While this year is unlike any other, that did not stop Catholic Charities NH from hosting its 2020 Annual Gathering – even if it meant moving from the regular in-person celebration and reception to a unique virtual gathering. The afternoon included remarks from Tom Blonski, president and CEO of Catholic Charities NH, who looked back over the past year in what he referred to as “the best of times, and the worst of times” – starting with the Ice Ball, a celebration of Catholic Charities NH’s 75th anniversary of serving the needy and vulnerable across New Hampshire, followed by one of its biggest challenges yet with the coronavirus pandemic. “We were thoughtful, resolute, creative, nimble and compassionate in how we responded (to the crisis),” said Blonski. “It was amazing to see the inner-heroes rise to the surface among our many staff who looked adversity in the eye and were unwavering in their commitment to help.” Blonski shared several highlights among Catholic Charities social services programs:
- Mental Health Counseling Services transitioning to teletherapy for clients facing anxiety, depression and other life challenges.
- St. Charles School continuing to serve students in-person this fall with academic, social, emotional and behavioral services.
- The Our Place, Community Services and Immigration Legal Services programs responding to more than 2,000 service requests and case management inquiries.
- CareGivers volunteers giving more than 850 rides to medical appointments for homebound elderly.
- Monadnock at Home providing comfort calls and other virtual platforms to keep seniors connected.
- The New Hampshire Food Bank doubling food production and food distribution that continues to include mobile food pantries across the state.