LA CATHOLIC COMMUNITY SERVED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE DURING PANDEMIC OFFERING MORE THAN $10 MILLION IN ASSISTANCE
— Volunteers, leaders, ministries, and agencies inside and outside of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles made a significant impact in the lives of so many affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic —
In response to the needs of the community due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, including parishes, schools, programs, and agencies, assisted families in need in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties providing more than $10,000,000 in assistance to people of all walks of life.
Today, the Archdiocese issued a report in English and Spanish outlining the contributions of the Catholic community during the pandemic with more than 4,600 individuals/families served throughout the course of the year with 3,900,000 social services provided. Approximately, 114,000 individuals were part of virtual formation. In addition, 180,000 Masses were celebrated on livestream, in-person, indoors and outdoors in more than 40 languages. More than 85,000 pieces of Personal Protection Equipment were distributed in Catholic schools and parishes to ensure the safety of the faithful during the challenging year.
“The coronavirus pandemic hit families very hard. People who never worried before, found themselves with housing and food insecurity, affected by this terrible illness, or suffering from anxiety,” said Kathleen Domingo, Senior Director of the Office of Life, Justice and Peace. “Our LA Catholic community has come together with volunteers, resources, and new opportunities for helping. We are grateful for the sacrifices and generosity of so many that continue to help those in need, those who are sick and those who are lonely. Through these works of mercy, we bring Christ’s love to our community.”
In response to the global crisis, on March 23, 2020, 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. The hotline has received over 2,000 calls and has provided direct service to over 1,000 individuals looking for financial assistance, mothers in need, social services, food delivery for homebound, and food resources. 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. Additionally, through the Cardinal McIntyre Fund the Hearts to Serve program has provided $20,000 in financial assistance to families in need with utility, food, and rental assistance. A video highlighting the initiative is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8wk0kgNFg4&feature=emb_title.
“COVID-19 may have curtailed direct contact between. St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles and our clients, but the work of our team did not slow. Cell phones and the internet have allowed us to continue assisting with delinquent bills, rent, car repairs or whatever financial setbacks people were facing, and our food pantries received increased donations, enabling us to feed more hungry individuals, many of whom are first-timers. Our team, despite social restrictions, have put in an extraordinary effort.” – Ray Sweet, President of Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles
Catholic Charities of Los Angeles has continued its commitment to the community by providing services to the most vulnerable, such as immigration assistance, employment assistance, older adult services, Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services (AYES) to mention a few. Catholic Charities of LA has served over 237,204 families and provided 568,700 services in Los Angeles. Food and utilities distribution services were given to 230,075 individuals and 309,540 shelter services.
During these unprecedented months, record numbers of people donated to local parishes, schools, and food pantries,” said Domingo. “Many more volunteered their time to ensure the wellbeing of their neighbors and those in greatest need. Our Catholic community, through partnerships with other faith-based and nonprofit organizations, as well as civic agencies, delivered assistance where it was needed most.”
Despite the many challenges, Catholic schools continued to demonstrate academic performance growth in reading and math across the ADLA in the 2020-2021 school year. Catholic schools raised nearly $9,000,000 to support high-need students to continue their Catholic school education, and over 26K iPads have been distributed and as a result, there were no disruption in learning. Additionally, the catholic school’s food service program served nearly 3 million meals at 50 school sites. The Archdiocese Department of Catholic Schools partnered with the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation to distribute 7,500 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.
Providence supported 6 Catholic hospitals in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, served 7,741 Covid-19 patients, and administered 134,341 Covid-19 vaccination doses. Dignity Health supported 4 Catholic hospitals and served 7,091 Covid-19 patients.
The Cardinal McIntyre Fund For Charity assisted 1,096 individuals and families, reimbursed parishes for financial assistance given to their parishioners, and provided grants to parishioners and other entities to support their charitable initiatives to continue to help those affected by Covid-19.
For more information on the full report in English and Spanish, please visit LA Catholic 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.
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The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest and most diverse Catholic Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five million Catholics, serving the three counties of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara. For the latest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts visit media.la-archdiocese.org.