Caring Carroll Inc. is a non-profit 501c3 organization that screens and trains volunteers to support older and disabled adults in Carroll County, MD. In 1999 a small group of organizations determined that there was a need to check on isolated frail elderly and disabled adults that wished to remain living independently in the community. At the time, a phone safety check program was started called Seniors Keep In Touch. After a number of successful years, it became evident that those in the program needed much more than a phone call. It was determined that there was no other agency who provided these same services to low-income and, particularly, for free using volunteers. There are also long waiting lists for services for low-income seniors through county and state programs.
Since the beginning they have served over 150 “Care Receivers” or clients in 2017. There were 118 clients who received volunteer services during 2016. While some care receivers only need one of the services mentioned above, most need several of the services and receive them on a weekly basis through the coordination of volunteers, or possibly, a one-on-one match.
Most of Caring Carroll’s Care Receivers are low-income seniors. Individuals are referred by the Bureau of Aging and Disabilities, the Carroll County Health Department, Carroll Hospital, Carroll County Department of Social Services, William Kahlert Regional Cancer Center, American Cancer Society, Access Carroll, Human Services Programs, Carroll Home Care/Home Care Maryland LLC, Carroll Hospice, RSVP, senior housing units, other agencies, churches and facilities. We also receive many self-referrals and requests from family members who may live in other counties or, even, out of state.
Caring Carroll is fortunate to, currently, have over 120 volunteers, of which more than 50% are active on a weekly basis, many of whom help multiple care receivers. The majority of these volunteers, themselves, are over 60. Volunteers receive initial training, a background check, and ongoing support from the Executive Director and Program Coordinator with individual situations and continued training. Caring Carroll also provides volunteer liability, accident and excess auto insurance, which offers security to volunteers and allows them to feel comfortable working directly with care receivers, especially when it comes to providing transportation.
After over thirty years of being out of contact with my cousin, Rev. Padre Pedro Vásquez, we reestablished contact in 1999. He was, at that time, the only priest for the parish of . Deacon Vito and his wife Doris Piazza visited Doris’ cousin Rev. Padre Padro Vásquez and parish in San Pedro in Mórrope, Perú, this visit changed their lives forever.
38 villages were part of the parish ministry and they saw, first hand, the dire poverty in which these people were living. The majority of families had no running water, indoor plumbing or electricity. Nevertheless the love and acceptance of the people they visited was very evident. They were moved to action and decided to develop a plan to help these people, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Deacon Vito and Doris met with a group of mothers who were making textiles to sell to help their families. We also met with a young man who created ceramics to sell to be able to feed his family.
Our first step was to bring their products back to sell here, in the United States, and every penny collected was given back to them. This became our first effort at fundraising. With yours and the help of our family and friends, we raised $14,000. And so we began…but…Father Pedro had a much larger vision: to educate the young people of Mórrope.
Father Pedro’s vision was indeed larger. He told us about the young people who, after high school, had nothing to do, or were leaving their town. In subsequent visits we established the need to bring education to these young people who had the desire to continue their education but, did not have the means. And so, we decided to create the Hope for Mórrope Foundation, to serve his vision.
The generousity of SJCC in the past has gone a long way to support this ministry, please consider continuing during this year’s sharing fund.
Immersed in the 900-year tradition of our order, the Norbertine Fathers live a common life of liturgical prayer and care for souls. Our abbey in Orange County consists of nearly fifty priests and over thirty seminarians studying for the priesthood.
Consecrating our days to the Lord
Our life at St. Michael’s Abbey is organized according to prayer of the Church: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. “Seven times a day I praise You,” says the Psalmist, and by chanting together the prayers of the Divine Office, Norbertine canons “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God.”
Service, formed by our religious life
For more than fifty years, St. Michael’s Abbey Norbertine Fathers have served the Christian faithful in Southern California—“lifting high the Holy Eucharist over the miseries and errors of this world” (Saint Pope John Paul II). Our community’s apostolic ministries are many and various—from teaching religious education in prisons to serving as chaplains to colleges, the military, and communities of religious women—but they all find their source in our common life of prayer and fraternal charity.
Our community has been blessed by a tremendous amount of growth—both in our numbers, as well as in our apostolates. This growth has resulted in the urgent need for a new abbey to advance our mission more effectively. In March 2018 we completed our fundraising campaign and successfully met our goal of $120,000,000.
We broke ground and construction is underway!
Saint Joseph Catholic Community has always been very generous to the organizations we support each year for the Sharing Fund.
Please consider continuing this year in supporting these three organizations. Thank you.