Eighty plus inches of snow brought the state of Maryland to a complete standstill. Everything from schools to government offices to shopping malls was closed. But not all Marylanders were holed up in their homes catching up on books, television shows, and rest. Hundreds of Catholic Charities employees traveled through treacherous conditions to arrive at their programs, spending multiple nights at work to make sure their clients were cared for.

Mark Greenberg, director of the Child and Family Services Division summed it up well when he said,  “The magnitude of two blizzards was impressive but even more impressive were the heroic efforts of staff to make sure the children, their families, and each other were well taken care of.”

Here are some examples of how Catholic Charities employees went above and beyond the call of duty:

  • Maintenance staff throughout the agency are now certified snow plowers and deserve massages for hours of shoveling.
  • Day shift employees worked night shifts and that is not easy for a body to do.
  • In the height of the storm one, devoted staff member spent an hour outside on the loading dock at St. Vincent’s Center grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for the staff. However, he was not crazy enough to wear shorts.
  • Sleep-deprived staff still managed to come up with creative and fun activities for the children.
  • Employees spent multiple nights at the programs to ensure their residents and clients had everything they needed.
  • Employees arrived at work with packed duffel bags because they had no intention of going home until the storm was over.
  • Dietary staff never missed a meal at any of our programs!
  • Some staff walked to work, on the ice and through several feet of snow, dodging snow plows and skidding cars.
  • Staff at Our Daily Bread shared casseroles with the city code blue shelter to ensure they would have enough food.
  • A familiar sight was staff shoveling decks, porches, and sidewalks so the residents could get out in the case of an emergency.
  • Staff brought in home-cooked specialties from their own homes to share with Gallagher Services residents.
  • Staff assisted one another picking each other up and catching a ride once they could get to the main roads so they could get into their group homes to work.
  • There was no job too big or too small for anyone, as everybody did what was needed, whether it was playing a game with a child or senior, serving a meal, shoveling a walkway or answering a phone.
  • A sole housekeeping employee at the Villa Maria Residential Treatment Center kept the whole building clean!
  • One nurse was the only nurse for many shifts and she never ran out of energy.
  • A group home employee who lives near the group home opened his home to the other staff so they could sleep and shower.
  • Employees who whose offices were closed risked life and limb to get to other programs to lend a hand.
  • Employees showed up for work 24 hours before their shift to ensure there was no lapse in coverage.

As spring approaches, employees can safely tuck their superhero capes away until the next big blizzard.