While there has been an explosion of not-for-profit organizations focused on a specific service or need in recent years, CCN distinguishes itself by addressing the critical needs of the vulnerable across all stages of life, from toddlers to our seniors.
This past week, we held a gathering at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem to celebrate Catholic Charities North's 100 years of service to those in need in the North Shore community.
In 1919, Catholic Charities North opened its doors in Lynn, when the archbishop of Boston commissioned Father John A. Sheridan of Sacred Heart Church in Lynn, to establish the agency with the goal of assisting and counseling families in addressing the many problems that arose in the community, following the First World War. Over the years, as the demand for services increased, Catholic Charities North has answered that call and diversified its services to meet the ever-growing range of needs of a wider range of people throughout the North Shore community. Today, Catholic Charities North operates out of three community service sites (Lynn, Salem, and Gloucester) to address a wide range of needs. While there has been an explosion of not-for-profit organizations focused on a specific service or need in recent years, CCN distinguishes itself by addressing the critical needs of the vulnerable across all stages of life: from toddlers to our seniors. CCN services include:
-- Running the largest monthly food distribution in Lynn. Operating a mobile food pantry, the program in 2018 provided assistance to 4,233 individuals and families who are suffering from food insecurity. Thanks to the support of people like you, a desperately needed permanent food pantry will open in Lynn later this year.
-- Providing high quality child care for 480 children across CCN's Lynn, Peabody, and Malden locations.
-- Preparing 125 youth/adults annually in GED/occupational skill training classes, for career pathways that lead to economic stability.
-- English for speakers of other languages classes in Lynn and Salem for over 300 immigrants and refugees each year, who need and want to improve their English language skills in order to successfully integrate into their new community.
-- Assisting over 200 first-time young parents annually in healthy family home-visiting program services: from pre-natal care to childbirth, to child development and active parenting in communities from Lynn to Gloucester.
-- Reducing the isolation of frail elders in Lynn through Companions, an elder home visitor program.
-- Providing mental health and family counseling services to over 600 North Shore children and adults each year.
These programs are possible only through the generosity of our supporters. Every day, struggling individuals and families turn to us for food, education, and assistance in becoming integrated, self-sustaining members of society. While negative news about the Catholic Church may dominate the headlines, the Church's work with the poor, the hungry, the refugee, and the elderly often receives little notice.
We ask all of the faithful to stand in solidarity with Catholic Charities North in support of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our shared mission is unchanged: "to build a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people."
We are ever grateful to the generations of talented and committed staff who work day in and day out to help those we are so privileged to serve.
We would also like to extend special thanks to our Centennial Event Committee members who were so instrumental to our celebration: Richard and Ginger Blazo, Jay Boyle, Christopher and Sharon Casey, Bernie and Debbie Caniff, James and Janet Coppola, Patrick Delulis, John and Joy Fisher, David and Bonnie Henry, Bill and Ann Leaver, Dr. Maura Magrane, Peter and Betsy Merry, Anthony O'Donnell, David Solimine, Stanley and Mary Usovicz, as well as John Zimmerman.
Deborah Kincade Rambo is president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston.