by Vickie Hammond 

Love: A virtue representing human kindness, compassion and affection.

This definition of that very powerful word is part of the legacy we are celebrating during Catholic Charities’ very first Mission Awareness Month.

Love in the context of a workplace could be conceptually challenging.  Interestingly enough, though, I experienced just the opposite effect in recalling some of the many compassionate and kind acts of love- or their resulting successes- witnessed during my time with Catholic Charities.

Please allow me to share just a few of them with you:

  • Volunteers from a city parish program not only serving lunch guests at My Sister’s Place Women’s Center, but simultaneously entertaining them with music and dance!
  • During a guest reading project sponsored by Villa Maria Schools, the Diagnostic classroom teacher proudly encouraging her students to educate readers about recent class projects, curriculum and accomplishments.  (The children were thrilled!)
  • St. Vincent’s Villa residential staff simultaneously assisting one client in de-escalating a crisis situation and speaking calmly with another about meeting goals toward a reward
  • A former client- and current employee!- of Community Services’ programs making it a priority to talk with volunteers about not only her experience but also all of the great services these programs provide.
  • During Heritage Day at St. Vincent’s Villa, former clients talking about the significant positive impact that Catholic Charities employees have had on their lives.
  • Child and Family Services Division (CFSD) program managers incorporating the human element into financial reviews. One of them conveyed how a school-based clinic therapist began a fundraiser in their assigned school (with hopes of expanding this project to other schools).
  • Another Program Manager in CFSD’s Community Resources’ Department is creating a Youth and Young Adult Partnership, focused on (amongst other things) developing leadership skills in individuals who have been served by Child and Family Services.
  • A team of CFSD Program Accountants who appreciate and share stories behind the numbers- and enthusiastically participate in any number of volunteer opportunities across the Agency.  (Such as tie dying shirts with children during summer camp at St. Vincent’s Villa!)

There are so many more examples but I will end here and say thank you to everyone associated with Catholic Charities who incorporates kind, compassionate and affectionate acts of love into their every day!