meeting with Caregiver Clinician Margaret McGroary, MSW, LSW, Rosanne shared that her mother was going to lose her Cranford home. Rosanne grew up in this home, which the family has lived in since 1947. Now, they were in danger of losing the house because the two women were unable to pay the property back taxes. Rosanne lost her job at AIG and assumed her role as a caregiver to her mother full-time. Both she and her mother live on a fixed income.
McGroary helped Rosanne organize a GoFundMe page and share her story with a variety of media outlets. Thanks to the attention the story received, Rosanne and her mother were able to raise over $22,000 toward back taxes.
Unfortunately, many caregivers face difficult decisions when caring for their loved ones. Most are unaware of resources and support available to help them. Many need help with estate planning and other paid services that are just out of reach due to the high cost for services. For Rosanne, saving her mother’s house has taken a huge burden off her shoulders, but she is already concerned about next year’s taxes as the house is located in Cranford where, like many of the quaint towns in New Jersey, property taxes are high.
The Caregiver Counseling Program gives caregivers the support they need emotionally while also helping to connect them to the many services available to the elderly in Union County.
He is currently undergoing an Individual Education Program/Plan (IEP), which is a written plan that describes the programs and special services a student is required to follow in order to be successful.
The process began after his teacher, Ms. Osborne, reported that Kyle would wander off during large or small group activities. However, he would gravitate toward puzzles, the block and discovery areas of the classroom. When asked cognitive questions he would sit and smile yet never communicate. As time went on, Kyle started to lash out when it came to directives in the classroom.
Ms. Osborne kept anecdotal notes on his actions and she brought her concern to the family workers and the social worker. As a team they communicated with Kyle’s parents and encouraged them to speak with the child study team of Newark Public School. As the IEP progressed, they recommended evaluations that included educational, speech and occupational therapy assessments and an autism consultation.
A variety of therapists were assigned to help, including a personal aide to work with Kyle in the classroom. Accommodations that worked best for Kyle included sitting close to the teacher, prompting, and reminders of rules and routine throughout the day. He began to show progress, which made the teacher and his parents very happy. His tantrums were lessened as therapists, his parents and teacher worked to help him. In time, Ms. Osborne reported that Kyle was improving more every day. He began to communicate and interact more.
He sits in the front with Ms. Osborne as she teaches group activities, which helps him participate in activities.
The IEP process was a success as it helped Kyle and his family prepare for grade school. Those at the Newark Day Center are happy they were able to help get Kyle on track with his learning and child development.
Like many teenagers, Sean began experimenting with marijuana and
became a frequent user; however, it was not until his late 20s that he
began using heroin. Around this time, Sean became involved in a
relationship that turned abusive. The relationship came to a sudden end
when Sean was arrested after defending himself from his abuser.
Upon his release from prison, he was referred to the Family Service Bureau of Newark for substance abuse treatment.
the transition back into society was not easy, Sean did not use heroin
again. Instead, he actively participated in his treatment, attending
groups and individual counseling since early this year. During his time
at the Family Service Bureau of Newark, Sean has found stable housing
and regained employment and he now works to serve his community.
there is a strong stigma against counseling within the African American
community, Sean has been open to the support and growth that counseling
has provided for him. Sean has rebuilt his relationships with his
family members and friends and he has started to develop a better
understanding of what a healthy relationship looks like.
his time in counseling, he has faced some recent losses, which has been
challenging for him to cope with. Despite these losses, Sean continues
to find ways to be a positive person and maintains his recovery. He has
been able to see the benefits of attending counseling as he has learned
to use it as a form of support in order to prevent himself from
The sisters are energetic and smart and looked forward to attending
camp. They loved learning new things, and meeting and making new friends
while reconnecting with their old ones.
A break from the city and
into an environment where they can run and play freely is what Janet
was seeking for her daughters, but her household income was meager.
had fond memories of going to camp herself as a child and loving it so
much that she was never ready to return home. She wanted that same
experience for her children. With the aid of the Fresh Air Fund it was
made possible for the girls to have two weeks of day camp.
and Naziah enjoyed the bus ride every day to the camp site where they
were able to see different farm animals and a pond along the way.
at camp they interacted with other campers in various activities, such
as bike riding, nature/science, swimming, drama, board games, music and
so much more. Niyea and Naziah often include their little sister while
talking about their day to day activities.
Janet was pleased that
her daughters enjoyed attending camp, and for the chance to be out of
the city and in the quietness of nature, being a kid and not worrying
about their surroundings. The girls would always have a lifetime of
memories thanks to Fresh Air Fund.
A contribution to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund will continue to help support children and families during the holiday season.