Inaugural Paths to Hope Breakfast a success
More than 400 attendees helped raise nearly $100,000 for Catholic Charities programs throughout Central and Northern Arizona
PHOENIX (May 17, 2012)
– “There was hardly a dry eye in the room,” noted one guest. Darrin had just finished sharing how Catholic Charities Community Services changed his life and those of his three young sons. The crowd rose to their feet for a standing ovation. It was a fitting end to agency’s inaugural Paths to Hope Breakfast held May 10 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. The event has raised $97,404 and pledges continue to come in.
“We were truly blessed in the way the community came together. Michael [Bidwill] was wonderful to join us and speak to the importance of what we do,” said Catholic Charities President and CEO Bob Brown. “Hearing the impact our agency has on lives on those we serve reminds me that I truly have one of the greatest jobs in the world.”
More than 400 people attended the inaugural Paths to Hope Breakfast. Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill delivered a powerful keynote, relaying his respect, as a Catholic, that Catholic Charities’ mission is founded in the values of Catholic Social Teaching, yet serves people of all faiths, backgrounds and abilities.
DES Director Clarence Carter also addressed the attendees, calling for the community to become engaged because “it takes a whole community to make a community whole” and praising the work of Catholic Charities.
Winifred “Winnie” Hoots received the 2012 Helen Shea Service Award for her work with EmpowerU, a Catholic Charities program that helps vulnerable individuals and families to permanently improve their financial situations and achieve long-term prosperity.
But most impactful, were the words of those whose lives have been transformed by Catholic Charities. Tracy shared how she had been on the street for more than 10 years, manipulated and prostituted. When she came to Catholic Charities’ DIGNITY program, she had no life-skills, no transportation, no home, no hope. She proudly shared that she now has a saving account, her own apartment, a good car, is a 4.0 student and that she hopes to earn her Ph.D. so she can help others.
Darrin also shared how Catholic Charities put him on the path to hope. As the son of an absent teenage mother who died when he was just 15 years old, Darrin said that he did not have the skills to parent his three boys. He wanted to break the cycle of poverty and gangs for them. Darrin broke down in tears when he shared how Catholic Charities helped him become a father for his young sons.
True to her nature, Winnie went on stage to comfort Darrin, giving him the strength to continue. He finished his story by inviting his boys to share the stage with him. The crowd was on its feet. Many sought out Tracy and Darrin afterwards to offer a hug and thanks for sharing their stories.
“There truly was community there, not only in those who attended—those in business, other agencies like us, old friends, new friends—but, it was like a collage. First you saw it, then you felt it, then you experienced it.” said Brown. “Our hope is to take the sense of community that was in that room and expand it from 400 neighbors helping neighbors to four million.”
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About Catholic Charities Community Services
Catholic Charities Community Services helps our community's most vulnerable with solutions that permanently improve lives. We help people of all faiths, backgrounds and abilities. Last year, we touched 90,715 lives in Central and Northern Arizona. We are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Children and Family Services and are a member organization of Catholic Charities USA. To learn more visit CatholicCharitiesAZ.org.
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