Catholic Charities E-News
Serving Southwest Florida 
In This Issue
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List 
Quick Links
 Summer 2011
We invite you to take a few minutes to learn more about the work of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. If you have any questions, reply and let us know. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your colleagues, friends and family.


How You Can Help
Catholic Charities Care Programs 
We can too

This summer Catholic Charities Care Programs are asking you to help our educational services that teach essential life skills to people in need. Many adults and children require a better way of living and Catholic Charities provides a variety of classes and tutoring that enable individuals and families to become more self-sufficient and healthy.
Thank you for supporting these vital programs. Click HERE to donate online.  
Catholic Charities receives national reaccreditation


Venice--Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). Catholic Charities has been recognized as an outstanding human service provider.

"The national reaccreditation signifies that Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice is one of the best social service agencies in all of Southwest Florida," said Peter Routsis-Arroyo, CEO of Catholic Charities. "It assures our supporters that we meet best practice standards in all areas of operations including programmatically, financially, and ethically. It also is a way of assuring our donors that we are utilizing their donations as they want us to," he said.

"It goes without saying that all of this is not possible without the tremendous dedication continually shown by Bishop Frank Dewane, our board, staff and volunteers," Routsis-Arroyo said. 


First Time Homebuyer Class sees increase in students


Bradenton--The monthly free First Time Homebuyer Class offered at Catholic Charities of Manatee County has witnessed much popularity lately due to the availability of affordable homes, according to Catholic Charities Housing Counselor Lucy Sanchez. "There are definitely bargains out there," she said.

Four main topics are covered in the all day class that is provided in both English and Spanish. They include: Steps To Successful Homeownership; Winning Credit History/Shopping for a Loan; Shopping for a Home/Choosing a Realtor; and Home Ownership. Participants in the class also are eligible for assistance from the Bond Program of the Housing Finance Authority of Manatee County. For more information, please call 941-714-7829.

Annual fundraiser features Motown musical greats  





Venice--The Fourth Annual Sugar Bowl Show of Shows will be held Sunday, November 6 at 2 p.m. at the Venice Community Center. Proceeds from the event will support the Sugar Bowl Fund which provides one-time financial assistance to local families experiencing an economic hardship. The show will feature the music of Motown singers Glenn Leonard, formerly of the Temptations, and Al Holland, formerly of the Platters.


The Sugar Bowl Show of Shows Committee includes about 20 members of Knights of Columbus Councils from Venice, Englewood, North Port, and Grove City. Shown in the photo above include Bob Sullenberger (front row, left to right), Jim LeClaire, Larry Baranick, Mike Costanza (back row, left to right) and Joe Grossi. The Sugar Bowl Show Fund is a partnership between Catholic Charities and the Knights of Columbus. For more information, please call 941-488-5581.


World Refugee Day celebrated with open house   



Naples--Catholic Charities Refugee Youth and Family Program celebrated World Refugee Day on June 20 with a community open house (photo) to commemorate the day. World Refugee Day is sponsored each year by the United Nations to celebrate and recognize the courage and experiences of the world's refugees. The local theme for the event this year was "Do One Thing" to inspire community members to take action, spread the word, or contribute to local agencies that help refugees. In Florida, more than 27,000 refugees are resettled each year. Catholic Charities Refugee Youth and Family Program helps refugees settle, integrate, and become successful members of the community. For more information, please call 239-455-0520.


Venetian Charity Ball  pays tribute to Frank Galeana



Fort Myers--The late Frank Galeana Sr. was honored at the 12th Annual Venetian Charity Ball for his devotion to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice. Galeana's wife Jerry (photo, center) and sons Brian (left) and Frank (right) accepted the award at the event from Bishop Frank J. Dewane. The gala benefited Catholic Charities of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties and was a huge success with more than 500 people in attendance.


Galeana had always felt the need to give back to the Hispanic community and has done so through Catholic Charities. "I would estimate that support from the Galeana family to Catholic Charities has allowed us to positively touch the lives of over 50,000 families," said Peter Routsis-Arroyo, CEO of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. Galeana was a self-made man that owned car dealerships in Florida, Michigan, and South Carolina.



Annual event assists even more needy students  






Collier County--Organizers of the 15th Annual Undy Sunday event are preparing for more students than ever to be assisted with items to be ready for another school year. Needy children at 34 public elementary schools will benefit from the fundraiser.


Participating religious communities will set out donation boxes on Sunday, August 14 and Sunday, August 21. Donors will be asked to bring new socks and new underwear for boys and girls sizes six through 12. Monetary donations also are needed to purchase backpacks and school supplies. A total of 45 churches and synagogues will take part in the event.


"It is undeniable that the economic problems that have affected us here in Southwest Florida are particularly acute among the children of the underemployed and unemployed," said Armando Galella, District Director of Catholic Charities of Collier County. The agency is organizing the event.



Volunteers recognized for commitment to mission


Venice--Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities recently received the Outstanding Commitment Award from Children First, an organization that serves vulnerable youth in Sarasota County. Joyce Scott (photo, right), Director of Our Mother's House, accepted the honor at the Galaxy Awards event on behalf of the program's numerous volunteers. Children First provides educational services to the children living at Our Mother's House and volunteers spend about 3,800 hours a year assisting the teachers. Our Mother's House is a transitional, residential program for mothers and children who are at risk of becoming homeless. For more information, please call 941-485-6264.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. serves the ten-county area of Southwest Florida.