This story written by a volunteer, in her own words, describes the assistance she received at Catholic Charities and the impact it had on her life.
“My story begins with a negative experience that turned out to be a positive and life changing moment in my life. I first came to Catholic Charities of Schuyler County in June 2015 on a community service charge and it ended up being the best thing for me. At that point in my life I was feeling lost and depressed due to the fact that I had just lost my job and ended a relationship. From the moment I started my service I was greeted by the most caring and understanding people I have ever met. They did not treat me like a common criminal because I had made a mistake in my life, I was treated with respect and understanding. As my time went on there, I was helping others with the Schuyler Outreach Food Pantry, a Pantry that I didn’t even know was here. I knew nothing about Catholic Charities or the services that they provided and I’ve lived here for 6 years. I enjoyed what I was doing, so much so that I decided to stay on as a volunteer after my community service had ended.
I am now a volunteer at Schuyler Outreach and I love it – I love helping others and giving back to the community. I have been able to attend food panels and give my feedback on certain things and I also attended a Domestic Violence walk in October. I walked it proudly with several others in hopes that one day the violence will end. I spread the word of Catholic Charities and all the services that they provide, not just the ones in Schuyler County but all over because it’s important for people to know that we are here to help. Everyone needs to know that there is help out there for situations and that nobody should ever feel alone like I did.
I think the biggest moment that changed me was Christmas, when we did the giveaways and the family adoptions. The families that came through were so extremely grateful that some of them would cry which made me tear up. They were so thankful for the simplest of things that it overwhelmed me. To know that I helped someone give their children or a loved one or just themselves a gift, it just touched my heart. I have to say that this has truly changed my life. I use the services that we provide and that is why I know that this can help others in need. I am still learning about all the proper services so if I see someone who can benefit from it I can help them get the proper help they need.
This has been a life changing experience for me, it has given me the self-esteem I was looking for and it gives me purpose. It has also helped with my anxiety and depression which has also been great for my mental being. I would also like to also give a huge thank you to Kristine, Schuyler Outreach Food Pantry Coordinator, who has helped me in so many ways that a simple thank you doesn’t even come close to how I feel for gratitude. From the moment I came here she has been nothing but kind and understanding and supportive. She goes above and beyond for everyone that comes in and never makes anyone feel less than because everyone is important. I will continue to help others and spread the word because my goal is to let people know that they are not alone, we are here, and to never give up because when there is support there is HOPE.”