Catholic Charities E-News
Serving Southwest Florida 
In This Issue
Gift from Knights of Columbus
Lasting Legacy for Radio Network
17th Annual Undy Sunday
Helping the Homeless
Stellar Students
Give Your Car to Catholic Charities
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 Summer 2013
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.

Summertime and the Giving is Easy 
Spread some sunshine to those in need this summer. Can you help feed a hungry family? Sponsor an underprivileged child at preschool? Or help a victim of human trafficking? Catholic Charities offers you the opportunity to give to the causes you care about with the Summertime and the Giving is Easy campaign.
You can brighten the future for those who come to Catholic Charities seeking help. Any gift amount is greatly appreciated!  

Click HERE for more information.

Knights of Columbus honor mothers with donation
Knights of Columbus Representative Jim Palermo (left) presents a donation to Our Mother's House Director Joyce Scott.



Venice--The Knights of Columbus Council at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish donated $500 to Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities as a Mother's Day gift in honor of all mothers of the parish.


"Every Mother's Day it was a tradition for the Knights to present the mothers with a flower as they left church," said Knights of Columbus Representative Jim Palermo. "This year we decided to spend the money a bit more wisely. The flower may last a day but a donation will last forever."


Parishioners were told the Knights made a donation to Our Mother's House in their honor for Mother's Day. "The feedback was very positive," said Palermo. "We knew Our Mother's House would be the perfect choice." 


Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities has been providing housing to homeless mothers and their children since 1987. The mission of the program is to offer single mothers and their children a safe and secure environment in which to achieve increased self-sufficiency through education, vocational training and personal growth.


For more information about Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities, please call 941-485-6264 or click HERE.


Program renamed in memory of founder
Catholic Charities CEO Peter Routsis-Arroyo (left) assists Lois Sullenberger with a radio announcement to members of the Disaster Amateur Radio Network.
The announcement was officially made across the air waves. Lois Sullenberger, wife of the late Bob Sullenberger, spoke to members of the radio network for the first time. Though they were not familiar with the voice broadcasting, they knew it was about their former leader who left an indelible mark in the community when it came to disaster response.
Lois informed them the name of their all-volunteer group would now be called the Robert C. Sullenberger Disaster Amateur Radio Network to honor her recently deceased and beloved husband.
After the devastating 2004 hurricane season, Bob Sullenberger took on the task of assisting the Catholic Charities Disaster Response Team by establishing the Disaster Amateur Radio Network (DARN). Bob implemented base radio stations in Venice, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Naples, Arcadia, Port Charlotte, and Immokalee along with in-residence stations in Cape Coral, Estero, Holmes Beach, Nokomis, and Punta Gorda.
Bob also recruited the network of volunteer FCC licensed amateur radio operators to serve in the aftermath of a disaster. The mission of DARN is to provide emergency and back up communications for the Catholic Charities Disaster Response Teams.
"Bob Sullenberger was a community treasure," said Catholic Charities CEO Peter Routsis-Arroyo. "Catholic Charities will forever be in debt to Bob."
DARN is looking for volunteer radio operators. Anyone who is interested can contact Andy Durette at or click HERE for more information.
Annual initiative prepares needy students for school
Collier County--It may be difficult to believe that hundreds of school children in the community lack basic underwear and socks. But according to personnel at the local public schools, the need exists.
The 17th Annual Undy Sunday event will once again happen in August to assist students living in poverty with the necessary items to be ready for another school year. Needy children at 24 public elementary schools and two social service agencies will benefit from the fundraiser.
"Our contacts at the public schools in Naples and Immokalee report that the need for underwear and socks continues for underprivileged students," said Armando Galella, District Director of Catholic Charities of Collier County. "We know the community will come together again this year to provide these young children with the items they require to be successful in school."
Over 40 participating religious communities will set out donation boxes on Sunday, August 11 and Sunday, August 18. Donors will be asked to bring new socks and underwear for boys and girls sized four through 12. Monetary donations also are accepted to purchase backpacks and school supplies.
Catholic Charities volunteers, under the direction of Volunteer Coordinator Don Campbell, will collect the items and distribute them to the schools. Youth Haven and the Shelter for Abused Women and Children will also receive the underwear and socks and school supplies.
About 750,000 undergarments have been given to disadvantaged children in Collier County during the past 16 years through the annual Undy Sunday initiative. "This united and interfaith effort within our community has answered a simple call for assistance year after year," Galella said. "We are grateful to everyone who has participated."
For more information or to donate to the Undy Sunday Program, please call Catholic Charities of Collier County at 239-455-2655 or click HERE.
Catholic Charities recipient of Hugs for Homeless effort
The Florida Council of Catholic Women (CCW) held the Third Annual Hugs for Homeless fundraiser and collected almost $49,000. The CCW councils of the seven Florida dioceses split the contributions and allocated their portion to a local organization. Venice Diocese CCW members Dolores Garvis (left) and Marianne Torgler (center) recently presented a check for $6,930 to Catholic Charities CEO Peter Routsis-Arroyo. The donation will be used for Catholic Charities programs that serve homeless clients and prevent homelessness in Southwest Florida. According to the CCW, Florida has the third largest homeless population in the country where 49,000 school-aged children are identified as homeless.

Students shine in Duck Stamp Contest  

Fort Myers--Students in the AFCAAM After School Reading Program participated in the Florida Ding Darling Jr. Duck Stamp Contest. Students researched their ducks using resources from the Lee County Public Library. A total of 2,369 students from across the state entered the contest. Javier Lara (bottom photo, center), a third grader enrolled in the AFCAAM After School Reading Program located at St. Columbkille Parish, received an Honorable Mention for his drawing of the Ruddy Duck. Javier's drawing will be on display at the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge next year. Congratulations to Javier and to all the students who participated in this worthwhile event. For more information about AFCAAM of Catholic Charities call 239-461-0233.

Catholic Charities accepts cars and more as contributions 

Got an old car sitting in your driveway? Donate it to Catholic Charities! We now accept donations of used vehicles such as cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, boats, and ATVs. The process is simple. Call us at 855-840-GIVE (4483). We will tow your vehicle at no cost to you. You will receive a tax deductible receipt and help Catholic Charities. Click HERE for more information. 
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc.
serves the ten-county area of Southwest Florida.