Welcome back for Day 2 of
Pathways to Possibilities
Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, Bishop of Nashville, and the Diocese of Nashville!
A brief video message....
Click here or on image above to view video.
Remarks from Judy K. Orr, Executive Director
I am honored to serve as Catholic Charities' Executive Director and to embrace our mission: Following Christ's example, we recognize the dignity of all people and serve our neighbors. Bishop Spalding did a wonderful job on Day 1 of this virtual event, in explaining our work in the broader context of living out our faith through charitable works.
These are daunting times. I am eager, as everyone is, to get past these disasters and look back on March 2020 as a special time when our community showed its true colors, exhibiting tangible acts of love and caring for our neighbors.
I'm reminded of the best-selling book Make Your Bed, Little Things That Can Change Your Life and Maybe the World about leadership in the face of adversity. One of the lessons from the book is the necessity for courage and confidence when you are "up to your neck in mud." This is true for individuals, but also true for organizations. The author, Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, encourages us to never lose faith in our mission or our abilities.
That sentence sums up exactly where Catholic Charities is at this moment.
Two Crises At One Time
No one can remember a time during which Catholic Charities confronted two crises of the scope and scale presented by the tornadoes that struck Nashville on March 3 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Here's what we are facing:
Hundreds lost homes, businesses, and jobs due to the tornadoes in Nashville and across Tennessee.
* Tens of thousands have lost wages due to COVID-19.
* The recovery from both will take months for some and years for others.
* We do not know when life will return to normal.
The demand for Catholic Charities' expertise and services has never been higher. People who never sought charitable assistance before are calling, and we have a waiting list for basic needs.
"At some point we will all confront a dark moment in life....That crushes your spirit and leaves you wondering about your future," writes Admiral McRaven. "That's when you have to reach deep inside and be your very best."
I am grateful to our entire team for their commitment despite the long hours and for their flexibility in adapting how we work day to day, if not hour to hour. We are one of the essential services that is still serving and helping people find the pathway from crisis to hope.
I am inspired every day by our common impulse towards helping those in need, including:
* Catholic Charities USA in Virginia sent our agency immediate funds to distribute emergency financial assistance.
* The Society of St. Vincent De Paul continues delivering food boxes, cleaning supplies, and other necessities to tornado survivors, on our behalf, with contact-less delivery.
* The good people of the Diocese of Memphis donated the proceeds of a special collection for tornado relief in the Diocese of Nashville area.
* Individuals from all over our country have sent us donations for tornado survivors.
As an organization, Catholic Charities knows the importance of that first contact with someone in crisis. Our intake team has grown from three people to 16, dedicated to fielding calls, performing screenings, and directing those in need to the right people inside the organization, for both immediate needs and long-term assistance. Expedited intake is vital to our work with both the Nashville Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disasters and the city's Nashville COVID-19 Response Fund, managed by United Way of Greater Nashville.
If you would like more details about Catholic Charities' response to the tornadoes and COVID-19, please read my executive director updates from March and April or visit the News page on our website.
How You Can Help Today
Let friends and family know about the city's COVID-19 Response Fund if they have lost their job because of COVID-19. Catholic Charities and other organizations are partnering with United Way of Greater Nashville to distribute those funds for emergency financial assistance for qualified individuals.
Consider giving to Catholic Charities' Pathways to Possibilities to assist Nashvillians with long-term recovery. Your contributions will be put to use immediately where there is the greatest need. Click here to donate today.
Help us spread the word about Pathways to Possibilities: Forward this email to friends and family // Like and share posts about the event on Catholic Charities' Facebook page // Make a personal commitment to support Pathways to Possibilities and the work of Catholic Charities of Tennessee today by clicking here
God bless and stay safe!
Join us tomorrow for Day 3 of (virtual) Pathways to Possibilities.
Please share a link to this information with your friends, family, business associates, neighbors, and church commmunity members.