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A Life Saved Through Prayerful Witness

Does praying in front of an abortion clinic make a difference?   We invite you to read the story of baby Justice, which we received from Bob Schoen who prayed in front of the Toledo abortion clinic during our 40 Days for Life campaign during Lent:

I just want to share with you a couple of things that happened at the 40 Days for Life march Thursday.

Three of us were finishing up the 2-3PM hour. All of the patient cars were now gone and we had taken a short pause from our praying to just walk around the facility and talk. A car pulled through the parking lot, blocked our walk down the sidewalk, and a lady put down her window to talk to us. She spoke about her baby and put down the back window so we could see the baby (her name is Justice) in her car seat. This lady told us that she had intended to abort her baby, but did not because of people marching at the clinic. She wanted to let us know how much she appreciated it and that it had saved the life of her baby. She often drives by and sees people marching and praying. This time she decided to stop and say something.

Earlier in the day, a car pulled into the lot, also blocking the path of a marcher. The man driving wanted to know what was going on. Why were people marching, and why were all of the cars there? There were over 20 patients inside the clinic at that time. All of the parking spaces were taken and some of the patients had parked along North Haven. He hadn’t realized the building was an abortion clinic, and couldn’t believe they had so many patients there.

We know that for every person that actually stops there are many others who have their awareness raised, or who have been otherwise impacted by the praying and marching.

I just want to post a reminder that it doesn’t matter if the clinic is open or closed when you march and pray, and you may never have the blessing of someone stopping to tell you about their baby not being aborted, but the marching and praying does matter.

Throughout Lent, Catholic Charities is hosting a 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil in front of Capital Care Network at 1160 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo, OH. Individuals or groups may sign up to pray for an hour from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. from March 1 to April 9.

Can you join us in our peaceful prayer mission to end abortion in our community?  Click here to learn more and sign up.



Paying Back to Pay Forward

“My mom was one of the first women realtors in the state of Ohio,” Janice explains as she shared her earliest memories of working with her mom in the Sandusky real estate business.

“I worked with my mom, and we shared her real estate company,” Janice reminisced. “I worked as a realtor for at least 25 years. I would list properties and do house viewings.”

Although she only worked part-time, Janice made enough money to provide a decent life for herself working at her mom’s company.

“The pay was average at that time. I was able to afford a car. I also managed one of my mom’s properties,” she says.

Janice Janicewas following in her mother’s path. But life soon took a different turn for the Sandusky native. Due to some bad choices, Janice lost almost everything and developed a brain disorder that left her with a mental illness and an inability to work.

“I really don’t have much of anything now, but I have God’s peace of mind,” adds Janice.

Since then, Janice supported herself with income provided by various government agencies, help from a court appointed guardian and food from various food pantries in town. Her budget and living expenses have left her financially limited and unable to plan for anything outside of her basic needs.

Janice went to Holy Angels Catholic Church for their food services when she received information about the Basic Budgeting Skills workshop offered by Catholic Charities in Sandusky.

“I wanted to go so I could stay educated and up-to-date on budgeting,” Janice says. Janice told a friend about the workshops, and they decided it was a good idea to go together.

Catholic Charities hosts the workshops monthly in Huron County but recently expanded the program to reach more people.

“We started the Basic Budgeting Skills workshop in Sandusky as a way to raise awareness about Catholic Charities and to assess the needs in Erie County,” says Rodney Schuster, Catholic Charities Executive Director.

The Basic Budgeting Skills workshop teaches clients how to manage a limited income by creating a savings and budgeting plan.

“It helped me to stretch my money out and save,” says Janice. “One thing I learned was to make sure that my priorities are put first. I also learned to put money aside every time that I get paid. They even gave us a calculator to use at the grocery store.”

Janice considers saving money to one day own a car, but for now, she is focused on saving for emergencies and joining local donors to help others in her community.

Janice has also managed to tithe to her church and give back to local organizations that have helped her over the years.

“I guess it’s like a pay back to pay forward. God has been so good to me that it is easier to be good to others.”

She thanks the supporters of Catholic Charities for making this possible.

“Thank you for supporting programs to help people who are trying to better themselves,” she says. “We are really striving to be better.”

Help Prepare Area Children for Back to School

You are invited to help area children in need have a successful start to their school year by donating school supplies for children served by our ministries.  Please see below for needed supplies and drop off locations.

Helping Hands of St. Louis

Helping Hands would gratefully accept any donated school supplies but is in the greatest need of the following items:

  • Wide ruled notebooks
  • Wide ruled loose leaf notebook paper
  • Glue Sticks
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Index cards
  • Two pocket folders
  • Scissors
  • Gently used or new book bags
  • Pencil pouches and boxes

Donations may be delivered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to Helping Hands, 443 Sixth St., Toledo, Ohio 43605.  For more information or to arrange a different delivery time, please call Paul Cook at 419-691-0613, ext. 2.

La Posada Family Emergency Shelter

School Supplies for grades K-3

  • Clorox Wipes
  • Boxes of Kleenex
  • 1″ binders
  • Colored pencils in 12 packs
  • Elmers School Glue
  • Large pink Erasers
  • Construction paper
  • Large glue sticks
  • Blunt point scissors
  • 24 pack Crayola Markers
  • Crayons boxes of 8 (thick) and 24
  • Backpacks
  • #2 pencils
  • Pencil boxes or pouches
  • 2 pocket folders
  • Crayola watercolors sets
  • 3rd grade only – Multiplication FlashcardsAll crayons, highlighters, and markers need to be primary colors.

School Supplies for Grades 4-6

  • All of the above along with the following:
  • 70 and 100 page wide rule spiral notebooks
  • rolls of paper towel
  • composition Notebooks
  • binders 1″, 1 1/2″, and 2 “
  • binder dividers
  • highlighters
  • hand-held pencil sharpeners
  • Ball point pens in blue, black and red ink
  • Sharp point scissors
  • 8 and 10 pack thin felt tip markers
  • Expo dry erase markers
  • 12 inch wooden or hard plastic rulers
  • 3 x 5 inch index cards
  • 3 and 5 subject spiral notebooks

Please drop off donations at La Posada at 435 Eastern Ave., Toledo, preferably Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m.  All crayons, highlighters and markers should to be in primary colors.




JULY 22, 2015—As part of the nationwide Drive Out Hunger campaign, Midas Auto Service and Tires, 1139 Park Ave. West, Mansfield, Ohio, will donate $1 for every oil change to Catholic Charities’ H.O.P.E. Food Pantry.

H.O.P.E. Food Pantry offers a client-choice format in which individuals and families can choose groceries according to their individual needs and preferences. The pantry provides groceries to an average of 625 Richland County households each month.

Drive Out Hunger is a long-term campaign that gives independently owned and operated Midas franchises the opportunity to raise donations for local community organizations to assist with hunger relief.

To participate locally, customers can purchase an oil change at the Mansfield Midas Auto Service and Tires during business hours, Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


JULY 22, 2015—Local community members have the opportunity to support Helping Hands of St. Louis by purchasing Simply Give cards at the Oregon, Ohio, Meijer location at 1725 S. Wheeling St.

From now through September 12, customers can purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards at the register, and the donations will be given to Helping Hands in the form of Meijer gift cards.  Meijer will donate double the amount of customers’ donations on Double Match days from September 3 through 5; Helping Hands will receive $30 for every $10.

Helping Hands is located in East Toledo and provides food and clothing to hundreds of low-income individuals and families each day through a soup kitchen, clothing center and food pantry.  An estimated 41 percent of people in the 43605 zip code live below the poverty line, according to data from the United States Census Bureau. Each month, Helping Hands serves an average of 5,900 meals and distributes about 240 bags of groceries. Helping Hands will use the Simply Give funds to purchase meals, groceries and diapers for families in need.

For more information, please contact Paul Cook at 419-691-0613, ext. 2.

JULY 10, 2015—MANSFIELD—Catholic Charities invites community members to a new Brown Bag Lunch Book Club series featuring the book, “Why Don’t They Just Get a Job?” The first session will be hosted from noon to 1 p.m. on the first Friday of the month beginning August 7 at Catholic Charities, 2 Smith Ave., Mansfield, Ohio.

“Why Don’t They Just Get a Job?” describes the journey and success of Dave and Liane Phillips’ efforts to help those in poverty to become self-sufficient. Dave will be the keynote speaker for Catholic Charities’ fall fundraiser breakfast on October 7 in Mansfield.

Dave and Liane created a non-profit organization called Cincinnati Works, which has an 80% one-year employment retention rate The program offers a complete spectrum of free, lifetime employment services for the entry-level job seeker to sustain and advance in today’s work climate. In the past three years, Cincinnati Works has brought $25 million in wages to over 1,500 families in the Cincinnati area. The model is a winner of the 2009 Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneur Award. Following the program’s success, Dave is now volunteering as a consultant for similar programs in other cities.

“As part of our mission, Catholic Charities strives to provide services that are life-transformative – both in a person’s life and in their communities,” said Rebecca Owens, Catholic Charities Mansfield site manager. “In the book, Liane describes how to empower, engage and encourage individuals to be self-sustaining, contributing members of their community. The Philips’ economic self-sufficiency program, Cincinnati Works, mirrors our philosophy to offer individuals a hand up out of poverty.”

The book club is free and open to the public and will meet through December. For more information, please contact Rebecca Owens at 419-524-0733, ext. 225 or rowens@toledodiocese.org.

JULY 10, 2015—Helping Hands of St. Louis will host the 12th Annual Golf Tournament from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, August 1, at Bedford Hills Golf Club, 6400 Jackman Rd., Temperance, Mich.

Proceeds will benefit Helping Hands of St. Louis, a ministry of Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo. Each month, Helping Hands provides an average of 5,900 meals and 240 grocery bags and assists an average of 430 people with free clothing.

The golf tournament will be a four-person scramble. Individuals are welcome, and teams will be made as needed. The entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, golf cart, hot dog at the turn, beverage tickets and a chicken and New York strip steak dinner at the completion of play. The event includes a money hole and raffles, and the winning team will be recognized on a trophy displayed at Helping Hands.

Sponsors include Ondrus Hardware, Byrne Paint Company and Exchange Club of Greater Maumee Bay.

Early bird registration is $80 per person if received by Saturday, July 18. The registration fee from July 19-25 is $90 per person. To register or for more information, please contact Sue Shrewsbery at 419-691-0613, ext. 1.

Richland County Employers Learn How to Bridge the Gap with Individuals in Poverty

JUNE 25, 2015—Richland County business and organization leaders learned on Tuesday, June 23, how to help individuals in poverty become successful employees.

The 1Richland Group, in collaboration with Catholic Charities, hosted a Bridges out of Poverty for Employers Workshop at North Central State College for employers and human resources representatives.

Workshop facilitator Anne Seifert encouraged employers to uncover the root of employee issues and to strategize with employees to resolve problems before taking steps to terminate.

Workshop facilitator Anne Seifert encouraged employers to uncover the root of employee issues and to strategize with employees to resolve problems before taking steps to terminate.

“It was great to see businesses, education and social agencies coming together to develop a better understanding of the culture of poverty,” said Dorey Diab, Ph.D., president of North Central State College and workshop attendee.  “More importantly, it was heartwarming to see the community’s commitment to work together to overcome challenges, help people find and retain jobs, and make Richland County a better place to work, live and raise a family.”

Workshop facilitator Anne Seifert taught about differences between the culture of poverty and middle class culture and what that means for employers.  She also encouraged employers to uncover the root of employee issues and to strategize with an employee to resolve problems before taking steps to terminate.  For example, an employee who is frequently tardy or absent may be a single mother who is struggling to provide daycare for her children.  The individual may be a strong employee once the daycare issue is resolved.

Mary Bolin, CEO of My Town Partners, said after the workshop that it will help foster understanding among employers so that long-term successful relationships will exist with all employees.

Leaders and human resource professionals from area businesses and organizations learned steps to help individuals in poverty become successful employees.

Leaders and human resource professionals from area businesses and organizations learned steps to help individuals in poverty become successful employees.

“Sometimes we forget that we all have different styles of communication, learning and ‘rules’ among our backgrounds and upbringing,” Bolin said.

The 1Richland Group evolved in 2014 as part of Catholic Charities’ Do Something Project.  The group includes representatives of local social service agencies and businesses.  The group strives to bridge the gap among employers, organizations that provide services, and the individuals and employees in the local community.  The 1Richland Group believes community transformation takes a community working together to become a catalyst for change.

Rebecca Owens, Mansfield site manager for Catholic Charities, said the group plans to host another Bridges out of Poverty for Employers Workshop in the fall.

Accepting Forgiveness and Forgiving Myself

“Twenty-two years ago, at the age of 16, I had an abortion.  For many years following my abortion I suffered greatly.  I struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, troubled relationships, among many other things.  The greatest struggle was being able to accept God’s forgiveness and forgiving myself for what I had done.

ClarissaI turned to my Church for help by contacting Project Rachel, and it changed my life.  After completing a recovery program, I felt God’s call to share my testimony and minister to the post-abortive.  Since then, I have shared my testimony at high schools, colleges, pregnancy centers and other pro-life events and groups.  I have also volunteered at Heartbeat of Toledo where I helped guide post abortive women through a Scripture-based recovery program.  After going through the healing process, I have gone on to have a wonderful marriage of 18 years, 5 children and a life of freedom through Christ Jesus.

On the day I called the Project Rachel Help Line, I was at my lowest point in my life. I had remembered seeing information throughout my life in different parish bulletins, and because of this, I knew my Church was here to help. Many men and women have said it took them years to finally make that call.

If you are hurting after an abortion, I invite you to reach out for help by contacting us at Project Rachel. You will have the opportunity to talk with post-abortive women and to be guided through the healing process.  Please call our local confidential help line at 1-888-456-HOPE or email projectrachel@toledodiocese.org.”

~ Clarissa Lapinski, Project Rachel Coordinator


Students participating in the national Catholic HEART Workcamp are volunteering at Helping Hands of St. Louis from Monday to Thursday, June 8 to 11.

The teens are among a few hundred high school students from throughout the country who are serving in Toledo this week as part of the program.  Youth at Helping Hands are from Tennessee, Minnesota, Ohio and Illinois.  Students are doing a variety of projects including putting new tile in the play area, hanging gutters, painting, cleaning, and pulling weeds in Helping Hands’ new community garden.

Catholic HEART Workcamp began in Orlando, Fla., in 1993 with 100 participants. The camp has grown to more than 13,000 participants nationwide.

Our Mission

Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio