From Judy K. Orr, Executive Director
Support for Pathways to Possibilities
I want to express a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported our virtual fundraiser Pathways to Possibilities presented by First Horizon. Just a few short weeks ago we shared the stories of Demetrius, Deanna, and Linda, each of whom told their story of being helped when they needed it most. Many were inspired by their wish to give back. If you didn’t get a chance to view their mesmerizing stories, please take a few minutes now:
The challenges of the past year along with the disasters taught us all that any of us can be in harm’s way. Our annual fundraising campaign is critical to supporting the ongoing work of providing “Love, Hope, and Healing” to those in need in our community.
That’s why we still need additional gifts to make our goal. Our campaign is not over and there is still time to give!
In a not-to-be-missed rare chat with Bishop Spalding — on the Pathways website — he reveals his own inspiring journey towards answering the call to serve others.
Unidos in Banking Graduates Two Classes
Training people for in-demand jobs is one of Catholic Charities’ most important services and critical to our goal of helping people become self-reliant.
Unidos in Banking is a seven-week program that teaches banking skills to people for whom English is not their first language. The program includes banking-specific skills, such as cash management and customer service, and interpersonal skills, such as relationship building.
The Unidos team pivoted to virtual learning during the pandemic and recently held a graduation for 16 students who completed the program in 2021. Ten graduates are already employed, while the others are in initial stages of the hiring process. Congratulations to the graduates for their accomplishments and the Unidos team for their creativity and commitment during difficult times.
Unidos in Banking is now enrolling students for the July/August session. Please share the Unidos website www.cctenn.org/causes/job-training/unidos-in-banking/ with anyone you know who could benefit.
Whataburger Meets with Job-Training Team
Speaking of helping people find sustainable work, our job-training team recently met with a group of executives from Whataburger who were visiting our city where they plan to open new stores. We were impressed with their corporate commitment to wages that are higher than average for the market and in their commitment to building a culture of employee development and promotion. We look forward to helping Whataburger build their team. And we are thrilled about yet another major entity reaching out to partner with Catholic Charities to try to improve the lives of our neighbors.
Disaster Recovery Update
Catholic Charities has always provided emergency assistance to those in need, but in 2020, we scaled up disaster recovery services dramatically to serve people in mass disasters. Most recently we joined other city agencies to respond to flood survivors. The severity of flooding was second only to the epic May 2010 flood.
Short Term Services Manager Heather Mencke (pictured above) now leads Catholic Charities’ disaster recovery efforts. For a decade, Heather developed expertise in disaster recovery, working most recently with tornado relief in Nashville and before that for Catholic Charities of Central Florida.
We are now recognized by state and local officials as the lead agency for mass disaster relief. If you know anyone still needing help related to the 2020 tornado, recent flooding, or the Christmas day bombing, please ask them to submit an online application for assistance.
Nashville Predators Foundation Grant
Big shout-out to the Nashville Predators Foundation who awarded us a grant to enhance our HOPE Program. HOPE provides free trauma counseling to children who have lost a loved one to a violent crime or who witnessed violence in their homes or communities. The program offers both specialty counseling, and because of the Preds we can expand with innovative play therapy toys and techniques that help children express their fears and anxieties through play.
Youth Soccer Event at McGruder on June 12
Want to check out a real kid-sized soccer mini-pitch built by Nashville Soccer Club? The Nashville SC IMPACT Soccer Pop-Up Tour sponsored by BODYARMOR is partnering with us from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 12 at our Catholic Charities Family Resource Center at C. E. McGruder (2013 25th Avenue North).
Don’t miss this cool pop-up event, which will include family-friendly soccer activities, inflatable pitches, 3v3 tournaments, and drills for soccer skills. Street teams from the Nashville SC and BODYARMOR will be onsite to provide fanfare, music, prizes, and giveaways.
Please join us at this fun and festive event, which is free and open to any youth.
Thank you, truly, for all your support of Catholic Charities over these many months. As we approach our year end on June 30, we would be grateful for any gift that will allow us to continue being the hands and feet of Christ on your behalf.
Judy K. Orr