In This Issue
Quick Links



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.  

Giving Challenge

Sarasota--The 2015 Giving Challenge will happen on September 1-2  and is an opportunity to donate to Catholic Charities programs in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. This annual event will support our services that serve homeless families and children in the community such as St. Martha's Early Learning Center, Our Mother's House, Family Haven, and Casa San Juan Bosco.

The 2015 Giving Challenge is open to any nonprofit with a profile in The Giving Partner.
Last year, local nonprofits raised more than $3.12 million. Organizations in The Giving Partner have shared in-depth information about the outcomes they achieve in the community, along with their financials, leadership, and goals. Access to this information allows donors to determine if nonprofits meet their ideals for giving.

To donate:
  • Go to on September 1-2, noon to noon EST.
  • Search for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. to visit our profile and donate.
  • Or, click HERE for a direct link to our Giving Partner Challenge donation page.

The 2015 Giving Challenge is made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation with support from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.


Thank you for your generosity! 

Back to School   

Naples--For the 19th consecutive year, Catholic Charities in Collier County is sponsoring the Undy Sunday event to benefit school children in need of new undergarments and socks. Collier County school staff continues to report that many students do not have these items at the beginning of the school year.

"This annual project has grown to include 40 interfaith churches and synagogues as donors and 37 elementary schools and six social service agencies as recipients," said Don Campbell, co-chair of the event. "Last year 160 packages, each containing about 200 pairs of undergarments and socks of various types and sizes, were distributed."

Donors are asked to supply new socks and new underwear for boys and girls sizes four through 12. Monetary donations, checks made payable to Catholic Charities with "Undy Sunday" on the memo line, also are accepted to purchase additional underwear and school supplies.

"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," Campbell said.  
Monetary donations can be mailed to Catholic Charities at 2210 Santa Barbara Blvd., Naples, FL 34116 or undergarments and socks can be dropped off at that office location 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 contact Don Campbell at 239-596-2493.
World Refugee Day
Former Catholic Charities refugee services clients Desiree Dayhoff (left to right) and Gabriella Caballero, Lutheran Services Southwest Florida Director Rosemaire Connor, Lutheran Services Manager Ivis Triana, Community Liaison for Refugee Services of Department of Children and Families Janet Blair, and Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Coordinator Yuri Kaplun.

Fort Myers--A special event celebrating World Refugee Day was held at the Harborside Event Center. The focus was to learn more about the refugee community and the agencies and organizations who serve them.
A group of former refugees shared success stories with attendees. Speakers included Desiree Dayhoff, a Catholic Charities refugee services client who is now the Operations Manager at Doubletree Suites by Hilton in Naples, and Gabriella Caballero, a student who participated in the Catholic Charities Refugee Youth Services Program. Also on the panel was Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program Coordinator Yuri Kaplun.

Florida is the nation's largest refugee resettlement state. Between 2009 and 2014, Florida became home to more than 156,000 refugees from 97 different countries, including Cuba, Haiti, Burma, Iraq, Venezuela, Columbia, Egypt and Bhutan. In 2014, 32,000 refugees settled in Florida.  
For more information about the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program call 941-564-8738. For more information about the Catholic Charities Refugee Youth Services Program call 239-455-0520.

Event Volunteers        
AFCAAM Charity Golf Classic Steering Committee Members Al Natella (left to right), Ted Duffy and Ron McEwan started event planning this summer.

Catholic Charities volunteers are now coming together to begin plans for the upcoming fundraising season. Catholic Charities will host several happenings throughout Southwest Florida that support programs and services. We invite anyone interested in joining an event committee to contact us. Please consider becoming a Catholic Charities volunteer. Your generous spirit will be much appreciated!

Upcoming Events:

Sugar Bowl Show of Shows--November 1 in Venice.

Catholic Charities Ball--January 30, 2016 in Sarasota.
Bethesda House Mardi Gras Madness--February 9, 2016 in Sarasota.
Boots and Bandannas Dinner Dance--February 20, 2016 in Port Charlotte.
Our Mother's House Wine Tasting, Auction and Dinner Dance--February 25, 2016 in Venice.
Venetian Charity Ball--March 12, 2016 in Bonita Springs.
Emerald Ball--March 19, 2016 in Naples.
Venice Veterans Gala--April 7, 2016 in Venice.
The AFCAAM Charity Golf Classic--April 15, 2016 in Fort Myers.

If you would like to volunteer, please call 941-488-5581 or 941-484-9543.

Team Work

Naples--The Family Resource Center of Catholic Charities recently relocated to a new office site at 3174 Tamiami Trail East and with the move came some much needed clean up of the grounds surrounding the facility.

Answering a volunteer opportunity request in the Catholic Charities News print newsletter, the St. John Neumann Catholic High School Football Team spent a day of service clearing out unwanted brush and weeds, removing a large tree stump, and sprucing up the landscape.

"I was so impressed with Coach Nick and the team," 
said Catholic Charities District Director Mary Shaughnessy. "The moment the team stepped off the bus, I knew we were in for a treat, and for a day of hard work!"

Thank you to the St. John Neumann Celtics!

A Client's Story

Bradenton--After divorcing an abusive husband, Jolene (name changed per client's request) found her credit severely damaged. Her mortgage company was threatening foreclosure and she was overwhelmed with negotiations with them. She feared she and her daughter would soon become homeless, so she turned to the Catholic Charities Housing Counseling and Foreclosure Prevention Program for assistance.

These are her words: "In desperation I looked for help online and found Catholic Charities. In hopes, I called and contacted Lucy Sanchez who fit me in for an appointment by the end of that week. Over the phone, she gave me quick information. Ever so grateful, I urgently gathered paperwork for the appointment.

At the appointment, I told her my story and she listened intently while understanding my situation. She told me what could and could not be done but most importantly that I had rights. Me, feeling so lost with no hope.... I had rights? Lucy gave me information of possibilities and gathered a mass of paperwork essential to start a case with my mortgage company. She told me what to bring for the next appointment to validate my case.

Lucy remained persistent with the mortgage company, even when they tried to deny my submission. Eventually they accepted my case. In short, Lucy's professional knowledge cut through the red tape, and importantly, without negatively impacting the project at hand.
With Lucy's caring, guidance and knowledge, I received a HAMP Trial Period Plan for three consecutive months and with completion an affordable modified mortgage package.
Thank you. Life is complex. My visits to Catholic Charities gained back my belief in the existence of people who put heart and intellect in their work. I received the feeling of security ... isn't that what we all need?"

For more information about the Catholic Charities Housing Counseling and Foreclosure Prevention Program, please call 941-714-7829.


Naples--Members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services office in Miami traveled to visit the new location for the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program.

USCCB Director Juan Lopez (left to right) and Assistant Director Carlos Naranjo received a tour from Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Case Workers Jennesse Delgado, Tery Pupo-Delgado, and Lyuda Grebinnik.

The Migration and Refugee Services fulfills the commitment of the U.S. Catholic Bishops to protect the life and dignity of the human person. They serve and advocate for refugees, asylees, migrants, unaccompanied children, and victims of human trafficking.