Spring 2018 - In This Issue:
Fort Myers--About  200 golfers participated in the 2018 Charity Golf Classic at the Forest Country Club to support AFCAAM of Catholic Charities.  Proceeds from the tournament benefited the programs and services available at the center for disadvantaged youth in the community. They include the After-School Reading Program, which provides intensive, high-quality after school reading and tutoring for over 100 elementary students, and Youth Mentoring Programs, which provide individual and group mentoring for over 50 at-risk teens. AFCAAM of Catholic Charities is committed to educating youth by encouraging and inspiring them to be life-long learners, community builders and people of service.The fundraiser featured a raffle, prizes, and dinner. A total of 30 sponsors ensured the event was a success. Everyone enjoyed a great day of golf while helping valuable programs that assist students in need. Thank you to all who attended!

Philomena Pereira
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc.

Venice--Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. welcomes Philomena Pereira as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  Pereira has over 25 years of experience working in the social services sector. She has served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Tidewell Hospice in Sarasota. Prior experience includes CEO at Catholic Social Services in Morris County, New Jersey and Assistant Vice President, Community and Long-Term Services at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey, as well as work with additional not-for-profit organizations.  Pereira is a graduate of Ramapo College in New Jersey and earned a Master's Degree in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work.  In addition to her work experience, Pereira is a parishioner of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Sarasota. She currently serves on several boards including the Mental Health Community Centers. She is active in the local community, and a member of the 2009 Class of Leadership Sarasota.
Catholic Charities in Sarasota, Manatee,
DeSoto and Charlotte Counties

Catholic Charities will participate in the 2018 Giving Challenge, an exciting 24-hour giving event supporting more than 625 nonprofits serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. The Giving Challenge will take place on May 1 and 2 from noon until noon. The Patterson Foundation will provide a one to one match for donations up to $100 per unique donor, per organization. The 2018 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation.  No matter the size of your gift, you can "Be The One" to make a positive impact.  Proceeds will benefit Catholic Charities programs that include Our Mother's House, Bethesda House, St. Martha's Early Learning Center, Family Haven, Casa San Juan Bosco, and New Paradigm.  To donate to Catholic Charities on May 1 and 2 from noon to noon, visit  www.givingpartnerchallenge.org or www.catholiccharitiesdov.org.
Our Mother's House will participate in the Giving Challenge Fair at Sharky's On The Pier in Venice on May 1 from noon until 7 p.m. Donors who attend will receive prizes! 

New Paradigm  

Englewood--The Lemon Bay Playhouse will host a special benefit performance for New Paradigm of Catholic Charities on Tuesday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. The playhouse added an extra performance of "The Tin Woman" as a fundraiser for the program by donating the facility and their time. The benefit performance is on a night the playhouse is normally closed and all proceeds will go to New Paradigm of Catholic Charities.The cost of a reserved seat ticket is $25. New Paradigm of Catholic Charities provides affordable, transitional housing to area families who are at risk of becoming homeless. The two-year program is designed to help families develop the skills necessary to live an independent life through mentoring, financial training, credit repair services, counseling, parenting classes and case management. We hope to see you there!

Arcadia--Mothers who reside at Casa San Juan Bosco of Catholic Charities farm worker housing community participated in the All Faiths Food Bank Cooking Matters Class that was held once a week for six weeks. This particular morning, the women made orange oatmeal pancakes, and yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and homemade granola. A total of 18 mothers signed up for the program where they received the ingredients each week to prepare the same meal at home. According to Jenna Jones, Nutrition Director for All Faiths Food Bank, the focus of the class is on how to cook healthy and affordable meals, along with food and knife safety, and grocery store shopping skills. The participants also received a cookbook with all of the recipes and a crock pot. Thank you to All Faiths Food Bank! 

Our Mother's House  

Venice--Give the gift of a mother's love. Honor your mother this Mother's Day with a gift that will help homeless mothers and their children. Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities provides transitional housing and guidance in a safe environment for residents to achieve increased self-sufficiency through education, vocational training, and personal growth. A mother's love can change the world.You can help a mother in need succeed! For information, call 941-485-6264.

AFCAAM After-School
Reading Program  

Fort Myers--Genesis Torres (photo, right), a fourth-grade student who attends the AFCAAM of Catholic Charities After-School Reading Program, won first place in the Aspiring Authors contest at the annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival. The event, hosted by the Lee County Library  System, is the largest one-day reading festival in Florida with a goal to incite a passion for reading. Genesis worked hard on her fiction story, titled "The Bite," with AFCAAM teacher Mary Ann Gebig to enter the contest along with hundreds of other Lee County students. Her top-prize fantasy story was about a snake bite that changes a person for the better. The motto of the AFCAAM After-School Reading Program is "A child who reads is a child who succeeds." Congratulations Genesis! For more information about AFCAAM of Catholic Charities, please call 239-461-0233.
Catholic Charities in Collier County 

Naples--The Youth Counseling Program of Catholic Charities in Collier County was awarded a $180,000 grant from the Naples Children and Education Foundation (NCEF). Founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, NCEF supports effective, disciplined charitable programs that significantly improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. As part of the annual wine festival, NCEF hosts "Meet the Kids Day" where Catholic Charities mental health therapists (photo, left to right) Marta Gallego Adkins and Janeth Tamara provided information to attendees about the program designated for children ages three to 17-years-old.  Counseling is provided  to children and adolescents  to help resolve issues such as anxiety,  depression, behavioral problems, adjustment  issues, and reaction to traumatic events. Counseling is provided in English and Spanish and education is offered to parents as part of each session. For more information about the Youth Counseling Program of Catholic Charities, please call 239-455-2655.
Vehicle Donation Program 

From towing to the sale of your vehicle, Catholic Charities makes donating a car, motorcycle, camper or boat simple! Your contribution benefits Catholic Charities programs and services located throughout Southwest Florida. Donating your vehicle serves people in need who come to Catholic Charities for assistance. We appreciate your support!