Local News and Stories

New efforts from Catholic Community Service to help those in need

At Catholic Community Service (CCS), even as we find ourselves on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, we persist in our mission to provide compassionate care for the most vulnerable in our communities.

As some other nonprofits have found, this challenging time has led them to reduce or eliminate some services to elders and those who are ill. Catholic Community Service is working to not only continue our good works but reach out and start new efforts to support those in need!

NEW EFFORTS

Catholic Community Service and Interfaith Council Prayer Book

As part of our Hospice program, we provide chaplaincy support and counseling to those who are grieving. During this challenging time, we recognized the need to support our health care workers, first responders, and those affected directly and indirectly by this pandemic. As part of this effort, we have partnered with the Juneau Interfaith Council to create a nondenominational prayer book that we will be making available to everyone we can. We will also be letting parishes and partners order printed copies at cost.

Public Education Ad Campaign on Preventing & Identifying Child Abuse During Social Distancing

Nationally and locally, domestic violence (and therefore child abuse and child witnessing of violent crime) is climbing dramatically during this time of social distancing. Yet the number of children referred to Catholic Community Service’s SAFE Child Advocacy Center (for evaluation and help with healing and recovery from trauma) has dropped dramatically. This is because most children who are abused experience that at home and are identified by trusted, caring adults, including teachers, coaches and neighbors. We are developing a media campaign to educate people and encourage them to check on the children they know and be aware of the signs of abuse they might identify as they Zoom. Our goal is to help individuals across Southeast join our efforts to protect children from abuse and help them heal.

Friends of Seniors Volunteer Program

As fewer services are available to seniors and those who are ill during this time, and interest in volunteerism increases, Catholic Community Service is working to start a new “Friends of Seniors” volunteer program. The program will help seniors, especially those with health and safety risks, get the extra help they need with chores, cleaning and errands to allow them to live safely at home.

But of course, those same challenges of safety and social distancing, are affecting our efforts as well. And as we’ve purchased PPE and extra supplies for safety, and transitioned to delivering “Meals on Wheels” (in containers we purchase to keep lunches warm) instead of offering meals at our senior centers, our costs have gone up… while our revenue from donations and fundraising is going down.

We have had to cancel many of our annual fundraisers, like the Heart of Hospice Fun Run, the Juneau Senior Center Alaska Day Pancake Breakfast, our Hospice Mother’s Day Whale Watch, to name a few.

And since it’s unclear when we will be able to hold publicly attended fundraising events again, we are developing a new donor initiative.

NEW FUNDRAISING EFFORT FOR A TIME OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

Because you are already a part of our mission and ministry as the corporal works of mercy of the Catholic Church, we are telling you all about our new effort before anyone else. We hope you will consider joining us as we work to provide aid throughout Southeast Alaska. Our message is: Join us as a Catholic Community Service CHAMPION!

This is a new annual membership initiative to help us organize support for the charity care we provide in Southeast Alaska. It is hard to ask for donations now, as we are not alone in our concerns regarding financial security. If you can support us in a way that is comfortable, you will be helping us help our communities in a big way.

As a bonus for participating in support of the work we do, Alaska Airlines has generously offered 2 round trip tickets to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. (They are very flexible about scheduling due to the coronavirus, so if you win, you can wait until it’s safe to travel.) Anyone who donates to Catholic Community Service between now and the end of June will be entered into the CCS Championship prize drawing on June 30. Not to mention, any donation $30 or over (which can be made in small monthly payments like $2.50 per month, automatically drawn throughout the year) will receive a free CCS Champion Campaign T-shirt!

TO DONATE, CALL (907) 463-6161 Or donate online at ccsjuneau.org/donate.

All donations are welcome. Even by supporting us with as little as $1 per month, you are a CCS Champion. Together, with an army of Champions, we can keep Catholic Community Service strong and in good financial health. The work we are doing now must continue into the foreseeable future.

And if it’s not a good time for you to donate, please consider volunteering, and as always, please keep us in your prayers!

Be well and God bless,
Erin Walker-Tolles
Executive Director
Catholic Community Service