April 12, 2024

Our Works of Charity / David Bethuram

Embracing our powerful and timeless message to ‘love thy neighbor’

David Bethuram

In our city and neighborhoods, there lies a hidden crisis that can often go unnoticed amid the hustle and bustle of daily life. But its impact is profound and far-reaching.

Economic disparities and inadequate access to nutritious food are forcing families to face the

gut-wrenching dilemma of choosing between rent and food. Children are going to bed with empty stomachs, and the elderly are deciding between medication and a meal.

According to Feeding America, one in nine Hoosiers faces hunger, and one in eight of our children faces hunger. This is where the mission of Catholic Charities stands as a representation of unwavering compassion and unity, a symbol of the enduring importance of community and reminding us of our shared humanity.

In the sanctuary of our Catholic Charities client service centers, the marginalized and the downtrodden find a glimmer of hope, a sign that they are not alone in their struggles.

Our food pantries, food banks and food services are lifelines for the most vulnerable members of our communities. They serve as a refuge for those facing economic hardships, food insecurity and the grim reality of not knowing where their next meal will come from.

We don’t discriminate. We serve all faiths, creeds and backgrounds. We simply extend a hand of compassion to anyone seeking nourishment, warmth and solace. We are unwavering in our commitment to preserving the dignity of those needing our help.

Catholic Charities operates on the principle that no one should feel diminished or ashamed when seeking assistance. We offer a safe and welcoming environment where individuals and families can access nutritious food options without judgment.

We don’t just nourish bodies; we nourish our community as well. Our efforts bring together people from diverse backgrounds and create a sense of unity and solidarity. Our dedicated volunteers and donors come together under the common banner of compassion. Their selfless efforts keep our pantry shelves stocked and the doors open. These individuals are the unsung heroes of our communities, working tirelessly to ensure that no one who comes to us for help goes to bed hungry.

Once basic needs are met, we go the extra mile, offering resources and support to help individuals regain self-sufficiency. Educational programs, life skills enhancements, and referrals to essential services empower individuals to break free from the cycle of poverty, making Catholic Charities a pivotal force in transforming lives.

Valuable partnerships with local businesses, schools and faith-based organizations further strengthen our impact. Through joint efforts during disasters and crises, we demonstrate the remarkable feats achievable when a community unites to combat a problem. In the face of adversity, the human spirit shines brilliantly.

During this Easter season, I encourage you to reflect upon the importance of the work we are doing. Your support allows Catholic Charities to be a light in the darkness, to stand as a reminder that no matter our background or beliefs, we are all bound by our shared responsibility to care for one another.

It is through love and kindness that we can transform lives, nourishing not only bodies but also the hearts and souls of those less fortunate than us. In this sanctuary of hope, we find the true essence of what it means to be human.

We all have a role to play in creating a better community, be it through volunteering, donating or simply spreading awareness. Each of us can be a beacon of hope by showing that compassion knows no boundaries.

The powerful and timeless message of “love thy neighbor” speaks to the core of our shared values and the incredible impact that a handful of dedicated individuals can have on the lives of many.

(David Bethuram is executive director of the archdiocesan Secretariat for Catholic Charities. You can contact him at dbethuram@archindy.org.) †

Local site Links: