Winter Edition 2024
A Newsletter of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County
A Message from Mike Donoghue,
our Executive Director
Happy New Year!
Reflecting on the past year, I am so very thankful for the generosity and compassion of our volunteers, donors, and prayer warriors who have assisted us in serving our most vulnerable neighbors. YOUR support for our neighbors in need made such a difference for so many! YOUR commitment to our mission enabled us to achieve numerous milestones in 2023.
Throughout the year, your help and empathy made it possible for us to open our doors at the new Thomas Merton Family Center, where our neighbors in Bridgeport are now receiving multiple services to improve their lives under one roof. Your support for our mental health services allowed New Outlook Counseling to expand, reaching even more families and individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, and other debilitating conditions. The support YOU provide encourages families and individuals to strive for a healthier and more secure future.
As we enter 2024, your partnership and benevolence are needed more than ever as demand for our services is growing exponentially! Please take a few minutes to read about the services YOU make possible. I am so very grateful for your help and support and I wish you and your families a happy and healthy 2024!
God Bless You and THANK YOU for all you do,
Community Moments of 2023
Throughout the past year, your support and dedication made many incredible moments possible. As we embark on 2024, we eagerly anticipate the new moments we will share together as a community.
Here are a few moments to reflect on:
Welcoming a New Era at Thomas Merton Family Center
Guests in line for lunch in our new facility
One of Southwest Community Health Center’s examination rooms in our new facility
Our mission to treat all of our guests with dignity and respect focuses on offering a “hand up” to our guests in one convenient location. We are excited to partner with Southwest Community Health Center who will provide a comprehensive suite of medical, dental, and behavioral health services. This partnership represents a significant step toward offering our guests easily accessible holistic care.
As this new era unfolds, we invite you to join us and see all that you have made possible. Whether you need assistance, are interested in volunteering, or are curious about our initiatives, your involvement is vital to our mission.
Family Loan Program: Devon’s New Beginning
The Family Loan Program entered her life, providing financial education and assistance, equipping her with financial skills for the future. After an extensive process, the delightful news arrived: a $10,000 loan approval! The outcome? A sturdy Nissan Rogue that she proudly owns.
With the Family Loan Program’s support and unwavering spirit, Devon isn’t stranded but journeying with her son toward a hopeful future.
Devon and Alton with their car
Navigating Immigration with Empathy
Immigration client celebrating new citizenship
Cultivate Property Enhancement, the business of former immigration client, Jose
Clients who have successfully attained citizenship with the assistance of Catholic Charities Immigration Services continue to give back to our programs, alleviating the burdens that other clients may face. One former immigration client, Jorge Garcia, generously donated the services of his business, Cultivate, to Room to Grow Preschool. This thoughtful contribution created a greener, happier space for our young learners.
By fostering a community where empathy intertwines with immigration services, we aspire not only to assist individuals on their citizenship journeys but also to create a compassionate environment that echoes the shared humanity in each person’s story.
Nurturing Young Explorers
Our educational approach emphasizes holistic child development. While we cherish academic milestones, we equally value each child’s social, emotional, and physical development. Through hands-on activities and explorative play sessions, we aim to ignite natural curiosity within a safe and loving setting. Spaces are thoughtfully designed, from our cozy reading nooks to the lively outdoor play areas, all aimed at sparking imagination and promoting learning.
The teachers, volunteers, supportive family members, and community members are the cornerstone of our success. The initial years of a child’s life play a pivotal role in shaping their worldview, and at Room to Grow, we are committed to making these years filled with discovery, joy, and genuine care.
Room to Grow Preschool Graduation
Room to Grow Preschool
Morning Glory Breakfast Program team in Danbury during a coat drive
Seeing our neighbors, friends, and families grappling with challenges that life unexpectedly throws isn’t easy. Economic strains, health setbacks, and ever-climbing housing costs have pushed many into unexpected circumstances. Witnessing the difficulties faced by families and individuals reminds us of the very real human stories and aspirations behind each statistic.
Compassion and Connection at New Outlook Counseling
Serving everybody in need is at the heart of our mission. We strive to make our services accessible, affordable, and culturally competent at New Outlook Counseling. Financial constraints should never hinder finding peace and harmony in your family life. Our commitment to fostering a community of support remains unwavering, ensuring that everyone feels empowered on their path to well-being.
New Outlook Counseling
In Loving Memory
Michael A. Hack
March 4, 1956 – November 20, 2023
Mike served as a dedicated member and staff person at New Heights for many years, contributing his time, compassion, and unique knowledge of historical trivia to our community. In addition to his role at New Heights, he served as a caseworker in our Community Support Program (CSP), working closely with his team members, including Allison, as pictured in the photo.
As we mourn the loss of Mike, let us remember and celebrate the profound positive impact he had on our community and the countless lives he touched. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike’s family, friends, and colleagues.