Catholic Charities Cares

Catholic Charities is a private non-profit, non-sectarian agency, the mission of which is to serve all in need regardless of religious belief or affiliation. As reported in our June 2003 edition of Thoma’s Developments, although Thoma has contributed to community agencies in the past, this year we adopted a new company giving policy, focusing our resources on one charitable cause each year. Our first cause is Catholic Charities, headquartered on Central Avenue in the City of Cortland. During our brief relationship, we have been both impressed and moved by this agency’s dedication to the needy of our community.

Catholic Charities’ numerous and diverse programs are divided into four areas: family services, residential services, emergency services, and case management. Their programs range from providing 24 hour supervision and support services for individuals recovering from mental health and/or drug and alcohol dependency to working with pregnant or parenting teens or teens at risk for pregnancy. Paula Currie, Executive Director since 1998, has been with the organization for over 18 years. She supervises a staff of 60 full-time employees and oversees an annual budget of $2.4 million. The annual budget includes funding from 24 public and private sources.

In tandem with the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, Catholic Charities also provides adoption assistance to place special needs children in loving homes. The organization also feeds the needy through its food pantry and provides supplies such as diapers, formulas, prescriptions, and clothing under its emergency assistance program. In addition, the agency coordinates volunteer efforts annually for special events such as the Summer Lunch Bunch Program, the school supplies drive, and the Christmas Basket effort. The Christmas Basket effort is currently underway and baked goods are needed to give the baskets that wonderful homemade touch so important at the holidays. If you are interested in helping, you can call Catholic Charities at 756-5992.

Working with Catholic Charities’ special programs has provided invaluable experience for all of us here at Thoma Development. The age-old adage, “’Tis better to give than to receive,” is emulated by their dedicated staff. We wish Catholic Charities, and all agencies that serve the underprivileged, a prosperous holiday season and New Year.