Monthly News & Updates           February 2023

Dear Friends:

How does Catholic Charities make a difference in our communities? This is a question of significance as we reflect on our past and move into the new year with the lens toward celebrating 100 years in September 2024. Several thoughts for your consideration.

We serve people in need, many experiencing difficult and dramatic circumstances;

We offer varied essential services, many that are interconnected such as counseling and food insecurity;

We engage with multiple partners and populations, many located in both rural and urban locations;

We recruit and retain dedicated and talented staff, many who have long tenure with us; and,

We embrace a rich legacy and tradition of service, care, and compassion for 99 years.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve. We value the many ways you help Catholic Charities in support of our mission and ministry. In 2023, we invite you to continue our partnership to empower individuals and strengthen families. Participate in our annual appeal. Attend our annual fundraiser, Shamrocks and Shenanigans on March 4. Donate to our programs. Volunteer in our communities.

With Gratitude and Blessings in February,   

Barbara Q. Decker

Catholic Charities Executive Director

Catholic Charities annual fundraiser

 Shamrocks & Shenanigans!

Tickets available for purchase now Auction items now live and ready to bid on - need not be present to win. All proceeds go to supporting Catholic Charities programs. All are welcome!

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Each February, Teen Dating Violence Awareness month is dedicated to raising awareness about unhealthy and healthy relationships, warning signs and preventative measures. Through their many outreach and educational activities, advocates at Catholic Charities Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault program work to increase awareness and help the victims of violence.

High School Students RISE up for Refugees

Thank you to Valley High School's RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Student Embassey) student group for collecting various items for our Refugee Resettlement program! The RISE members are multilingual student leaders who are matched with a student who is new to the country and shares hobbies and at least one common language.

In Memoriam

Catholic Charities Food Pantry lost a good friend in December. Fred Polle was a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Urbandale and a regular volunteer at the Food Pantry every Tuesday and Thursday morning for many years. Prior to the COVID disruption, Fred and his St. Pius crew of 6 or so volunteers made regular trips to the Food Bank of Iowa to load their pickups with food to distribute at the pantry. Once the food was unloaded, Fred could often be seen assisting guests with their monthly groceries. Fred never allowed any of his counterparts to outwork him. We will miss his upbeat attitude, hearty laugh, and contagious smile. God bless you, Fred.

Catholic Charities Welcomes Bilingual

Therapist to Counseling Team

Catholic Charities is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Schroeder MA, TLMHC, NCCI to the counseling team. Liz has experience in trauma focused therapy and is fluent in both English and Spanish. She strives to build a safe and trusting environment for all of her clients and help them have a better understanding of themselves.

Caridades Católicas se complace en dar la bienvenida a Elizabeth Schroeder MA, TLMHC, NCC al equipo de consejería. Liz tiene experiencia en terapia centrada en el trauma y habla inglés y español con fluidez. Se esfuerza por crear un entorno seguro y de confianza para todos sus clientes y ayudarlos a comprenderse mejor a sí mismos. Las áreas de especialidad de Liz incluyen trabajar con la ansiedad, los trastornos del estado de ánimo, la depresión, el duelo, la autoestima, el acoso laboral, las habilidades de afrontamiento, las relaciones con los compañeros, los problemas de comportamiento y el trauma.

Click here to book an appointment or get more details on Catholic Charities counseling program.

The celebration of Black History Month every February also reminds us how our work at Catholic Charities serves to protect the human rights and dignity of every person. We humbly accept this responsibility to one another, to our families, and to the larger society. Learn more about Black History Month online here.

Mark your Calendars Breakfast with the Bishop April 19th 2023!

Join Catholic Charities April 19th for a morning filled with education of Catholic Charities programs, breakfast and of course Bishop Joensen. More details to come on purchasing tickets.

Donate Now

Your Support Serves Thousands in Central and Southwest Iowa

Catholic Charities Annual Appeal is the primary funding source for Catholic Charities along with government and private grant funding.

Donors who commit to an annual gift help strengthen and empower individuals and families through some of the most difficult times in their lives. Consider an annual gift that will help all year!

Donate N

Serving those in need within the Diocese of Des Moines

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Des Moines serves those in need within the 23 counties of the Diocese of Des Moines in southwest Iowa. Our mission to empower individuals and strengthen families applies to anyone in need in the area, regardless of demographic. Our mission is rooted in Catholic Social Teaching. Our programs and services include refugee resettlement, professional counseling, food pantry, domestic violence and sexual assault shelter and services, emergency family shelter, case management, and more. We impact more than 25,000 individuals each year.


Find more information about Catholic Charities at

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