Stories of hope unfold at Catholic Social Services

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For many Alaskans, November, means the start of a season of thanksgiving and giving back. It’s also a time to celebrate stories of hope and strength and second chances that are a direct result of the community coming together.

I want to share with you the story of 24-year-old Emily, who while pregnant, became the legal guardian of her four brothers and sisters. Money was tight so they stayed at a shelter and St. Francis House food pantry in Anchorage provided them with healthy food.

When her siblings moved back in with their mother, Emily turned to Brother Francis Shelter. Her new job was within walking distance. Emily worked with a Catholic Social Services’ case manager and received financial counseling.   While staying at Brother Francis Shelter, she managed to save more than $6,000 and bought a used car. As Emily’s pregnancy progressed she moved to Clare House along with other women with children. She continued to work, saving enough money and securing a down payment on an apartment in South Anchorage. Emily is full of gratitude that she will be bringing her baby to a permanent home.

Every day, many stories of hope unfold at Catholic Social Services. They may include a neighbor, a friend, or the story could be our own. But even if we and our loved ones are fortunate enough to not be in need, that total stranger is a member of our family — God’s family.   As God is so generous with us, we are called to be generous to others.

Emily’s story of hope and how she accessed four Catholic Social Services programs is a testament of how the community’s generosity helps us create positive change for others. Because of your support, through our eight programs, we are touching people who are hungry, seeking shelter, searching for pregnancy counseling, or needing rental assistance. This month, I encourage you to help us help others with your time and/or resources. You can start by going online to www.cssalaska.org to learn more about what we do.

 

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”

  • Proverbs 23:18 (NIV)

 

The writer is executive director of Catholic Social Services in Alaska. For more information about CSS, call 276-5590 or visit cssalaska.org.


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