A Message From Fr. Jon
The COVID crisis has placed tens of thousands of our neighbors in economic peril. Over 30,000 people depend on Catholic Charities for food each week, and of that number, 22,000 come to our parish locations each week.
As our economy opens up, many of our current volunteers are returning to work and thus, we will need new volunteers. Each food distribution sites requires at least 40 volunteers to run efficiently and safely with current social distancing protocols. Unprecedented numbers of people will need help signing up for public assistance and support in these next few months. While our food distribution relief work requires you to help “in-person”, much of our recovery work can be done from the safety and comfort of home!
Our baptismal call is for us to be the Church, not simply go to Church: We welcome you to invite your parishioners to participate in this incredibly rewarding ministry!
I look forward to working along side each of you in service to our neighbor. Let us love and serve the Lord together.
Fr. Jon Pedigo, STL
Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
Food Distribution Volunteers
Position include: registration, loading, traffic, leads
In order to volunteer you must be between the ages of 14 to 65
Volunteers Needed at the Following Parishes (Click on the Parish where you would like to volunteer to sign up):
Are you looking for a new experience?
Would you like to walk with someone who is struggling right now?
Are you looking to assist someone in a meaningful way during COVID-19 without leaving your home?
This position is geared towards those who are interested in mental health and service navigation. Our Accompaniment Volunteers provide deep emotional and social support to adult clients who have trauma histories and are facing current economic challenges.
Volunteers commit to following clients for a 3 month period (2 hours per week)during which clients and volunteers are mutually transformed through relationship building and service connection.
Our volunteers are supported by full time staff clinicians and through ongoing training and engagement.
This position can function in person or virtually, making it ideal for volunteers who may not be able to help outside of their house in light of COVID-19.
We are looking for Volunteers who speak Spanish, Vietnamese and English.
All volunteers must complete a 4 week training (one evening per week) and pass a Livescan background test and TB test.
Virtual Training will be provided on the following dates:
- Thursday, July 2nd – Trauma and the Mind-Body Connection
- Thursday, July 9th – ACE Scores and BLESS Method
- Thursday, July 16th – Service Navigation
- Thursday, July 23rd – Working With Clients
Each training will be from 5:30 – 7:00 pm and will be virtual.
If you missed the first session and our interested in volunteering please email Lynda DeManti firstname.lastname@example.org
This position is for those who are primarily interested in service navigation. Volunteers staff a phone hotline during hours that they pre-determine and schedule where community members can call and access quick references for help. This position can take place in person or virtually and is supported by full time staff and a tech platform that makes connecting people to services easy and fast. This position requires 2 – 3 hours of availability per week. All volunteers must complete a 2 hour training and pass a Livescan test and TB test. We can use volunteers who can speak Spanish, Vietnamese or English. If you are available to be one of our referral volunteers, please email Lynda DeManti email@example.com
This position is for those who are bilingual in Spanish/ English and Vietnamese/English. These volunteers would provide translation for documentation and publications. Volunteers would need to be available for 4 hours per month. No background checks required If you can be one of our translators, please email our Volunteer Coordinator, Lynda DeManti firstname.lastname@example.org
Sip and Sew Volunteers
Twice a month join other volunteers virtually while sewing masks together to support our volunteers at food distribution sites and other public venues. This position is entirely virtual. No background checks required. If you are interested in joining in this project, please email Lynda DeManti, our Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com
A Happy Ending…With Your Help
“Jane” is a 26 year old single Latina mother who is 2 months postpartum and a grad student at Santa Clara University studying Criminal Psychology. She is the main income earner for her mother, two younger sisters and new baby.
Jane initially contacted Catholic Charities asking for rent and utility assistance. But after talking on the phone, we learned she was also in need of hygiene products, diapers, wipes, and formula for her baby. Her mother had been admitted to the ICU earlier that morning and her two sisters were doing their best to help Jane but all three of them were overwhelmed. She only had 2 diapers left and a quarter of a can of formula. And there was only one loaf of bread left in the house. They had no money in their bank accounts. We immediately dispatched the Parish Engagement team.
Within 48 hours, the parishioners from Santa Teresa, guided by Lynda DeManti, had delivered 1,000 wipes, 6 boxes of diapers, a bassinet, a rocker, a swing, piles of clothing, hygiene products for Jane and baby, 4 Costco cans of formula, blankets, toys, and books. People sent money in the forms of gift cards and donations. Martha’s Kitchen granted Jane $1,000. A lactation consultant and other women offered to go through our Accompaniment training to be mother’s helpers to Jane. Another parishioner offered her a job at Target!
When we were able to surprise Jane with these gifts and good news, she was visibly overwhelmed. And this was the quote that stuck with our team the most: “I can’t wait to take a shower with my baby with soap.”
The poverty that our clients face every day is real. But so is the kindness of our parishioners. The way that the community responded to this call and bought the supplies, dropped them off at the Parish and offered to walk with a young woman they don’t know – but knew that they could support – this is true accompaniment in action. This is the work of Parish Engagement.