Last night I attended a dinner downtown. It is an “event” among a certain group, and I have been to this annual dinner for six years. It is a huge fund-raising gathering to honor Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charlotte. There were a lot of people in the past, but this year, a record-breaking 900 Catholics gathered to socialize, eat a lovely dinner, and honor the works of our area’s Catholic Charities and people crucial to its day-to-day operation.
Here are some numbers…nationally, 9,000,000 people receive services, and you don’t have to be Catholic to be helped. We don’t ask. Over 4.6 billion dollars are raised nationally each year to provide food, clothing, housing, counseling, immigration services, safe houses, parent and education support, hope, and love from professionals and volunteers all over the country. Catholic Charities is the largest faith-based humanitarian organization in the country. It breaks down the walls of division.
I was surrounded by 900 generous people who are working to reduce poverty in America. “There are different kinds of gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
I never thought I would be a person who would quote from the Bible, but given my new life, and the climate of our country today, I am compelled. I just want to be a good person, and help other people. I spent my whole life serving children and their families, and I want my life to matter as I continue to transition in my particular season. I am humbled to be among these ambassadors of healing and love, and I am grateful this love is for anyone.
Know what? You may already be a “Partner in Hope.” There are many other humanitarian groups of all faiths or walks of life that do good works all over the country and the world. Humanitarians are not just Catholics. I’m sure many of you give hope to those in need in your own community. If you aren’t involved, find a way…I’m sure there’s someone to help or something you can do. Be an ambassador of healing and love. Our country and our world need us.