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Catholic Charities Appreciates Your #GivingTuesday Support!

TOLEDO, OH —Thanks to all who financially supported Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo’s #GivingTuesday2021 Campaign. This year we raised nearly $50,000!

Two generous Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo friends stepped up and their combined $30,000 donation matched all #GivingTuesday2021 donations on Tuesday, November 30 dollar-for-dollar!

#GivingTuesday, held the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, is a global day of giving and this year a continued show of unity in supporting the unprecedented need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic causing financial disruption within our families.

We are seeing a surge of individuals needing assistance as the COVID crisis continues to unfold—calls for assistance are going up. The need for food, shelter, rent, utilities and medical assistance is on the rise. During this season of giving, with your prayers and generous year-end gift, you will help ensure no one seeking help is turned away.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted all of our lives,” says Rodney Schuster, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo. “Regardless of the these challenges, Catholic Charities continues to stand tall, providing food, shelter, and vital case management services to the men, women, and children we serve.

“Throughout the past 18+ months, Catholic Charities staff often put themselves in harm’s way while helping and serving our brothers and sisters in need. I can’t help but think of John 15:13, ‘No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend.’ Please support our selfless servants and the vital work of Catholic Charities!

You can make your Catholic Charities GIVING TUESDAY gift any number of ways:

For more information on giving options contact Tom Waniewski, Catholic Charities Director of Development, at 419.214.4890 or email twaniewski@toledodiocese.org. On behalf of those we serve, thank you!

Catholic Charities Continues To Serve, Needs Your Support!

“No matter the circumstances Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo will continue to provide the most basic human needs of food, clothing, and shelter to the people we serve, during this challenging COVID-19 pandemic,” says Executive Director Rodney Schuster. “Especially with your continued support!”

Thanks to all our community partners, supporters, volunteers and loyal staff in these challenging times, all of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo‘s food, shelter and elder assistance programs remain fully operational during the pandemic.

Rodney Schuster

“With volunteer help now limited and food and clothing donations greatly decreased, we continue without pause to serve our communities’ most vulnerable men, women, and children across the Diocese of Toledo,” says Rodney Schuster, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo.

“We ask for your prayers to end this pandemic and to protect our staff and the people we serve. We also ask for your financial support as our ministries are being dramatically stretched,” Rodney Schuster explains, noting donations can be made online. Checks also can be mailed to Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo, 1933 Spielbusch Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43604.

Catholic Charities La Posada Family Emergency Shelter in Toledo and Miriam House in Norwalk, a transitional shelter for homeless women and children, remain open.

Hope Pantry in Mansfield is providing bagged groceries from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Helping Hands of St. Louis is providing bagged meals 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and snack packs from 1 – 3 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday.

The Helping Hands Food Pantry is providing groceries Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Hygiene products are being distributed from the Helping Hands Food Pantry Wednesdays from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

The Helping Hands Clothing Center is closed right now to process donations. We hope to hope to re-open soon to serve guests and begin accepting new donations of clothing, shoes, bedding, and small household items. Stay tuned.

“Rest assured, Catholic Charities will continue to follow the example Jesus gave us by serving the poor and healing the sick in these challenging times,” Mr. Schuster adds. “Thank for you prayers and generous support!”

Individuals and families needing assistance or wanting to volunteer/assist with donation drives are encouraged to reach out to their nearest Catholic Charities office: 419.244.6711 – Toledo; 419.524.0733 – Mansfield; 419.668.3073 – Norwalk; and 419.502.0043 – Sandusky. Thank you! God Bless!

Catholic Charities Seeks Financial and In-Kind Donations

TOLEDO, OH — “Financial support is critically needed to keep all of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo’s food, shelter and elder assistance programs fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Rodney Schuster, Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo’s Executive Director.

“We greatly appreciate all of our wonderful community partners and loyal supporters in the region. With volunteer help now limited and food and clothing donations greatly decreased, our ministries are now being dramatically stretched.” 

“We also ask for your prayers to end this pandemic and to protect our staff and the people we serve,” Mr. Schuster adds. “Rest assured, Catholic Charities will continue to follow the example Jesus gave us by serving the poor and healing the sick in these challenging times. All of our staff and services are adjusting by striving to maintain the recommended ‘social distance’ with others, while continuing to provide love and care to everyone we encounter.”

Our HOPE Pantry in Mansfield needs the following items:

  • Boxed Macaroni and Cheese
  • Soup
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Dry or Shelf-Stable milk
  • Canned Meat (chicken, pork or beef)
  • Drink boxes or pouches
  • Individually-packaged desserts (cookies, snack cakes etc.)
  • Individually-packaged bags of chips, pretzels, etc.
  • Individually-packaged pudding, fruit or Jello cups
  • 15 oz. or larger bottles of shampoo
  • Toothpaste/toothbrushes
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Laundry Soap
  • Dish Soap

Please arrange a time to drop off donations at HOPE Pantry, 2 Smith Avenue, Mansfield, OH, by contacting Catholic Charities HOPE Pantry Coordinator Susan Dyson at 419-524-0733 or email sdyson@toledodiocese.org.

Listening to the Heart and Soul

Because of the caring staff at Catholic Charities, Taymara says she is able to live a healthy life and help others.

Days after her 40th birthday, Taymara was rushed to the emergency room. She had been experiencing moderate to severe chest pains for months, but this time it was different. Taymara was having a heart attack.

“The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘I don’t want to die. I want to live.’”

Taymara had 90 percent blockage of an artery due to high cholesterol, stress and years of heavy smoking. After having heart surgery, Taymara said her view on life changed dramatically.

Taymara“I believe God wanted me to live that day, and I look at life through a new window. I have to take medications for the rest of my life to stay alive. I stopped smoking, but my medications are important.”

However, when Taymara lost her job as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor in 2009 due to budget cuts, she could no longer afford her normal living expenses, including her prescriptions.

On the Other Side

“When I was a counselor here in Mansfield, I referred a lot of people to Catholic Charities because I knew the staff members were always willing to give people a hand up to get out of their situation regardless of their background,” Taymara said. “I found myself on the other side of the fence, so I took my own advice.”

Taymara contacted Catholic Charities and was referred to the Community Emergency Services program.

Community Emergency Services helps families and individuals in Richland and Huron Counties who are struggling to manage finances, pay bills or maintain a stable residence.

“I met Laurie Hamrick, Catholic Charities Case Manager, and she made me feel welcome. Laurie listened to what I needed. Laurie and the staff at Catholic Charities treated me with respect.”

“Laurie registered me for money management training classes. After completing my classes, I was able to receive the finances I need to pay for my medication.”


It has been over four years since her first meeting at Catholic Charities, and Taymara says that because of the help she has received, she no longer needs prescription assistance.
Today, Taymara dedicates her time to helping others in her community achieve their greatest potential and continues to refer people to Catholic Charities.

“I truly think God saved me so I could help someone else. I don’t know what I would’ve done if it weren’t for Catholic Charities. My life really depended on their help. I am so thankful for Laurie and Catholic Charities for what they did to save my life.”

One hour before being taken off life-support, Brianne’s heart miraculously started beating on its own. She had been on life-support for three and a half months before her family made the decision to pull the plug.

“I woke up to a different world”

Before that, Brianne had suffered through a massive heart attack at age 26, followed by a stroke that caused her to go blind in her right eye and multiple open-heart surgeries. After waking up, her whole life was turned upside down.

“I woke up and realized I couldn’t walk.” Due to being on life-support for three and a half months, Brianne lost her job and with no income she lost her house, too.

New Problems

“My teeth were decaying and painful due to all the medications. The doctors told me if I didn’t have them out within a year, I could die from the (gum disease and gingivitis) infections that were in my mouth.”

Brianne saw a Catholic Charities’ pamphlet about getting financial help with medications. She had never heard of Catholic Charities before but decided to call and ask for help. She attended a workshop about medications and when she mentioned her problems with infections, Laurie of Catholic Charities in Mansfield listened and told Brianne that Catholic Charities could help.

Brianne said, “I was scared and really embarrassed. Before having my teeth removed, trying to face family and friends looking the way I did with my rotted teeth was a sheer nightmare. Without having my teeth removed, I would have died, and that’s a scary thing.”

Family dentists wouldn’t treat Brianne because of the risk with her heart. Laurie connected her with oral surgeons at a dental school and Catholic Charities was able to help with funding the procedure and her new smile.

“God was looking over me. I feel much better physically since having my teeth removed because I am no longer in the tremendous amount of pain I was in,” said Brianne, now age 34.

Saved Again

“I’ve realized that God wanted me to live. Not only have I been saved once, but I’ve also been saved twice. Now I have more confidence in myself because I have a beautiful smile. I feel amazing. I feel like a whole different person – I am a different person really. I know that there’s actually someone out there that does care”

“Don’t ever give up when there is hope out there. There is an angel somewhere and Catholic Charities has been my angel. They have really been a blessing to me.”

“Catholic Charities has given me a chance to live, and I pray each day and thank God for Laurie and the Catholic Charities organization for all their help and support. Without Catholic Charities in my life, I might not be here today.”


“I finally have my smile back and it means the world to me. I can finally regain confidence through my smile and not feel ashamed to speak.”

“Thank God for Catholic Charities. I feel I have my life back now. I thank God and all those involved that I will live a healthy, strong life.”

J. got her discharge from the Air Force in 1999, and since then, life has been difficult.

Chronic illness and back pain left her unable to finish her nursing degree.
Eventually, she lost her home and her car.  Sadly, she had been living on the couches of friends and relatives for a year-and-a-half before she was referred to the Mansfield office of Catholic Charities by her Veteran’s Administration social worker.

Catholic Charities helped her with a deposit on a modest apartment, and a local retailer provided her with a bed set and basic furnishings, as well as a phone card to assist in her job search.  J.’s ongoing rent payments are covered by a government H.U.D. program for veterans.  But the program doesn’t cover deposits – which is where Catholic Charities was able to help.

‘The good you do is amazing’

A trip to Catholic Charities’ H.O.P.E. Pantry provided her with food staples and personal supplies.  But it’s been difficult for J. to take assistance. “I always feel I should be giving rather than taking,” she said.  Nonetheless, she is very grateful for what she has received:

“I don’t know where I would be today if it weren’t for the people at Catholic Charities.  The good you do for people is nothing short of amazing.”

When Traci lost her job due to an unexpected illness, Catholic Charities helped her family get back on track.

Traci is a young widow from Mansfield who’s working to support her daughter and her two grandchildren.  “I was working a good job, but I got sick and needed surgery.  They kept me on the payroll for a while, but then they couldn’t any longer.  Eventually even my unemployment ran out.”

Placing children at risk

[singlepic id=42 w=320 h=240 float=right]“I had no job, no place else to go. I didn’t know what to do.  You don’t just lose your home if you’ve lost your job and have two little granddaughters depending on you.  You lose them too.  A friend of mine said I should call Catholic Charities to ask if they could help.  I never even heard of them before that.  But I thank God she said that, because they’ve been wonderful.”

What makes Catholic Charities different, Traci said, is that they don’t just tell you to fill out forms and get in line.  They actually work with you to make sure you’re doing what you need to do.  “They helped me with my rent and told me about the pantry so I could get some help putting food on my table.”

‘I wanted to tell people thank you’

“They visited me at home, found out what was going on and what I needed.  Then they helped my daughter get signed up for school.  And when they found that I’d suffered the loss of my husband, they even suggested I sign up for grief counseling.

“They really help you.  They get involved.  They get you on the right track. I’ve had wonderful caseworkers.  I am so grateful to them.

“What really helped me was the budgeting class they give.  It let me know how to handle my money better, so things don’t get out of control.”

Asked what she would say to the people who support Catholic Charities, Traci paused.  Her eyes welled up with tears.  “That’s why I said I would let you do a story about me.  I wanted to tell people thank you.  This is a wonderful group of people.  If not for you, people like me who don’t have a job, who don’t have anywhere to turn, would be lost.

“God blesses everyone who helps others.  I know he will bless you.”

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