Catholic Charities Report
Catholic Charities Expands Services to Elders, Disabled
By Gary Bouchard | Photos courtesy of The Caregivers, Inc.
Since its founding 74 years ago, Catholic Charities New Hampshire has always been dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable people in New Hampshire’s communities, including the elderly and those unable to navigate some of the most basic challenges of day-to-day life. Sometimes that care has come in the form of transportation to a doctor’s appointment or in the delivery of a hot meal. Always it has required an attentive ear, a gentle hand and a ready smile.
Last fall, Catholic Charities greatly expanded its capacity and commitment to provide such care for the elderly and disabled when it acquired The CareGivers Inc., a not-for-profit organization founded in 1984 with the mission of providing assistance to elderly and disabled citizens in greater Manchester and Nashua. Though it will retain its original and familiar name, The CareGivers will now operate as a program of Catholic Charities and continue the vital work of assisting people with the Rides for Living transportation services, the Caring Cupboard mobile food pantry and other valuable forms of support that make it possible for its clients to live an active life from their homes while retaining their independence and dignity.
The affiliation of the two organizations came after long discussions that Ruth-Ellen Mason, who chairs The CareGivers board of directors, characterized as “substantive and thoughtful.” The CareGivers president and CEO James Wilkie describes the joining of his organization’s mission with Catholic Charities as a way “to build on the work and dedication of our 600 volunteers and to continue carrying out our mission of protecting and supporting the most vulnerable members of our community. Catholic Charities is an outstanding, highly-regarded organization with a strong track record of program excellence,” while emphasizing that Catholic Charities’ mission of responding to those in need with programs that heal, comfort and empower “closely aligns with our own.”
Tom Blonski, president and CEO of Catholic Charities NH, observes “Catholic Charities New Hampshire and The CareGivers share a strong commitment to protecting our state’s elderly and most vulnerable citizens. We’re honored to uphold The CareGivers’ deep history and unwavering commitment to our neighbors in need and discover new ways to deliver the care and support they deserve, with dignity. The demand for these types of services has never been greater,” he says, “and we’re excited to be working with these amazing and inspiring clients while opening the doors to positively impact many more lives into the future.”
People who have relied on The CareGivers for transportation, meals or other forms of support likely will not have noticed any disruption in those services. What is different is the foundational strength that can sustain and enhance the program’s mission. “Catholic Charities not only has the back office resources and logistical ability to continue our mission and purpose, but they have the desire to do so with respect and compassion,” says Ruth-Ellen. She calls the agreement between Catholic Charities and The CareGivers “a natural extension of our shared mission and history. It’s a blessing for our clients,” she says, “I look forward to this new era of serving our friends and neighbors who need us most.”