The Catholic Charities Women’s Board will be shining a light, as the charity continues to support more than 60,000 people in need in Lake County, as well as a new Violence Intervention and Prevention Program at the 29th Annual Art of Caring signature event on April 14 at the Deer Path Inn.
“This year’s theme is ‘Light of the Night,’ and everything that we do for Catholic Charities is to leave a handprint or a heart-print,” said Barbara Kelner, co-chair. “We chose ‘Light of the Night,’ because we really feel like often times the people in our programs are in a certain darkness, and our faith calls us to follow the light. Catholic Charities reaches out to everyone regardless of racial background, religious affiliation and is there to help anyone who has a need.”
Kelner is excited about the new Catholic Charities Violence Intervention and Prevention Program which is funded through a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
The program provides free counseling and case management services to individuals 24 years and younger and their children. Participants must have:
- Been a victim of community violence
- Been violent themselves in the community or to others
- Feel they are at high risk of being impacted by community violence
Some of the services available to eligible individuals through free counseling and case management services may include: assistance with housing, transportation, food, education, financial planning, anger management classes, etc.
“There’s a lot of violence in Lake County and this generous grant to help anyone under the age of 24 will help address that, because it’s a modern day problem,” said Kelner. “Although we’re celebrating a century of hope for 100 years of service, we’re being very current.”
Kelner described another new program indicative of how Catholic Charities is changing with the times. The program is for kids that opt out of DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) at age 18 and are on their own. She said Catholic Charities can help get them launched in apartments and provide counseling. A speaker will unveil more details about the program at the Art of Caring event.
Kelner noted that through the years, many of the recipients have shown their gratitude to Catholic Charities.
“Once people get on their feet, the first thing they want to do is reach out and help counsel or get involved in a program that helped them, whether it’s the food pantry program or something else,” she said.
Kelner explained that Catholic Charities has the only food pantry in Lake County that provides the dietary needs for HIV/AIDS patients.
Lake County programs include maternity, adoption, early childhood development programs, outreach for survivors of suicide, helping families in need, a food bank and veterans and senior services including Meals on Wheels.
Kelner sighted some important statistics about Catholic Charities:
- About every 30 seconds, someone counts on Catholic Charities for help
- It costs about $700,000 to run Catholic Charities’ programs each day
- 92 cents of every dollar that’s donated goes directly to Catholic Charities’ programs and services
Kelner said she’s excited that the Art of Caring event will be held at The Deer Path Inn; “an historic building that pairs well with our cause and with our century of help.”
She’s enjoyed working with her longtime friend and Co-Chair Carolyn Milligan, both Lake Forest residents.
“The Art of Caring is the largest fundraiser for Catholic Charities in Lake County,” said Kelner. “We’ve tailored our sponsorship programs because often times people have a special connection. For example, maybe someone adopted a baby through Catholic Charities, knows a senior being helped by Meals on Wheels, or has veterans in their family.”
In addition to a gourmet dinner, craft cocktails, paddle raise, raffle and dancing with the band Champagne Kings, the evening will have a live auction. Items will include a stay at a house in Costa Rica, a house in Kiawah Island, South Carolina and a special evening at Ravinia with Roger Daltrey of The Who.
“Through our fundraising efforts that evening, we want to light up the room,” said Kelner.
The 29th Annual Art of Caring event, presented by the Women’s Board of Catholic Charities Lake County Services, will be held April 14 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Deer Path Inn, 255 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities contact Karen Daniels at 847-782-4115 or [email protected].