Published in The Catholic Commentator on April 4, 2014
By Richard Meek
As dawn’s first light heralded the arrival of Christmas morning, one needy Baton Rouge family awoke to holiday trappings normally reserved for the more fortunate.
Since 2007, Catholic Charities volunteers Mike and Vicki Hoormann have lovingly welcomed 20 newborns into their home, providing temporary care as they await their permanent adoptive homes. Despite many sleepless nights, Vicki and Mike believe being a boarding care family is their ministerial calling, especially since they can serve together as a couple.
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The Catholic Charities David Hamilton Volunteer of the Year award is presented to a volunteer who demonstrates excellence in service and exemplifies the Catholic Charities mission, values and commitment to the community.
Sometimes a faith-filled passion for meeting others’ needs lines up providentially with the work of Catholic Charities. We first encountered this dynamic duo less than a week after Hurricane Isaac devastated South Louisiana. Bob and Estelle Babin wanted to help wherever needed and coaxed their friends to endure days of 100 degree heat, sorting and loading food, water and cleaning supplies into cars of disaster victims. Later Bob, an avid home improvement guru, recruited a friend to repair the skirting on an elderly man’s trailer damaged by Isaac.
Our Refugee Resettlement team needs your help. Refugees from war-torn countries like Colombia, the Congo, and Myanmar are arriving almost daily. They come with little more than the clothes on their backs, and our warehouse is almost empty.
Almost a year ago we responded to the immediate needs following Hurricane Isaac and are now deep into disaster case management doing what Catholic Charities does best—helping families struggling to rebuild their lives. We’ve recently finished converting the TV studio at the Leah Building into warehouse space to stock pile disaster response supplies ready for when—not if—we are struck again. Several times this past year, our staff also responded to help our sister agencies impacted by Hurricane Sandy with the CCUSA Disaster Case Management Contract and to assist the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City following the tornadoes.