Susan, a single mom with three young children, came to Catholic Charities with a gas bill in disconnect status. She had recently been laid off due to downsizing in her company and was without a job for the first time in her adult life. Using funds from Keep the Kids Warm, Catholic Charities was able to help with Susan’s gas bill. Other funds were accessed to help her with rent. Since receiving assistance, Susan has resumed classes at a local university so that she can get the education necessary to secure a higher paying job in her field. She is now stably housed, receiving financial support from family as well as financial aid for her education.
Susan’s family is one of hundreds throughout the Diocese of Youngstown who will benefit from Catholic Charities’ Keep the Kids Warm campaign, an initiative to help meet the growing demand for utility assistance among families with children. Many of those receiving assistance from Keep the Kids Warm are working poor families who do not qualify for government assistance, as well as those families who have no resources after government subsidized programs like HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) have lapsed.
Catholic Charities is asking Catholic parishes and others of good will to support the Keep the Kids Warm campaign.
This campaign runs throughout the month of January, the month also known as Poverty Awareness Month. The definition of poverty is “the state of being extremely poor.” Forty percent of Ohio’s households have difficulty affording life’s basic necessities. This forty percent includes people living in poverty as well as the working poor who face multiple challenges, including having enough food to eat, paying rent and utility bills, and purchasing essential prescription medication.
Despite the challenges poverty presents locally, Catholic Charities will be there to provide help, create hope and work with others to develop strategies that provide a “hand up” to those bearing poverty’s burden.
One way you can help during these harsh winter months is to support the Keep the Kids Warm campaign. Catholic Charities serves all qualifying individuals, regardless of their religion. Parish and community participation in Keep the Kids Warm is appreciated as we work to eliminate human suffering and fight poverty.
Please pray that we all respond compassionately to those we encounter who need our assistance.