L.A. ARCHDIOCESE CONTINUES PROVIDING AIDE DURING PANDEMIC
In response to the need among the community due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the community of faith have come together to provide assistance, support and essential services to brothers and sisters in need.
“During this time of physical separation, our Catholic community has been hard at work creating new ways to serve those in need. Our Hearts to Serve hotline connects with the elderly and the homebound. We join our community partner organizations to provide services to the most vulnerable, including those who are not able to find resources elsewhere,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez. “Thanks to the generosity of Catholics in each of our parishes, the Cardinal McIntyre Fund, and the local Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection, this outreach is truly our Catholic community coming together to make an impact!”
The Archdiocese has provided financial support to families in desperate need. More than $100,000 have been donated to these families through the Cardinal McIntyre Fund, which provides emergency help and acts to solve immediate, pressing problems such as lodging for the night, emergency medical care, rent to tide over a financial crisis or a utility bill to keep the water or heat turned on for the week.
In March, the Office of Life, Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese launched Hearts to Serve in partnership with St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Knights of Columbus. This initiative has served over 1000 people and continues to provide support especially to the elderly, homebound, and pregnant women. Hearts to Serveservices include: grocery delivery to homes, provision of food and other necessities from local food pantries to those that might not be able to afford it at this time, and referral to mental health resources. A video highlighting the initiative is available athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8wk0kgNFg4&feature=emb_title.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is also partnering with the Archdiocese to distribute a donation of food and 500 gallons of milk from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Currently, St. Vincent de Paul is distributing food and milk at St. Mary’s parish in Palmdale helping hundreds of families.
Local businesses like Ingallina’s Box Lunch have joined the efforts of the Office of Life, Justice and Peace to arrange 150 non-perishable food packs that were distributed to anyone in need at Annunciation parish in Arcadia.
Catholic Charities of Los Angeles has continued its commitment with the community by providing services to the most vulnerable. Catholic Charities of LA has served over 55,000 families through their food distribution services located in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Forty Archdiocesan schools have served more than 500,000 meals to children no matter which school they attend since the pandemic began, serving about 18,000 meals per day to children in low-income areas.
“We are tremendously grateful to the Play Equity Fund for their generous contribution of sports equipment for our most needy children in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” said Paul Escala, Senior Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “The over 7,500 pieces of donated equipment will ensure students to continue their physical learning at-home and recognizes that sports and play is a critical component to the advancement of youth development.”
The Archdiocese partnered with the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation to distribute free play equipment to children and families across local communities to encourage healthful activities for youth while they are confined at home due to COVID-19 restrictions. Play equipment was distributed to any child (under age 18) who visited one of seven Catholic schools for the free lunch program. For a video and photos recapping the distribution of play equipment visit, https://youtu.be/0nwnhOu-GbQ and https://angelusnews.com/photo-video/our-lady-of-guadalupe-east-la-special-partnership-distributes-free-play-equipment/.
The Archdiocese has allocated funding from the local Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection, which was distributed to parishes and community organizations to help them continue their work in supporting those in need. CCHD has donated $140,000 to 27 parishes, community organizations including Habitat for Humanity, MEND, and Claris Health, and Catholic Charities Community Centers located in the Our Lady of the Angels Region – St. Robert’s Center (Venice), St. Margaret’s Center (Lennox) and El Santo Nino (South LA) received $5,000 each.
For more information on the outreach and support efforts of the parishes, schools and ministries of the Archdiocese during the COVID-19 pandemic visit, Make An Impact. For stories and updates on COVID-19, please visit Angelus News or In The News. For messages of Archbishop Gomez during COVID-19, please visit Messages of Hope.