At Catholic Charities we serve those in crisis on a daily basis. We consider it our mission to bring hope and dignity to the most vulnerable. We are ready to help in times of greatest need – like last year’s norovirus outbreak at the House of Charity or during Windstorm 2015 or when wildfires raged through Eastern Washington. We pray, and we believe in possibility. We serve knowing we can, and do, make a difference in lives every single day.
But we, along with all of you, are feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of natural disasters and tragedies in our country and our world right now. Hurricanes and flooding. Earthquakes. Gun violence and loss of young life at a local school. Unspeakable violence, loss of lives, and injury in Las Vegas. Sadly, this list could go on.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families.” It feels as though this has become our national mantra. Are these words becoming trite? It is enough anymore? I say, if thoughts and prayers really rest in our hearts, then this is a very good place to start. We pray and contemplate, “God, tell me how to be your servant in these times that seem so dark! Show me how to bring your light!” If we ask and we listen, we will each find our own way to bring hope in these trying times.
- One may be called give to Catholic Relief Services for aid to Mexico or to donate to CCUSA for hurricane relief
- One may be called to organize a donation drive
- One may be called to give and/or volunteer in his or her own community
- One may be called to heal a broken relationship or spend more time with loved ones because life is too short
Compassion is contagious. Perhaps there is no other gift in tragedy then the ensuing outpouring of love. We were called to love one another and show our support for the Freeman community when violence at the high school shook us all to the core. Together we are #FreemanStrong. In the days after the shooting in Las Vegas, people commented on a sense of togetherness and caring in the air – people being extra polite to each other – extra gentle. In these overwhelming times, we cannot allow ourselves to feel helpless. St. Teresa of Calcutta loved to remind us of the power of small acts of kindness.
- “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person next to you.”
- “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
- “Peace begins with a smile.”
- “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
Right here in Eastern Washington, Catholic Charities staff, volunteers, donors, and prayerful supporters make a difference! The good work we do in our own region creates a ripple effect of compassion. Your support of 24/7 shelter operations at the House of Charity – and of the openings of new housing communities and Rising Strong – your attendance at our events and willingness to give time to all our programs – all these things are ways you choose to bring the light into darkness.
You are in our thoughts and prayers, always. We thank you for being a part of our family of compassionate warriors for good in our community, our nation, our world.
President & CEO
Catholic Charities Eastern Washington