800-926-8277 or 419-244-6711

Sandusky Furniture Ministry Volunteers & Donations Needed May 6

SANDUSKY—Catholic Charities is looking for volunteers and partners to help create a Furniture Ministry in Sandusky, OH. The concept is simple, but will have great impact for those we serve—high-quality donated furniture will be picked up and delivered to those who need it.

“Most of us take for granted family time around our dinner table, relaxing on our sofa, and getting a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed,” says Michael Szuberla, Catholic Charities Volunteer Coordinator. “But for families emerging from homelessness and other difficult situations, these simple pleasures are beyond their reach. Families may find a place to live, but they need furniture to make that space a home.”


Any individual, group, or organization interested in helping with this new furniture ministry is invited to participate in our inaugural First Saturday Volunteer Workday and Furniture Drive on May 6th from 9:30 a.m – 2 p.m.

To donate furniture or to volunteer please contact Michael Szuberla at 419-214-4950 or mszuberla@toledodiocese.org

Catholic Charities needs dedicated volunteers and community partners who can help support this effort. Able-bodied volunteers with trucks or vans will be especially helpful to coordinate donation pick-ups and deliveries to those who qualify for the program in Erie County.   A donated 20-foot by 30-foot storage space is secured to warehouse furniture.

Contact Michael Szuberla: 419.214.4950 or mszuberla@toledodiocese.org for more info.

40 Days for Life Campaign Runs Through April 9

Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo is hosting the ecumenical 40 Days for Life campaign in Northwest Ohio through April 9, 2017.

You can participate in the 40 Days For Life Spring Campaign in three ways: prayer and fasting, community outreach and peaceful vigil. We invite you to pray for an hour in front of Capital Care Network, the Toledo abortion clinic, located at 1160 W. Sylvania Avenue. Sign up at: www.40daysforlife.com/toledo.

May our prayer bring the light of Christ Jesus to move the hearts and minds of all present to a deeper appreciation of the dignity of human life.

Since the international 40 Days for Life Campaign began in 2007, over 725,000 volunteers in over 40 nations have stood in prayerful witness at abortion clinics to witness to the dignity of human life. Through these prayerful campaigns, over 12,668 lives have been saved, 143 abortion workers have quit their positions, and 83 abortion facilities have shut down!

To learn more, email Office for Life & Justice Director Peter Range at prange@toledodiocese.org. Join the movement, and help us end abortion in Northwest Ohio!

Join our April 7 Closing Prayer Vigil for 40 Days for Life!

TOLEDO—Join us for an hour of peaceful prayer for the end of abortion at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 7, 2017, as the pro-life community of Northwest Ohio closes the 40 Days for Life Spring Campaign. We’ll gather on the sidewalk of Capital Care abortion facility, 1160 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo, OH.

May our prayer bring the light of Christ Jesus to move the hearts and minds of all present to a deeper appreciation of the dignity of human life.

For more information visit www.40daysforlife.com/toledo or contact Office for Life and Justice Director Peter Range at: prange@toledodiocese.org or call 419-214-4933.   


Diocesan Jail & Prison Ministry Gather in Findlay - March 11

FINDLAY— Anyone currently involved with or interested in volunteering for Catholic Charities Jail and Prison Ministry is invited to attend this half-day educational session. The event will be held Saturday, March 11, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at St. Michael the Archangel Activity Center, 750 Bright Road, Findlay, OH. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

This event is open to anyone currently involved with or interested in volunteering for this Catholic Charities ministry. Topics to be discussed include:

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  • Mission/Vision of the Jail & Prison Ministry, Nick Lyster, Justice Ministry Coordinator;
  • Catholic Social Teaching Context, Peter Range, Director of Office for Life and Justice;
  • Evangelization training, Deacon Joe Malenfant, Sr. Director Discipleship & Family Life;
  • Best Practices from Northwest and West Central Ohio ministry facilities; and
  • Volunteer recruitment.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The event runs from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cost is $15 to cover morning refreshments and lunch.

Please RSVP to Nick Lyster, Catholic Charities Justice Ministry Coordinator at 419.214.4958 or email him at nlyster@toledodiocese.org.

Catholic Charities Hosts Mansfield Consumer Resource Fair

MANSFIELD—Catholic Charities is celebrating their 75th anniversary in Mansfield and is hosting the 7th Annual Consumer Resource Fair, as part of National Consumer Protection Week, on Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Richland Mall.

“The purpose of National Consumer Protection Week is to educate and empower consumers on how to make informed decisions when it comes to their financial affairs,” said Rebecca Owens, Regional Director for Mansfield Catholic Charities. “We continue to see many people being preyed upon by scams and identify theft because they’re desperate to meet basic needs of food, shelter and medical care.”

CatholicCharities_logoCatholic Charities and 20+ organizations will provide free information on managing money and debt, protecting personal identification, and avoiding identify theft and scams. Participants include the Ohio Attorney General’s office, Civista Bank, Mechanics Bank, Richland Bank, Sutton Bank, Woodforest National Bank, Richland County Adult Protective Services/JFS, Mansfield-Richland Public Library/First Call-211, Habitat for Humanity, NECIC/ Temp2Higher, and Ohio Division of Financial Institutions. Richland County Sheriff’s office will be fingerprinting.

“Catholic Charities partners with the Ohio Attorney General’s office each year,” said Rebecca Owens, Catholic Charities Regional Director. “We do our best to be proactive in educating our community on important financial matters.”

Candlelight Vigil for Life in Lima - March 20

People of all faiths are invited to join Rev. Michael Sergi and the Northwest Ohio community for a Candlelight Vigil for Abolishment of Ohio’s Death Penalty on Monday, March 20, from 7 to 8 p.m. at St. Gerard Church, 240 W. Robb Avenue, Lima, OH. We pray this evening of peaceful prayer will bring the light of Christ Jesus to move the hearts and minds of all present to a deeper appreciation of the dignity of human life, as we pray for victims of crime and those facing execution.

Votive Candle Prayer VigilAfter a three-year hiatus, Ohio’s plan to resume executions by lethal injection is on hold. Jan. 26, 2017, a federal judge ruled midazolam, used in the State of Ohio’s execution drug protocol, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The three individuals granted stays of execution are now scheduled for execution at a later date this year: Ronald Phillips, May 10; Gary Otte, June 13; and Raymond Tibbetts, July 26.

Diocese of Toledo Bishop Daniel E. Thomas urges all Catholics and people of goodwill to:

1. Pray for the victims of crime, those facing execution, and those working in the criminal justice system;

2. Reach out to the families of those affected by violent crime by bringing Christ’s love and compassion;

3. Learn about the Catholic Church’s teaching on capital punishment and educate others in this vital area of concern by visiting: http://www.usccb.org/…/death-penalty-capital-puni…/index.cfm;

4. Advocate for the end of the death penalty by sending a postcard and by calling Governor John Kasich at: 614-466-3555, urging clemency for all 139 individuals on death row in the State of Ohio.

5. Join us for a series of monthly Candlelight Prayer Vigils for the abolition of the death penalty being planned throughout the Diocese of Toledo.

The next Candlelight Prayer Vigil is planned for Tuesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at St. Gerard Church, 240 West Robb Avenue, Lima, OH, with Rev. Michael D. Sergi presiding.

Churches of any faith denomination interested in holding a Prayer Vigil, or individuals interested in volunteering for Catholic Charities Jail & Prison Ministry, should contact Justice Ministry Coordinator Nick Lyster at 419.214.4958 or email him at nlyster@toledodiocese.org.

For more info contact Justice Ministry Coordinator Nick Lyster at nlyster@toledodiocese.org

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.”

Want more for your trade-in car? Donate it!

Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo is partnering with CARS to transform your trade-in car into a donation to help thousands of men, women and children in Northwest Ohio.

CARS is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) assisting nonprofit organizations across the USA in accepting vehicle donations as a revenue stream. The CARS exclusive web-based vehicle donation program provides the ability to accept vehicle donations without having to manage the program in-house. In addition, CARS exclusive web=based vehicle donation program provides the nonprofit organizations the transparency that they require and the security that the organization and donors demand.

How does it work?Neverabadtime

Donating your car is easy! Call 844-531-GIVE or 844-531-4483 or donate securely online at www.cardonatingiseasy.org. CARS will pick-up your vehicle and send you all of the paperwork after your vehicle is sold.

A Father's Will to Provide

After losing his job, Greg, a single father of four, was evicted from his home and lost everything. While trying to become stable again, Greg said Helping Hands of St. Louis helped his family get through the tough times.

“How does it make me feel sometimes as a father not being able to take care of my family?” Greg asked with sorrow hidden in his voice.

“I feel bad. I feel real bad. Because I had a good job, and I lost it when my company got shipped to Indiana,” Greg said.

“I’ve been doing temp service jobs and any job I can to make money. Having a pay cut, it’s been bad … hectic,” he says as he shakes his head in defeat.

“I got evicted from my home and all my kids’ clothes and my clothes were tossed out. It was wintertime, and the trash men came and took everything.”

Since then, Greg moved in with his mother. He has tried to replace his family’s belongings that were lost after the eviction, but it has been difficult.

“You know, it’s like I’m trying. I’m struggling. I feel terrible knowing my kids used to have good things like video games and all that stuff.”

Greg had once heard about Helping Hands from a friend who volunteered for the East Toledo center. Helping Hands provides food and clothing to hundreds of low-income individuals and families each day through its on-site soup kitchen, clothing center and food pantry.

In the midst of his struggle, Greg turned to the staff at Helping Hands and told them about his situation. They were willing to assist.

“They knew I got evicted, and they gave me extra clothes for my kids – including school clothes.”

During the summer months, Greg brings his children to the soup kitchen for meals when money is tight. He says the center has also helped him with diapers for his youngest son and other services when he is in financial need.

“The staff and volunteers make me feel welcomed. They’re nice and I never had a problem,” said Greg.

“I would like to thank the volunteers and donors for everything! I just thank them because they helped me a lot.”

'Being at Miriam House Helped Me and My Family'

As Tiffany and her two sons, Lorenzo and Josiah, sat and played in the Miriam House living room, there was no question this place was once home. Now the family lives in their own home, but they still come back to visit the place that gave them new hope.

Tiffany and her four children moved to Miriam House in spring 2013 after she and her husband separated.

“My husband and I bought a house in New Mexico together, and it didn’t work out between us,” Tiffany said.

“My children and I stayed with my in-laws before we came back to Ohio to stay with my family. But when I got back to Norwalk, there was no room, and it was a lot of stress being back around my family.”

After being home for a few months, Tiffany made a phone call to Miriam House.

Located in Norwalk, Miriam House is a transitional housing program that offers safe and stable housing to homeless women and their children.

“I never thought I would be in a position where I would need help,” she said.

“Times got kind of hard, and I had to figure something out. I thought maybe I could come here and get myself back together,” Tiffany recalled.

The family of five moved into Miriam House a few days later. Tiffany said that it was stressful at first, but after some time, Miriam House became a safe place where our staff became like family.

“I liked that we could play outside, watch T.V. and play on the playground,” said 11-year-old Lorenzo as his four-year-old brother Josiah sat next to him nodding his head in agreement.
Tiffany used her time at Miriam House to go back to school for her high school diploma.

“At first I kept saying, ‘I couldn’t do it.’ It was hard having to take care of my kids, go to work and get the credits I needed to graduate. I think being here helped me because I was able to talk to someone. I was never able to talk to anyone before about my situation.”

With encouragement from Miriam House staff, Tiffany was able to finish her credits and receive her diploma.

“I am now in school at the Ohio Business College in Sandusky for my degree in Medical Administration,” she said proudly.

Tiffany secured a house four months after she moved into the Miriam House. She attributes her success to the help she received while living there.

“I appreciate all that they have done. Being at Miriam House helped me and my family. Thank you to all who make Miriam House possible.”

“A friend told me about La Posada. I came and I was surprised because it doesn’t look like a shelter. It looks just like a home. I was so glad when they told me we could stay. They’ve been so good to me. Honestly, none of this would be happening if I hadn’t been here. They’ve helped me so much.” – Marquita, La Posada resident

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