For more than 92 years, Catholic Charities has been helping neighbors across the North Florida and Big Bend areas with emergency assistance, food, housing, and other basic needs, and of those served, 91 percent were not of the Catholic faith. One of our outreach programs, Catholic Charities Christmas Connection, has been providing joy during the holidays to families in need for over 40 years. Now, Catholic Charities is doing something we've never done before: hosting Christmas Connection in July! And WCTV is dedicated to sharing the stories of families in need.

Our neighbors need us now more than ever.

COVID-19 has made it even more difficult for struggling families to provide for their families and pay their bills. Many live paycheck to paycheck throughout the year. Now, due to COVID cutbacks and closures, many have seen their hours drastically reduced or lost their jobs altogether.

Money raised will help pay past due rent, mortgage, and utilities for individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19. Some landlords, banks and utilities have graciously agreed to postpone payments or create payment plans, but those bills will eventually come due.

WCTV will be featuring families whose lives have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis on Eyewitness News at 6.

Families like a Leon County woman and her six children. She was laid off from her hotel housekeeping job and had no way to pay her rent. She feared becoming homeless. Another Leon County mother of two lost her job. She was able to get another one and used her stimulus check to pay her past-due rent, but couldn’t afford her utility bill.

Catholic Charities Christmas Connection believes the kindness and compassion of the Christmas spirit is alive and well in Tallahassee year round.  

We hope the same generosity that allows Christmas Connection to provide necessities, food and gifts to more than 500 families during the holidays will allow us to provide financial assistance and peace of mind to families right now.

 If your finances allow, please consider paying it forward with a donation to Christmas Connection in July. Click on the link below to offer your support.

Thank you so much for your generosity. Your gifts to Christmas Connection in July truly do help struggling families who are in need during this challenging time.

We hope that your family is well and safe. 

African American Family Saying Grace
Children Joined Together

*If you wish to mail a check, please make it out to "Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida" and earmark it for "Christmas Connection in July."
Mail to: Catholic Charities Christmas Connection in July, 1380 Blountstown Highway, Tallahassee, FL 32304.

Stories of Help, Hope, & Brighter Futures

Happy Days in Leon

Assistance from Catholic Charities helped see her through to happier times ahead.

 

7/10/20 WCTV News Story
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When schools are closed because of the Coronavirus health crisis, more than just the students are affected. Parents become homeschoolers, teachers have to learn new ways of teaching, and the world is a very different place. That fact came crashing down the hard way by a university employee who was laid off when the COVID-19 health crisis caused the school to close.

A single mother with three young children was now without an income. Her attempts at trying to obtain unemployment were stalled, and as she waited for news, her bills began to mount. She was most concerned about her rent. The thought of homelessness was one she just couldn’t bear.

So, she reached out for help, and contacted Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida. After an initial evaluation of her dire circumstances that were caused by no fault of her own, the Tallahassee office was able to offer much needed emergency assistance and bring her rent current.

Since that time, she has been called back to her job and is getting on her feet again. Her thoughts now travel to happier times ahead, and her sense of self-sufficiency is restored. Her heart is filled with thankfulness, as her life becomes more enjoyable each day.

Providing Help. Creating Hope. Serving All.

Hearth & Home in Wakulla


Catholic Charities gave her the solid footing she needed to get back on her feet again.

 

7/9/20 WCTV News Story
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Owning her own house cleaning business did not bode well when the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were issued. This mom and her young child found themselves in a precarious situation. Long-term clients were now cancelling. They were fearing the worst and didn’t want anyone in their homes except their own families. The few who continued using her services were not enough to keep her afloat financially.

What she had managed to save over the years was dwindling by the day. She was able to keep her rent at bay, but her electricity was bordering on being cut off. That probability during a time of diminished income was daunting for her. A disconnection of service would jump start a number of other crises, like a need for food due to loss of refrigeration. And things would just get worse from there.

Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida assessed her situation and helped her bring the electric bill current. Her relief was immediately evident and her gratitude is overflowing.

As the world starts emerging from quarantine, her business is slowly getting back to a more solid footing. The good news is that life is hopeful for her and her child once again.

Providing Help. Creating Hope. Serving All.

Opening Opportunities in Leon

Hotel Housekeeper
A life altering moment came from one simple call to Catholic Charities.

 

7/8/20 WCTV News Story
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A mother of six was deeply concerned. She’d been supporting her children with her housekeeping income from a Leon County hotel. When the stay-at-home orders were issued, the tourism industry was one of its first victims. No guests at hotels meant no need for employees to clean them. She lost her job soon after, and since the hotel had not been required to take unemployment contributions out of her paychecks, she wasn’t eligible to collect it. Her only income after losing her job was the social security assistance given to her for her two older children.

The situation became dire and was becoming more and more so by the minute. She began searching for a new job right away, but the industry was still suffering and nothing was available. At the same time, her past due rent was mounting, and without help, she and her children would soon be without a home. As any mother would be, she feared for the health and safety of her children. All hope seemed lost.

But a call to Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida’s Tallahassee office changed all of that. She worked with a Case Manager who assessed her family’s needs and gave her the help she so desperately needed. One simple call turned into a life altering moment.

She is still searching for her next job, and the opportunities seem to be opening up again. Reaching out to Catholic Charities was a pivotal decision for her. And she is so grateful that she did.

Providing Help. Creating Hope. Serving All.

Building Gratitude in Gadsden


Catholic Charities gave her a helping hand and made her feel hopeful once more.

7/7/20 WCTV News Story
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The manufacturing industry has suffered a tremendous loss over the last several months due to COVID-19. So, while the timing was unexpected, it wasn’t surprising when a single mother lost her employment because of it.

With a young child to care for, this mother began to panic at the thought of not being able to pay her rent. Even though she had been recently rehired by her former job, she had gone without an income for so long that it was swiftly turning into an insurmountable debt. Her hope of ever being able to catch up was diminishing by the day, and she was constantly plagued with downward spiraling worries about an eventual eviction from her home.

But help was within reach when she contacted Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida. She met with a Case Manager in the Tallahassee office who evaluated her situation and was able to bring her rent current. Her fears of living a life of homelessness were alleviated, and she no longer walked around in a cloud of impending doom.

Today, she is getting back on her feet and enjoying the stability of being self-sufficient again. Her life with her little one is one filled with relief and gratitude. All she needed was a helping hand. Catholic Charities provided just that, and she is hopeful once more.

Providing Help. Creating Hope. Serving All.

Hope on the Horizon in Leon


Catholic Charities gave her something she desperately needed...help and hope.

In Leon County, a single mother of two children – the oldest in college and a younger one in elementary school – contacted Catholic Charities after losing her caregiving job in the wake of COVID-19. She obtained another full-time job in the healthcare industry and had begun working, but the two-week gap between paychecks forecasted a financial hardship on the horizon.

When she received her stimulus check, she was able to cover her overdue rent, but the remaining amount wasn’t enough to pay her household utility bills, a very frightening situation for her and her two children. That’s when she reached out to the Catholic Charities Tallahassee Office.

Catholic Charities was able to assist her with those household bills, and in doing so, gave her something her family desperately needed more than ever: help and hope.

She continues to work full-time in her new healthcare position and is now able to confidently support her family, something for which she has expressed heartfelt gratitude. Best of all, her family’s future is bright and her hope restored.

Providing Help. Creating Hope. Serving All.

Christmas Connection in July Final Logo

For More Information: 850.222.2180

Mail checks to:
Catholic Charities Christmas Connection in July
1380 Blountstown Highway
Tallahassee, FL 32304
*Please write "Christmas Connection in July" in the memo line.