Catholic Charities E-News
Serving Southwest Florida 
In This Issue
Summertime and the Giving is Easy
Catholic Charities Housing
Undy Sunday
Refugee Services
Disaster Response
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 Summer 2012
Greetings!  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.

Catholic Charities is on Facebook    

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. is now on Facebook. If you are too, then "Like" us and you will receive updates on what is happening at Catholic Charities! Click HERE to go to our Facebook page.

Spread some sunshine to those in need

Can you help feed a hungry family, sponsor a child at summer camp, comfort a person with HIV/AIDS, or house a homeless mother and her child?


This summer Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. offers you the opportunity to give directly to the causes you care about through the Summertime and the Giving is Easy appeal. You can add some sunshine to the lives of those in need.


Each year, Catholic Charities serves more than 40,000 people regardless of race, nationality or creed. A total of 94 cents of each dollar donated to Catholic Charities goes directly to programs and services. Summertime and the Giving is Easy is a chance to brighten the future for your neighbors who come to Catholic Charities for help.


Any gift amount is greatly appreciated! Click HERE for more information. 


Construction of farm worker homes nears completion 

The Casa San Juan Bosco farm worker housing community is located at 2316 Hillsborough Avenue in Arcadia. 

Arcadia--Catholic Charities Housing, Diocese of Venice, Inc., will open the Casa San Juan Bosco housing community for low-income farm workers in October. The development will feature 53 three- and four-bedroom homes.


Casa San Juan Bosco is a neighborhood that is designed to provide affordable rental homes for farm workers that are healthy, sustainable, energy-efficient and attractive. A central village green and smaller parks will encourage interaction among those living in the community and on-site amenities such as health, education, social, recreation, and transportation services will help to provide self-sufficiency for residents.  


A community center will house classrooms, a library/computer room, a meeting room that allows for multiple uses and social events, and a covered porch and courtyard.  


For more information about Casa San Juan Bosco, please call Catholic Charities of DeSoto County at 863-494-1068.  


New undergarments collected for school children     



Naples--Organizers of the 16th Annual Undy Sunday event are set to help students be ready for another school year. Needy children at 34 public elementary schools will benefit from the fundraiser. 

Participating churches will collect new underwear and socks on Sunday, August 5 and Sunday, August 12 for the school children. Monetary donations also are requested to purchase backpacks and school supplies.

"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.


"Every year about 45 churches are drawn to this simple and ecumenical call for assistance. That is why it is so successful," Galella said. 


Donation items also can be dropped off at the Catholic Charities office located at 2210 Santa Barbara from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. on Fridays. For more information about the Undy Sunday Program contact Catholic Charities of Collier County at 239-455-2655. 

Students receive recognition in duck stamp contest    


Lesley Teran (left to right), Jocelyn Diaz and Boris Garth show off their award-winning art work. 


Fort Myers--Three students from the After School Reading Program at the African Caribbean American (AFCAAM) Center of Catholic Charities were given the Honorable Mention Award for the Florida Junior Duck Stamp Contest. A total of 1,793 students from 38 Florida schools participated in the event sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society. Only 100 students received recognition.


Lesley Teran, Jocelyn Diaz and Boris Garth, who take part in the After School Reading Program located at St. Columbkille Parish, will attend an awards ceremony at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge and their artwork will be on display at the refuge's Education Center for an entire year. They designed their prize winning creations with the computers made available at the after school program.


The Junior Duck Stamp Contest teaches students about the importance of protecting wetland environments, waterfowl management practices, and wildlife conservation methods. The After School Reading Program strives to increase reading comprehension for the students that attend and enhance their ability to learn. For more information, please call the AFCAAM Center of Catholic Charities at 239-461-0234.


Proclamation presented for World Refugee Day

Desiree Gutierrez (bottom row, left to right) and Allegra Belliard accept the World Refugee Day proclamation. 

Naples--Desiree Gutierrez, a housekeeping manager for Doubletree Hotels, and Catholic Charities of Collier County Program Director Allegra Belliard recently were presented a proclamation from the Board of County Commissioners for World Refugee Day.

Gutierrez was a former client of the Refugee Employed and Productive Program of Catholic Charities and now leads a successful career and life. She is a good example of the many refugees that come to Catholic Charities requiring assistance with resettlement and gaining employment to achieve self sufficiency.  

The proclamation stated: "Today we salute and welcome the refugee's spirit to strive for a better and peaceful life. We recognize the plight of millions of refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands, seeking freedom and safety from persecution."

For more information about Refugee Services of Catholic Charities, please call 941-493-8231.


Now is the time to prepare for hurricane season     




Catholic Charities Disaster Response Program meets the needs of a community before, during and after a disaster. The program does not replace services already available through the Red Cross, FEMA, county emergency, or any other government or private organization. Rather, it works collaboratively with those agencies to offer assistance when disaster strikes.


The month of June officially started the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Catholic Charities reminds that if you or a loved one is in need of assistance evacuating if a hurricane threatens, you must sign up for the Special Needs Registry. Registration is required every year and can be done by calling your county emergency management office.   


The following are phone numbers by county for the Special Needs Registry.  

  • Manatee County: 941-749-3500
  • Sarasota County: 941-861-5000
  • Charlotte County: 941-833-4000
  • Lee County: 239-533-3640
  • Collier County: 239-252-3600
  • DeSoto County: 863-993-4831
  • Highlands County: 863-385-1112
  • Hardee County: 863-773-6373
  • Hendry County: 863-674-5400
  • Glades County: 863-946-6020 


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