Be encouraged. We have a story for you.

We love the mountaintop experiences we share with Catholic Charities supporters – the thousands of diapers collected from diaper drives, the joy of delivering Christmas gifts to children and the deep satisfaction of developing strong mentoring relationships.

Back in the valley, though, life can feel a little barren. And it’s okay to ask about the difference we make together. Those diapers are eventually used, and more will be needed. The excitement of Christmas fades, and the hard work of relationships can feel like a struggle. So now what? Be encouraged. We have a story for you. 

Following our winter wear distribution to more than 200 people in January, we found ourselves in the valley a few days later and wondered what was next. Then we met Jayden. 

He had actually missed the distribution event by a day. He was starting a new construction job and did not have a coat. He had never been able to afford one in his extra-large size. In fact, he couldn’t afford gloves either. Earlier that day, we had put aside a winter wear kit that another client had not picked up. We were able to give it to Jayden, and, yes, it fit perfectly. He was overwhelmed by the goodness made possible by our supporters. That coat meant he could go to work and take the next steps to move in a better direction.

The previous chapters in his story include extreme childhood poverty, loss of his parents, years of cycling through foster care before finding what he thought would be security in a gang. His choices led him to drugs and ultimately a prison sentence. When he stood before us, he cried. We teared up a little, too. 

The coats and winter gear we shared with those in need started as an idea in a single heart. That idea inspired others to action. Additional donations appeared, and volunteers arrived to help us pack and distribute. After the event, folks returned to their routine of their lives. Except for Jayden. We’re trying to talk him out of buying us lunch with his first paycheck, but we’ve asked him to keep in touch and let us know the next chapter in his story. 

As for the rest of us, what we do makes a difference – sometimes all the difference.