News Release: 8/20/2020

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August 20, 2020

Help us continue our 110 year legacy of

Empowering Families


We have a goal of sponsoring 200 families, which has a ripple effect for the entire community.

A gift of $500 allows us to support one family, but no gift is too small to make a difference.


Click Here to Sponsor a Family Today!


Here are just a few of the stories of families we have served:


Dominique's Story:
Positive. Off the charts motivated. Tiger mom. That’s how Dominique’s case manager from our Padua program describes her. Dominique joined the Air Force at 18. She was stationed in Korea when she met Jai, another military member. They were married soon after. After serving for six years, the couple settled down in East Texas and had two sons. Dominique soon noticed their oldest son, Jai Jr., wasn’t talking. Because they lived in a rural area, resources for speech therapy were few and far between. They moved to Fort Worth for greater access to services for their son. “We were keeping up. We had an apartment and shared a car. My husband was working and I had a paper route. The hours were hard and it was seven days a week, but I could be home with my kids when my husband worked. Then our car broke down and we didn’t have the money to fix it. My husband ended up losing his job as a result. We were evicted. We ended up living out of that car for two months. We’d save up to stay in hotel rooms, but it was too expensive. It was during that time my son was diagnosed with autism. My husband had a hard time accepting the diagnosis and we separated. I was living at the Union Gospel Mission with my two kids when I first found out about Padua.” As a veteran, Dominique was able to get a housing voucher, and found a place that would keep Jai Jr. in the same school district. CCFW Veteran Services were able to help cover the move-in fees. “Padua referred me to a program with Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy (ABA) for kids with autism. They offered Jai Jr. a year long slot. I started a job as a crossing guard, which means I can walk to work and be with my kids. Before we became homeless, I was going to school to become an accountant. I really like working with numbers and interacting with people. Padua was able to help me pay for my transcripts and work on a plan to start at Tarrant County College.”
Chris's Story:
“$313.56 a week. That’s how much my dad made per week to support myself and eight of my siblings. I remember specifically because my dad would always give me and my youngest brother the 56 cents. After my parents divorced, my dad worked really hard and did the best he could to take care of us nine kids. I had always loved hanging out with my siblings, but as they started to get older, they started getting into stuff they shouldn’t. Drugs, fighting, not taking care of their kids, going to jail. I had always looked up to my brothers, but now I just looked to them as examples of everything I didn’t want to be. Even today, four of my brothers are incarcerated. I knew I didn’t want to follow this path and I left home at 16. The stepdad of a friend of mine, Calvin, took me in and let me help him with his farm. His kindness changed my whole life. Even more fortunate, his niece became my wife. When I graduated high school, I wasn’t able to get any grants for college, so I went straight to farming and oilfield work. As time went by and my wife and I had our two boys, I knew it was time for a change. Working in the oilfield can be inconsistent and you spend a lot of time away from your family. I wanted something different for my family and that dream of college had never left me. So, I applied for the LVN program just to see what would happen and was accepted. But I had no idea how we’d pay for it. A program at CCFW covered the cost of my school and provided a support system. I’m happy to say that I graduated with my nursing degree and got a job at a rehabilitation clinic. I’m the first member of my family to receive a college education.”
Andi's Story: 
“My family was pretty well-off until the stock market crash of 2008 and my dad lost his job. It put a lot of strain on our family and it triggered a bipolar disorder in him that caused my parents to get divorced. I've loved going to school from a very young age. I knew I wanted to go to college and that was always my golden ticket. My favorite thing in school was band. In high school I was in dual credit college classes. Then I started my sophomore year and before Christmas break I found out I was pregnant. It was very unexpected. I was very overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. I kind of felt like all my plans were destroyed. I thought I can't go to college now and I can't do all these things I've always wanted to do. I found out about Catholic Charities through my high school counselor and I was thrilled when I found out they had accepted me because it's like my plans were set in motion. Because as much as I wanted to go to college I didn't know how I was gonna pay for it. I didn’t have a lot of options being in a low-income family. Catholic Charities kind of set that in place for me. Catholic Charities is the reason I'm in college. Eva's a year old now and she can totally walk on her own. I love learning and it's so fun to be on the other side of that and teach Eva things and watch her learn. I want Eva to totally feel safe at home and know that she has these people that love her and support her no matter what.Catholic Charities really improves my confidence that I can do what I plan to do, what I want to do, and it feels great to have that support and know that I can do it.”
Tonita's Story: 
Tonita needed a job that would better serve her family. She is a single mom of two girls and the schedule of her retail job made it really hard to spend time with them. “I worked as a contract government analyst.  But after eight years, the company I worked for was unable to renew their contract and I lost my job. I’d been working as a sale’s associate at Dillards for 10 months when I found Catholic Charities. I was there late, worked weekends, and missed out on a lot. Catholic Charities helped me write my resume, get new professional clothes, and look for work in my field. I was connected with a program that helped me refresh my computer skills. They even paid my light and water bill one month. They helped me build my confidence back.” Today, Tonita is at a job she loves and she’s not contract anymore. Her girls are thriving and she recently reached her goal of purchasing a house. “I really want other women to know that they can do it. Growing up, I remember my mom going to bed hungry so my brother and I could eat. She worked two jobs so that we could do what we wanted. My mom has always been my backbone and now we are all just enjoying life. It’s not a struggle anymore. I’m able to do things with my girls now. We love to travel. I’m truly at ease.”
Alma Ortiz Miller, Major Gifts Officer, (682) 978-0993