Catholic Charities Update – Summer 2020
Added Oct 14, 2020

From Judy K. Orr, Executive Director

Catholic Charities, Conexión Américas announce new partnership

South Nashville Family Resource Center has new home

Success in the nonprofit world is often proportional to the partnerships you form. I am excited about our new partnership with Conexión Américas that will relocate our South Nashville Family Resource Center team to Conexión’s Casa Azafrán facility in August.

Catholic Charities and Conexión are the definition of complementary organizations. Together, we will serve the full range of client needs from financial assistance for an immediate crisis to job training to parenting skills and so much more.

The South Nashville team includes five employees who will work at Casa Azafrán full-time and four others who will work there part-time. Collectively, they specialize in support services – such as case management, immigration assistance, parenting, and counseling – tailored to the Hispanic and Latino communities.

What excites me most is that we can take what we’ve learned from our work at Catholic Charities at C. E. McGruder in North Nashville to create yet another true family resource center. More than anything, we have learned the importance of having a convenient location in the community where people know and trust they will find a wide range of support and care.

I am immensely grateful to Conexión for welcoming us. And I cannot wait to see the impact on our South Nashville neighbors over the next year.

Pathways to Possibilities 2020

Thanks for helping us exceed goal

The coronavirus pandemic forced us to change Pathways to Possibilities, our largest annual fundraiser, from an in-person to a virtual event this year.

I am happy to report that we exceeded our goal of $125,000. In total, we raised a little more than $135,000. Thank you to everyone who gave and shared information about Pathways with their friends and family. This is a testament to the strength and caring of the Catholic Charities community.

The proceeds from Pathways are already being put to use in the Nashville community helping those impacted by the March tornadoes, job loss due to coronavirus, and other challenges that we address.

I want to say a special thank you to Bishop J. Mark Spalding for his unwavering support as well as Claudia and Pete Weber, who recorded an introductory video for us. Pete was scheduled to serve as master of ceremonies before we were forced to postpone the event.

Counseling vital to recovery

Counseling team already helping with emotional toll from pandemic, tornadoes

Catholic Charities knows from our recovery work after the historic Nashville flood in 2010 that it took as long as two years for many people to recover fully.

The physical recovery was relatively short, compared to the emotional and psychological recovery, which took much longer.

Every day, we see news stories about the negative effects of the coronavirus on mental health. There is so much frustration, grief, anger, confusion, isolation, etc. The Tennessee Register explored the especially devastating impact on immigrant and refugee communities.

The emotional recovery from coronavirus and its economic toll – which is magnified for some by the March tornadoes – will last many years. These setbacks can have multi-generational impact.

Catholic Charities’ extensive team of licensed counselors has been in the trenches helping. Our therapists have a broad range of experience working with children, adults, and families to mitigate the effects of depression, anxiety, interpersonal and relationship challenges, and even trauma from violent crimes. Catholic Charities at Casa Azafrán will offer bilingual counseling to serve the Hispanic and Latino communities.

At its core, counseling helps people develop coping and resiliency skills. Counselors typically work one on one with clients either in person (when possible) or via telehealth. Counselors also manage groups who share common issues, such as honing parenting skills.

Counseling may not be our most high-profile service, but it is vital for our neighbors to endure and recover from the current crises.

Importance of listening

Recognizing the dignity of all people

This is a short but poignant story about the importance of listening right now.

When people call Catholic Charities, the first person they often speak with is Susan Netter, our receptionist. Susan tells me that she prays every day that those most in need, especially those who have fallen through the cracks, will call Catholic Charities. Before saying goodbye, many callers thank Susan for just listening when nobody else did.

Taking time to listen is how we can all answer the call of our mission statement, to recognize the dignity of all people, and begin to restore their hope.

Tornado relief team expands, returns to work

Experienced team leads effort in North Nashville

The tornado relief team in North Nashville is back to work after several months of being sidelined by coronavirus.

Shaveh Jackson is our newest addition. She joined Catholic Charities as tornado case manager. Shaveh is very familiar with the North Nashville community having worked most recently for Gideon’s Army.

Shaveh joins Alisha Haddock, director of community-based services and manager of McGruder, and LaShunda White, case manager at McGruder, to solidify a talented, experienced team to help 37208 residents impacted by the tornadoes make repairs to their homes or, if necessary, find new housing.

Catholic Charities 2020-21 Board of Trustees

Board elects new officers, welcomes four new members

The 2020-21 Board of Trustees officially took office on July 1 with the start of the new business year.


  • President – Matt Curley – Bass, Berry and Sims
  • Vice President – Gina Emmanuel – Centric Architecture
  • Treasurer – Mike Nunan – Nunan and Associates
  • Secretary – John Brew – Gresham, Smith and Partners

Board of Directors (* denotes new member)

  • Heidi Bundren – Nashville Predators
  • Sherry Cummings * – University of Tennessee College of Social Work
  • Deanna Dibin * – Carr, Riggs & Ingram
  • Katherine Duck – Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
  • William Farmer – Farmer Purcell White & Lassiter, PLLC
  • Deacon Bill Hill – St. Vincent de Paul Church
  • Reverend Mark Hunt – Mary, Queen of Angels
  • Shandy Husmann – Huron Consulting Group
  • Catherine Kelly * – Community volunteer and co-owner of Jimmy Kelly’s Steakhouse
  • Stacey Garrett Koju – Bone McAllester Norton PLLC
  • Mark Lenihan * – Sims Funk
  • Bill McGugin – Iroquois Capital Group/Reit Investment Group
  • Jim McIntyre – Father Ryan High School
  • Greg Pope – Saint Thomas Health
  • Mike Ratino – Asurion
  • Rochelle Reding – Coldwell Banker Barnes
  • Patrick Sheehy – Tennessee Business Roundtable
  • Russell Taber – Riley, Warnock & Jacobson
  • Drew Tyrer – TriStar Summit Medical Center
  • Michael Veinbergs – Regions Bank

Judy K. Orr, Executive Director

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