Dear Friends and Family of Catholic Charities:

Everyone deserves a second chance. And this holiday season, everyone is getting that second chance.

 Yes, you, too, are being gifted with a second chance—to embrace family, to treasure moments, to appreciate blessings, and to have perspective. It’s a second chance to do the things you love and be with the people you cherish. You have shown fortitude and can now live with gratitude.

 As part of your new outlook on life, will you help save someone else’s?

For those in need, comfort appears unattainable. For those on the brink, happiness becomes indescribable. Let us open up our hearts, having all now been through the unthinkable.

Catholic Charities exists to give hope. To welcome the stranger. To be the Good Samaritan. We share our stories to show how profound a fresh start can be.

Lizbeth and her two young daughters experienced indescribable trauma. They had done nothing wrong, yet Lizbeth found herself in dire circumstances with no home, no job and no money.

When she entered House of Hope, Catholic Charities’ 24-hour women’s shelter in El Centro, with her two little ones by her side, Lizbeth was inconsolable. Her resilience is beyond admirable as she settles into her own apartment as a single mother. Click here to read her compete story.

Lizbeth was one of four people we visited with in person, at length, to hear their stories of starting new lives with the help of our services, staff and volunteers.

Jaimeson had lost her will to live before meeting a furry friend and being accepted into Catholic Charities’ Rachel’s Women’s Center in San Diego. Shakib recalls treacherous cliffs and a seemingly unreachable light in the distance when he and his family fled Afghanistan. Steve climbed mountains as well, overcoming a lifetime of alcohol and drug abuse.

TThroughout the holidays, we are featuring each powerful story, one at a time, culminating with a heartfelt message from two of our volunteers. Jim and Craig have boots on the ground in our Emergency Food Distribution Network Plus (EFDN+) that began as a pandemic response and became a permanent program. Since March 2020, Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego has coordinated the distribution of 1.9 million+ meals, by 1,200+ volunteers, over a span of 23,000+ hours, making us the largest partner to food banks. That’s the impact achieved in just one of our programs.


Lan, a 91-year-old woman who lives in senior residential housing, said she was immensely fearful of COVID because she has breast cancer. But moreover, she felt deeply saddened that she wasn’t able to see and celebrate with her children during the holidays. The special sleepovers only a grandmother could hold were canceled along with the hugs and personal interactions.

Food. Housing. Employment. Safety. How do we meet the vast and critical needs in our communities? With kindness, compassion, understanding, and generosity. If you have these qualities in you, put your faith into action with us.

I pray that our good Lord blesses and protects you, your loved ones, our country, and our world.

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