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I’m writing today with a simple message and candid request.
My message: As one of the state’s largest providers of emergency services to those most in need, COVID-19 is stretching us beyond our capacity. Our clients, increasingly elderly and with chronic health conditions, are among those most at risk.
My Request: We need your help during this extraordinary time. If you have something extra to give right now – dollars, time or other resources – you can make a tremendous difference now.
Many of you are familiar with the quote from Mr. Rogers, urging us to “look for the helpers” during times of crisis – you will always find the helpers and there is great reassurance in that.
Catholic Charities’ employees and volunteers are on the frontlines 24/7, doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable neighbors – those experiencing homelessness, the elderly and disabled, children and families. We are turning to each of you and the broader community to be “our helpers”.
Here is what we need today:
1. Make a financial donation. We have already spent $50,000 as we work to follow local and federal health guidelines to keep our clients, staff and volunteers safe; this includes cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, personal protective gear and thermometers. As the pandemic progresses, we expect operation costs to reach $500,000 per month due to substantial additional demands on us, putting added pressure on staffing, food, security and other essential operating resources. Click here to help today.
2. Advocate for state funding. Contact your state lawmakers to urge them to include critical services for people experiencing homelessness as a part of the State’s COVID-19 emergency response package. This funding will help keep our emergency shelter system statewide from being overwhelmed by the added pressure of COVID-19.
3. Volunteer. We rely heavily on volunteers to bring the mission of Catholic Charities to life. These are challenging times as many of our regular volunteers will and should stay home if they are sick or at risk. Please visit VOLUNTEER HUB to create an account. This will allow us to reach out to you as our needs evolve. There will be opportunities to both work at our direct service sites (e.g., serving meals, greeting clients) and behind the scenes (e.g., making sandwiches or sorting donations at our warehouse).
4. Donate critically needed cleaning/hygiene supplies. If you or your organization has extra hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes or other prevention resources, we would be so grateful for donations which can be delivered to our Catholic Charities Distribution Center from 8:30 a.m. -4 p.m. Monday-Friday. We need to protect our vulnerable clients, staff and volunteers during this health crisis. In particular, we need:
|Hand sanitizer (32 oz. or larger is preferred, but any and all is greatly appreciated)|
|Hygiene produces (soap, shaving cream, body wash, large tubes of toothpaste, razors, feminine hygiene products )|
|Medical grade face masks|
|Homemade face coverings|
|60% Isopropyl alcohol|
|Bags of cotton balls or squares|
|Spray Cleaners with anti-bacterial properties|
|Cleaning Products, Hand Soap, Dish Soap, House Cleaners (Anti- bacterial)|
|New Temporal Thermometers|
|Underwear (men’s and women’s)|
|Chicken soup in microwaveable cups or pop top can|
|16 oz Sprite|
|Macaroni and Cheese microwavable cups|
|Plastic eating utensils, forks spoons and knives|
|Snack and sandwich size plastic bags|
|Wood Find Books, Puzzle Books|
|Brain Teasers, Rubiks Cubes|
|Sketch Pads or Blank Pads|
|Coloring Books for Adults & Kids|
|Velvet coloring posters|
Thank you for helping, however you can. To learn more about what Catholic Charities is doing to prepare and prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit www.cctwincities.org/COVID19.
Finally, at this particularly challenging time, know that we are thinking of and praying for all of you and yours and ask the same of you for us and the people and communities we serve.
President and CEO
Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis