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Out of School Time partnerships help youth develop new skills

As the school year comes to a close, students at Saint Malachy Out of School Time Program (OST) in North Philadelphia enjoyed prepping their final meal with the Vetri Cooking Lab. The OST Program partners with Vetri Community Partnership, a non-profit organization that provides nutrition education through cooking to more than 20,000 people of all ages from Philadelphia and Camden each year. Vetri Cooking Lab is a dedicated OST program consisting of 10 two-hour long sessions that help students build on culinary skills and nutritional knowledge.  Vetri and Saint Malachy OST have partnered on the Vetri Cooking Lab program over the last 5 years with fall, spring, and summer sessions each year. “Each session offers hands-on cooking and tasting opportunities where the students follow chef's instructions in creating the meal and finish the session sitting around the table eating their day's creation and discussing,” explains Erik Ritter, Director of Saint Malachy

By |2023-06-01T09:13:07-04:00June 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Out of School Time partnerships help youth develop new skills

Support for Parents and Children at Casa del Carmen

On a sunlit, steamy afternoon in July, North Philly mothers, fathers, grandparents, and children gathered at Casa del Carmen Family Service Center for “Summer Fest”, an annual celebration for families. The Beautiful Beginnings parent education program at Casa del Carmen hosted the afternoon of food and fun. The event was a welcome break from remote events and digital “gatherings” so commonplace throughout the pandemic. Neighbors enjoyed Philly favorites: hoagies, soft pretzels, and water ice. Says Jenny Munguia, BA, BSW, Prenatal & Parenting Educator at Casa del Carmen, “Summer Fest is a way to bring people together, and relieve the stress of being alone. To get people to meet their neighbors”. Pregnancy and Parenting Education Social isolation, and the stress that accompanies it, is all too common in families with infants and young children. Catholic Social Services at Casa del Carmen helps to minimize isolation by conducting pregnancy and parenting education

By |2022-08-28T19:02:33-04:00August 28th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Support for Parents and Children at Casa del Carmen

Making Magic at St. Thomas Aquinas OST Summer Camp

A Magical Summer Wizards, wands, and magic spells: It’s “A Magical Summer” for the campers at St. Thomas Aquinas Out- of-School-Time program (OST). The magic is being made with the help of the Franklin Institute, dedicated staff members, and The Archbishop’s Benefit for Children. The Archbishops Benefit for Children (ABC) began in 1955 as a one-day event when Cardinal O’Hara initiated a Christmas party for the children served by Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS). Since that time, it has evolved into a year-round initiative to support youth programs. As a beneficiary of ABC, Out-of-School-Time Programs enrich the lives of students by providing afterschool academic support and a variety of cultural and recreational activities that serve as outlets to showcase their talents and skills, including summer camps. This year, forty-eight children between the ages of five and twelve attend the St. Thomas Aquinas Summer Camp for six

By |2022-07-29T18:55:45-04:00July 29th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Making Magic at St. Thomas Aquinas OST Summer Camp

Support for Women and Children at Mercy Hospice

Support for Women and Children at Mercy Hospice On a typical evening at Mercy Hospice in Philadelphia, mothers and their children can be found in the activities room, redefining what it means to have fun. Whether they are playing board games, line dancing, or doing arts and crafts, the experience is a new one for most of them. That’s because “fun” in recovery means something completely different from “fun” in addiction. This is just one way we provide support for women and children at Mercy Hospice. The women residents at Mercy Hospice, a program within the Housing and Homeless Services Division of Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, are working towards recovery. Both single women and mothers with young children can reside at Mercy, which at any given time, houses 30 to 35 women and 7 to 10 children for up to 3 months. Some of the mothers

By |2022-07-20T12:39:11-04:00July 19th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Support for Women and Children at Mercy Hospice

On the Frontlines of Foster Care

Catholic Social Services is on the frontlines of the foster care world.  The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services estimates that there are 4,300 children in Pennsylvania who are in need of a safe, loving home.  Catholic Social Services works with hundreds of foster parents to provide foster care services for children in need.  Tabitha Seehousen, a Foster Care Social Worker with Catholic Social Services, was recently interviewed by Loraine Ballard for WDAS-FM. She shared with the WDAS audience her insights on the foster care world in Philadelphia and the foster care program run by Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Listen to Tabitha’s interview this Sunday morning on WDAS-FM. Ms. Seehousen notes that, “Catholic Social Services exists to transform lives and bring about a just and compassionate society where every individual is valued; families are healthy and strong and communities are united in their commitment to the good

By |2022-06-30T17:49:22-04:00June 30th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on On the Frontlines of Foster Care

Casa Del Carmen Preschool Academy Drive-Through Graduation

Casa del Carmen Preschool Academy Drive-Through Graduation The steady rain of the previous week turned to sunshine just in time for the Casa Del Carmen Preschool Academy Graduation. Last Saturday morning Holy Innocents Roman Catholic Church on East Hunting Park Avenue, the 56 tiny graduates gathered in the parking lot with their parents and teachers to commemorate their first academic milestone: Preschool Graduation. The graduates, each in a pint-sized cap and gown, and their families, were being honored with a special drive-through graduation celebration. The families of the honorees drove through the parking lot and were greeted by their cherished teachers and staff one last time. The event marked the end of the 2021-2022 academic year. Each young graduate received a diploma and award certificates. Individual gift bags for each child were filled with essential kindergarten supplies to prepare the graduates to take the next step in their school journey.

By |2022-06-30T17:51:58-04:00June 29th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Casa Del Carmen Preschool Academy Drive-Through Graduation

Avoiding Childhood Summer Hunger

Most students and parents welcome the end of the school year.  Summer provides an extended break from the hectic pace of the academic calendar: classes, homework, tests, repeat. But for many students in Philadelphia, the end of the school year also means the end of school breakfast and lunch, and with it, the end of knowing for sure that they will have something to eat every day.  Responding to this need, Nutritional Development Services (an agency of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and a sister organization of Catholic Social Services) provides summer food to children. NDS Food Programs During the academic year, Nutritional Development Services (NDS) partners with over 100 parochial, charter and faith-based schools throughout the southeastern region of Pennsylvania to administer government funded school food programs. On an average day 17,000 lunches and 7,600 breakfasts are served to children 18 and under in these schools. NDS also uses it expertise

By |2022-06-10T12:03:13-04:00May 30th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Avoiding Childhood Summer Hunger

Lucia’s Pillows

Maximizing the Potential of Adults with Disabilities The idea for “Lucia’s Pillows," a shop, came to its namesake one night in a dream. In the dream, Lucia, an adult with intellectual disabilities, was making beautiful pillows and selling them. People loved her pillows. Each unique creation featured one of her original drawings, embroidered and embellished with colorful yarn. The dream was the perfect image of Lucia’s passions: drawing, embroidery, and sewing. Lucia is a born artist, and throughout her life has found many outlets for her creativity. Whether she is drawing, painting, or sewing, it all comes very naturally to her. But being a businesswoman had never occurred to Lucia, until she had the dream. Where would the dream lead? The dream inspired Lucia to open an online shop for her pillows. Turning the dream into reality took mere months, with the help of  a supported employment specialist from the

By |2022-06-14T14:51:07-04:00May 23rd, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Lucia’s Pillows

Affordable Independent Senior Living in Delaware County

Affordable, Independent Senior Living in Delaware County When construction is complete on St. Joseph Place, an affordable, independent senior living facility in Collingdale, a glass atrium will connect two separate buildings that were once the center of the Catholic community in this Delaware County town: the former elementary school of St. Joseph's parish and the nearby parish annex. Community can’t exist without connection. Connection between generations, between the past and the present, and between a neighborhood and its residents. When completed, the construction and renovation will do more than connect two structures. It will connect a beloved old school building with a re-imagined future. St. Joseph Place Apartments St. Joseph Place will consist of 50 one-bedroom apartments for income eligible seniors aged 62 and older. Features of the building will include a community room, food cupboard, laundry facilities, resident lounges, and on-site social services to assist residents with various needs

By |2022-04-25T20:31:55-04:00April 25th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Affordable Independent Senior Living in Delaware County

Nutritional Development Services Delivers Easter Baskets

Food Pantry Delivers Easter Baskets David Stier, Assistant Director, Community Relations, and other staffers from Nutritional Development Services (NDS),  don't typically shop for jellybeans and Easter baskets when stocking an agency food pantry. But this week, NDS will fill in for the Easter Bunny and deliver 145 Easter baskets to childcare facilities in Philadelphia. The baskets, provided by an anonymous donor, will be bursting with Easter Eggs, candy, and books. Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in our community go without enough food to eat. Many parents struggle to put nutritious food on the table. These parents are not likely to spend their food budgets on baskets of jellybeans and chocolate bunnies. That’s where the NDS Easter baskets come in. NDS is bridging the gap between eating for sustenance and eating for the sheer joy of it. Who hasn't experienced the joy of devouring a soft marshmallow chicken

By |2022-04-11T14:48:57-04:00April 11th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Nutritional Development Services Delivers Easter Baskets