2020 is a year that none of us will ever forget. The challenges faced by all of us, as organizations, parishes and individuals, were unanticipated and beyond what any of us could have conceived. Illness and uncertainty followed all of us this year. And the most vulnerable—those in poverty, elders, the ill, and children, were in great danger and often struggled more than ever before.
Yet, there was also great hope and opportunity for us and those we serve through Catholic Community Service. Guided by our mission and our Catholic values, we were inspired to rise to meet growing needs.
In 2020 Catholic Community Service did more than we imagined possible:
- Southeast Senior Services delivered more Meals on Wheels, provided more counseling to seniors and support to caregivers than ever before.
- Hospice and Home Care of Juneau provided care to more hospice and home health patients this year than in any year since the program started—all while providing care to patients with COVID-19.
- The SAFE Child Advocacy Center began its first-ever region-wide public education campaign to address the hidden growth of child abuse, enlisting the help of individuals across Southeast to identify isolated children experiencing abuse.
- We grew our volunteer workforce dramatically, starting our new Friends of Seniors volunteer program in Juneau and adding many Meals on Wheels delivery drivers. We grew established partnerships and created new ones with tribes, municipalities, civic organizations and fellow nonprofits to help those in need across Southeast.
There is so much I want to share with you all – I am so proud of the dedicated people I work with who rose to the occasion. I am humbled to be a part of such good works, so thankful to be living Christ’s mission to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort those in pain and infirmity, help those in poverty.
I’m so grateful to all of you who prayed for us and those we serve, who volunteered your time to work alongside us, who gave gifts to make it possible for us to serve as many as we have in 2020.
I know we all pray and hope for a New Year full of health and new opportunities to support one another. As we begin 2021, uncertainty and need continue to be our companions, but so are love and faith.
If you’d like to help us with our mission in 2021, there are many ways to help! And thanks to a gift from the Gaguine Foundation, all donations to Catholic Community Service are matched dollar for dollar, making contributions go twice as far. Learn more at www.CCSAK.org.
May God continue to bless us all in the coming year!
The writer is executive director of Catholic Community Service in Alaska. For more on CCS, call 463-6100 or visit ccsak.org.