Winter 2018 - In This Issue:
Venice--A Ribbon Cutting and Blessing Ceremony was held for the William and Mary Frank Residences of Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities. Bill and Mary Frank were present (photos above and below) to participate in the ribbon cutting with Program Director Joyce Scott (left) and Bishop Frank J. Dewane for the five new apartments in their name. Our Mother's House provides a safe and secure environment where single mothers and their preschool children can attain self-sufficiency through education, vocational training, and personal growth. The program began in 1987 with six to eight mothers and their children housed in apartments shared by two families.Today, 31 years later, Our Mother's House has 22 single apartments. The women participate in on-going case management and counseling as well as life skills and parenting classes, they work or attend school, they contribute a modest rent, and their children attend Early Head Start provided by Children First. Almost 600 mothers and their children have participated in the program since it opened.

Catholic Charities
Board of Directors

Fort Myers-- Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. held the new board member orientation at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish. The meeting included a Mass celebrated by Board Member Father Jerome Carosella who is the Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Boca Grande. During the luncheon incoming Board Chair Dick Rogan (left) and outgoing Board Chair Leroy Jackson (right) presented Catholic Charities CEO Peter Routsis-Arroyo with a plaque for 20 years of service and dedication to the agency. Routsis-Arroyo will be the new CEO for Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Miami.
Guadalupe Social Services 

Immokalee-- Guadalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities serves with dignity and empathy the farm workers, packing house workers, and rural poor of Immokalee. The program reached out to a record number of people last year. In 2017, Guadalupe Social Services assisted 474 families with Financial Assistance, distributed 8,500 bags of food through the Food Pantry and Pantry on Wheels programs, and served 15,800 hot meals at the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen. In the weeks following Hurricane Irma, over 10,000 individuals received food, water, and supplies. Catholic Charities is grateful to all who contributed to the efforts to meet the needs of the victims of the devastating storm. Your backing provides the programs and services necessary for families and individuals to attain a self-sufficient life. 
The 2018 Catholic Charities fund raising event season is underway. There are many opportunities for you to have a good time while doing good for others. Whether you attend a black-tie gala, wine tasting, country and western fiesta, Mardi Gras celebration, salute to veterans, exciting show, or dinner where you can win a trip to Ireland...your support of Catholic Charities programs and services will make a positive impact for people in need in your community.

January 27 - Catholic Charities Ball in Sarasota
February 3 - Venetian Charity Ball in Fort Myers
February 10 - Mardi Gras Madness in Sarasota
February 17 - Sugar Bowl Show of Shows in Bradenton
February 22 - Our Mother's House Wine Tasting in Venice
February 24 - Boots and Bandannas Fiesta in Port Charlotte
March 4 - Venice Veterans Salute in Venice
March 10 - Teach a Man to Fish Gala in Englewood
March 24 - Emerald Ball in Naples



Bethesda House  

Sarasota--For the 18th year, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School sponsored a collection of food for Bethesda House of Catholic Charities. A total of  1,300 pounds of food and $1,000 in donations was donated to the program for the Thanksgiving Food Baskets. Bethesda House provides compassionate support services for persons living with HIV/AIDS.Thank you to all the  students and families who donated! 
Catholic Charities in Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties 

Fort Myers--Members of the Knights of Columbus San Carlos Council 2596 at St. Francis Xavier Parish held their annual "Coats for Kids" fund raiser just in time for the Catholic Charities holiday gift distribution. Council members including Ephriam Caangay (left to right), Al Delrossi, Catherine Garcia and Jose Padilla presented Catholic Charities District Director Chuck Anderson (center) 22 coats for children in need. Thank you for your Christmas spirit!
Our Mother's House 

Venice--The Junior League of Sarasota awarded Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities a "Done in a Day" grant to landscape the courtyard of the newly opened William and Mary Frank Residences location. Through their efforts the overgrown and weed-filled courtyard was transformed into a peaceful haven for the mothers and their children. Our Mother's House provides homeless mothers and their children transitional housing, education, and training. Thank you to the women of the Junior League of Sarasota for their hard work and generosity!
Sarasota--The 2018 Catholic Charities Ball Holiday Sponsor Party was held on the top floor of Northern Trust. Guests were excited about the upcoming fund raising event that will be held to benefit the programs and services of Catholic Charities in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The black-tie gala will happen on Saturday, January 27 at the Ritz-Carlton. A preview of the silent and live auction items was offered and jewelry from Brother Wolf was on hand for purchase for holiday gifts with proceeds going to Catholic Charities. Northern Trust is the presenting sponsor of the 2018 gala and was the generous host of the evening. Thank you to all of our sponsors! 

Catholic Charities in
DeSoto County

Arcadia--Every year this charitable group of ladies host a Christmas Cheer party where guests bring personal care items that will go to needy clients of Catholic Charities in DeSoto County. Patrons of the event are so generous, the basic necessities they donate usually last all year long. Sister Ann DeNicolo of Catholic Charities (second from left) is flanked by hostesses Jacqueline Kelly (left to right), Jane Norton, Gretchen Kennelly, Vicki Doyle, and Cindy Mercurio. This year Sister DeNicolo brought the hostesses Christmas ornaments made by the women who live in the Catholic Charities Casa San Juan Bosco farm worker housing community in appreciation of their assistance. We are so grateful for their annual holiday support and to all who attended this year's party!
St. Martha's Early
Learning Center

Sarasota-- Students from St. Martha Catholic School spent a morning with the children at St. Martha's Early Learning Center of Catholic Charities as part of their annual retreat day. The middle school students came prepared with crafts for each preschooler and also spent time reading one-on-one with the children. The center is thankful to the staff and students at St. Martha Catholic School for planning this special day!